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Going on Eighty; Feeling Like Fifty

by in Retirement
November 10, 2015 0 comments

I’m living it up with “young blood”!  That may be the exultation of the seniors of tomorrow based on studies being conducted by Dr. Amy Wagers of Harvard University and others working in the field of stem cell research and “rejuvenation” therapies.  By mixing the blood of young mice with that of the “senior mice”, the scientists have been able to isolate the “growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11)” which produced marked differences in the animals tested.  Rejuvenation of the architecture of the heart, the vasculature of the brain and the bulk of skeletal muscle were evidenced in the senior mice during their studies.  Ah, the promise of reversal of age is universally an exciting idea that can get our mental juices going.

Wagers cautioned that many more studies need to be done before human therapies can be tested and long term issues need to be determined before we will see this happening in our senior communities.  Studies around the world are attempting to determine whether factors in the “young blood sparked rejuvenation or something in the old blood inhibited it.”  If we are in our seventies or eighties, we need to stay as healthy as we can for another five to ten years should we wish to extend our lives and feel good while doing it.  In the meantime, studies by some of Wager’s colleagues, especially Dr. Conboy at U.C. Berkeley, have shown that oxytocin, which has the approval of the Food and Drug Administration, has been shown to ignite the activity of adult muscle stem cells leading to improved muscle regeneration.

Listening to seniors tell the stories, we understand that daily exercise, the reduction of salt intake, moving toward fewer carbs in our diet, drinking lots of water and just smiling more can lead to a longer life or at least make the one we are living seem better.  For the brain, they say work your crossword puzzles, do Sudoku, play cards, do picture puzzles and discuss/argue issues.  For the body; take a walk around the block, do water exercises in the pool, dance, stretch your arms out and feed the body appropriately.  For communication, join a discussion group or Toastmasters; since you have one mouth and two ears, listen twice as often as you speak; laugh wholeheartedly; love yourself so you can love others; embrace your spirituality and live it up!

What are some of the things your mother told you to do to live longer and happier?  Share them with the world.



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