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Scientists from Harvard may just have indirectly confirmed that a technique used more than 2,500 years ago by ancient priests in Egypt, can increase your lifespan.
Historic references suggest that more than 2,500 years ago, intermittent “starvation” was used in ancient Egypt, India, and Greece to strengthen the body, and increase lifespan. Numerous written sources of different civilizations around the world, regardless of religion or territory, mention fasting, and its numerous benefits.
A study from Harvard University has shown that intermittent fasting and manipulating mitochondrial networks may increase lifespan.
“Although previous work has shown how intermittent fasting can slow aging, we are only beginning to understand the underlying biology.”
As noted by researchers a study has shown that by manipulating mitochondrial networks inside cells — either by dietary restriction or by genetic manipulation that mimics it — may increase lifespan and help promote health.
A group of researchers from the prestigious University of Harvard published an article in the journal Cell Metabolism, which details advances made in the research of mitochondrial connections and explains how intermittent fasting is crucial to increase lifespan.
According to reports, scientists managed to stop, in a class of earthworms called C. elegans, the aging of the mitochondria, the cellular organelles responsible for providing the energy for cellular activity, subjecting the animals to periodic fasts.
This markedly prolonged the earthworms short life expectancy, which in ordinary circumstances is only two weeks.
According to the researchers, dietary restriction and intermittent fasting have shown in the past to be able to help health during the years of old age, so understanding why this phenomenon occurs is a crucial step towards the therapeutic use of its benefits.
“Our work shows how crucial is the plasticity of the mitochondria for the benefits of fasting,” they explained but emphasized that it is necessary to investigate more deeply this complex biological process to reach definitive conclusions.
“Low-energy conditions such as dietary restriction and intermittent fasting have previously been shown to promote healthy aging. Understanding why this is the case is a crucial step toward being able to harness the benefits therapeutically,” said Heather Weir, lead author of the study, who conducted the research while at Harvard Chan School and is now a research associate at Astex Pharmaceuticals. “Our findings open up new avenues in the search for therapeutic strategies that will reduce our likelihood of developing age-related diseases as we get older.”
“Although previous work has shown how intermittent fasting can slow aging, we are only beginning to understand the underlying biology,” said William Mair, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “Our work shows how crucial the plasticity of mitochondria networks is for the benefits of fasting. If we lock mitochondria in one state, we completely block the effects of fasting or dietary restriction on longevity.”
Source: In pursuit of healthy aging
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