To turn back our biological clock and rejuvenate, lengthening our life span, this has always been man's dream. Until now considered almost a utopia, in recent times more and more scientific research has however shed new light on this fascinating topic. In particular, as emerges from very recent studies, particular lifestyle choices seem to favor the rejuvenation of the body. So, in addition to a healthy and varied diet, which includes fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, extra virgin olive oil and green tea, let's see what can make us rejuvenate.
Exercise, the best medicine
In our hands we have one of the most powerful medicines and rejuvenating treatments, exercise. As a very recent scientific research has been able to demonstrate, the opportunity to practice physical exercise rejuvenates our cells (Jones III et al, JP, 2022). The study took place in the laboratory on a population of mice. Well, physical activity has caused the muscles to promote the synthesis of a particular protein, called c-Myc, capable of transforming highly specialized cells into stem cells, which are a younger and more adaptable state. It is precisely the young cells that are adaptable and what has been observed has made it possible to reduce the biological age of the mice. And the good news is that it's never too late to abandon a sedentary lifestyle and indulge in walks, light runs, swims or stationary bike sessions. In fact, the study was carried out on already elderly mice whose biological age, following the physical activity carried out, is rejuvenated.
Therefore, physical activity is beneficial and is capable of bringing health and longevity, at all ages.
To live long and healthy, take care of the gut microbiota
The gut microbiota is the set of bacteria that live in our gut. At first sight one might think that these bacteria only influence our digestion, but the reality is quite different and allows us to discover a fascinating and complex topic that science is dedicating a lot of effort to understand it. The point is that the microbiota affects the health of the entire body, including the well-being of the heart and brain. A healthy microbiota, in which good bacteria prevail, helps fight inflammation, supports the immune system, regulates mood and keeps anxiety and depression at bay that, if left untreated, can increase the risk of developing neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer's (Saiz Vazquez et al, J Clin Med, 2021). But how can we take care of our microbiota, stimulating the proliferation of good bacteria? Certainly a varied and balanced diet, rich in prebiotic foods such as artichokes, onions, leeks, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, chicory, sauerkraut and cocoa, and the intake of probiotics, which are live bacteria, can help. But there is also another method to be implemented to protect the microbiota, counteract diseases of the body and mind and gain in longevity, meditation! In fact, very recent research has observed that meditating regularly can, in the long run, change the intestinal microbiota. In particular, what has resulted is an increase in those bacteria associated with a general health condition, calmness and serenity and a reduced risk of developing depression, anxiety, binge eating, intestinal inflammation, colitis and heart disease (Sun et al, BMJ, 2023).
The importance of being optimistic
A positive and optimistic mindset has been shown to be associated with an increase in life expectancy and a greater likelihood of exceeding 90 years of age. What has been observed does not depend on ethnicity and is more important even than diet and lifestyle in determining the lifespan (Koga et al, J Am Geriatr Soc, 2022).