Scientists Have Found a Way to Reverse the Signs of Aging


Why We Age

In the absence of an actual fountain of youth, people have
turned to drugs, creams, and even blood to prevent aging. But
it turns out one of the best ways to combat the inevitable was
right under our noses all along—exercise.

As we get older our cells lose their ability to generate energy
effectively, which leads to the physical changes we
associate with aging. Research led by Sreekumaran
Nair at the Mayo Clinic reveals that high intensity interval
training (HIIT) can help reverse those effects.

The study included volunteers from two age groups, one
between 18 and 30, and the other between 65 to 80. These
groups were then divided into three: one received HIIT, another
received weight training, and the third group was given a
combination of both. All volunteers had to engage in the
regimen for three months, and muscle biopsies were taken before
and after for comparison.

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Aging actually happens at a cellular level. As the mitochondria
(“the powerhouse of the cell”) declines with age, it leads to
many age-related conditions — everything from worsening
eyesight to cancer. HIIT training — which involves short bursts
of intense physical activity, mixed with periods of
lower-intensity exercise — can apparently boost the
mitochondria’s ability to generate energy by 69 percent among
older subjects, and 49 percent in a younger group.

Perhaps the most telling sign of cellular aging is when the
body begins to have difficulty with specific functions,
such as the muscle’s ability to burn excess blood sugar — which
could lead to diabetes. HIIT training lead to not just a halt
in the decline, but even reversed it. “After three
months of interval training, everything converged towards what
we saw in young people,”
says Nair.

Exercise Keeps You Young

In addition to positive impact on a cellular level, the
training also provided a major improvement in lung, heart,
and circulation health. The amount of oxygen the younger
group could inhale rose by 28 percent, and rose by 17
percent among the older volunteers.

Among the group that was given weight training instead of HIIT,
no mitochondrial or respiratory improvements were observed.
Under this exercise regimen, the best benefit received was
gaining muscle mass. In the group that received a combination
of both, oxygen consumption rose by 21 percent among older
volunteers, and showed intermediate results. In a
statement announcing their research, Dr. Nair said:

“Based on everything we know, there’s no
substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying
the aging process. These things we are seeing cannot be done by
any medicine.”

Other research centered around anti-aging efforts are also
making significant strides: a drug called metformin, which has long been
used to treat diabetes, has just been approved for clinical
trials involving its potential age-related applications. A

separate study
claims to have formulated a drug that can
help slow down the aging process. Having a deeper understanding
of genetics has
also helped scientists gain new insights into how we can
effectively slow physical aging and the onset of age-related
diseases.

Given these findings, combined with numerous breakthroughs in
the field, we may be closer to the fountain of youth than we
think.


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Scientists Have Found a Way to Reverse the Signs of Aging

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