Scientists believe that by discovering a previously unknown genetic code, they may have uncovered the secret of slowing the aging process.
From trying to prevent wrinkles to trying to keep our bodies healthy in old age, the search for brakes takes how quickly we age.
However, the researchers believe that they have made an important discovery to lead a longer and healthier life.
A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging in Germany has discovered a connection between high iron levels in the blood and the aging process.
Using genetic data from more than a million people, researchers tried to find out why some people age differently.
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The team identified ten regions of the genome (the full collection of genes that make up an organism) that were linked to three measurements. the length of a life ̵
The results published today in the journal Nature Communications showed that the most common genes associated with iron were found when considering all three measures of aging.
High levels of iron in the blood have been linked to age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s and liver diseases and made it difficult for the body to fight infections.
The researchers therefore concluded that maintaining healthy iron levels in the blood could be the key to better aging and longer life.
“We are very pleased with these results, as they strongly indicate that a high iron content in the blood shortens our healthy life years and a control of these values can prevent age-related damage” Paul Timmers from the University of Edinburgh.
“As we age, our bodies slowly decrease over time and eventually develop deadly diseases, including heart disease, dementia and cancer.
“But the process runs at different speeds for different people.”
The researchers also believe that the results of their study could provide a link between certain diets and age-related diseases.
“We speculate that our results on iron metabolism could also explain why a very high content of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related diseases such as heart disease,” continues Dr. Timmers away.
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The study’s authors now believe that their research could help accelerate drug development, reduce age-related diseases, extend healthy life years, and increase the chances of living disease-free into old age.
“Our primary goal is to find out how aging is regulated and to find ways to improve health during aging,” explains Dr. Joris Deelen from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging in Germany.
The ultimate hope is that their results could lead to drugs that mimic the effects of iron-controlling genes and could be a step towards overcoming some of the effects of aging.
Before you kick out the anti-wrinkle cream in anticipation, the team found that there is still a lot to do before people have a chance to slow aging.
“The ten regions of the genome that we discovered that are related to lifespan, health, and longevity are all exciting candidates for further studies,” added Dr. Deelen added.
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The study follows further research indicating that Generation X is more likely to suffer from poor health for more years than older baby boomers in the 60s and early 70s.
At the beginning of this year, scientists found that wealthy people could expect an average of eight to nine more “healthy” years of life compared to less wealthy people.
The study, published in the Journal of Gerontology, looked at how long adults can expect to live without a disability instead of just looking at life expectancy.
It was found that the greatest socio-economic benefit in terms of life expectancy without disabilities was wealth.
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Additional reporting SWNS.