Wellness Wednesday – 11/25/20
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Human Aging Reversed in Groundbreaking Study, Scientists Say
Scientists claim to have successfully reversed the biological aging process in a group of elderly adults.
In a first of a kind study, researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Shamir Medical Center used a form of oxygen therapy to reverse two key indicators of biological aging: Telomere length and senescent cells accumulation. As the human body gets older, it experiences the shortening of telomeres — the protective caps found at the end of chromosomes — and an increase in old, malfunctioning senescent cells.
A clinical trial involving 35 adults over the age of 64 sought to understand whether a method called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy could prevent the deterioration of these two hallmarks of the aging process. Subjects were placed in a pressurized chamber and given pure oxygen for 90 minutes a day, five days a week for three months.
At the end of the trial, the scientists reported that the participants’ telomeres had increased in length by an average of 20%, while their senescent cells had been reduced by up to 37%. This is the equivalent to how their bodies were at a cellular level 25 years earlier, the researchers reported.
“Since telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging, many pharmacological and environmental interventions are being extensively explored in the hopes of enabling telomere elongation,” said Shai Efrati, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, and co-author of the study.
It is understood that instead the effects were the result of the pressurized chamber inducing a state of hypoxia, or oxygen shortage, which caused the cell regeneration.
Newly Discovered Mineral Could Revolutionize Batteries
Researchers from St. Petersburg University in Russia found a new mineral species called petrovite, created in the volcanos of the remote region of Kamchatka.
The research team that found petrovite was headed by crystallography professor Stanislav Filatov, who studied the minerals of Kamchatka for over 40 years. The area offers amazing mineralogical diversity, with dozens of new minerals found there in recent years, according to the university’s press release.
Specifically, Filatov focused his attention on scoria (or cinder) cone volcanos and lava flows formed after the eruptions of the Tolbachik Volcano in 1975 to 1976 and 2012 to 2013.
Petrovite, the blue and green mineral Filatov’s team discovered, contains oxygen atoms, sodium sulphur and copper in a porous framework. The scientists think its structure of voids connected by channels, which can pass through small sodium atoms, holds potential for ionic conductivity. The mineral may be adaptable as cathode material in sodium-ion batteries. Due to the abundance of salt, sodium-ion batteries could be a very inexpensive alternative to lithium-ion batteries you can commonly find in many devices today.
Mediterranean Diet Helps Reduce Effects of Stress in Animal Model
Even before 2020, Americans reported some of the highest perceived levels of stress in the world, according to the American Psychological Association. Not only does stress have negative effects on work and personal relationships, it also increases the risk of many chronic conditions, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and is associated with higher mortality rates.
But eating a Mediterranean diet may provide a relatively easy way to help lessen the physiological effects of stress and promote healthy aging, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
The researchers studied the effects of the chronic stress of low social status and the acute stress of being socially isolated for 30 minutes in 38 middle-aged animals that were fed either a Mediterranean or Western diet. The diets were formulated to closely reflect human diets, with protein and fat derived largely from animal sources in the Western group and primarily from plant sources in the Mediterranean group.
Compared to animals fed a Western diet, those fed the Mediterranean diet exhibited enhanced stress resilience.
As the animals aged over the 31-month study, which is equivalent to about 9 years in humans, the research group noted that sympathetic nervous system activity increased. However, the Mediterranean diet slowed the aging of the sympathetic nervous system.
The study’s findings suggest that population-wide adoption of a Mediterranean-like diet may provide a relatively simple and cost-effective intervention to reduce stress and delay nervous system aging.