Scientists have done work with small round worms on the matter of ageing. They have managed to make these worms live twice as long by partially disabling one of their genes-daf2. The worms appear to be healthy until the end. They also managed to shorten their lifespan by adding sugar which revved up their insulin pathway.
The link between ageing and diet makes sense if one understands that the daf2 gene activates receptors that are sensitive to two hormones, insulin and growth hormone. Too much sugar overstimulates the receptors. People who live to 100 are more likely to have a mutation in the daf2 gene. A drug that prolongs the life of mice is soon to be announced and the direction of this work may lead to drugs that allow us to live longer and healthier lives.
Observer March 2013 Discover in Review
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