Astronauts took worms into space?now they’ve used them to unlock the secret of longer life. Before, the only advice scientists had for us was to eat a severely calorie-restricted diet (which makes us wonder if living longer would be worth it). Now, thanks to worm research, they have more palatable advice for us.
In LiveScience.com, Ker Than reports that researcher Mikhail Shchepinov fed worms a diet of steak and chicken that was fortified with isotopes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen (isotopes are atoms that have the same number of protons as their natural counterparts but different numbers of neutrons). The worms on this diet lived 10% longer than expected! If we get to the point where an average person lives to be 100, eating this diet would add 10 years to our lives.
How does this work? Shchepinov thinks that eating isotope-fortified foods reduces the molecular damage caused in our bodies from molecules called “free radicals,” which have extra electrons. Some researchers think that free radicals are what cause us to age in the first place. Some researcher have warned us that these can be produced by taking too many vitamins. Free radicals are also destroyed by antioxidents like tea (as long as you don’t drink it with milk).
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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