Diet and exercise are the best way to stay healthy...for now. Billions of dollars are being spent to help scientists find the fountain of youth. And the results so far seem promising.
Regrow Your Brain
In what could be a groundbreaking study (or a horror movie), Dr. Himanshu Bansal and his team of researchers at Bioquark and Revita Life Sciences have recently received approval to go ahead with tests that might...just might...prove it’s possible to regrow the cells of a dead brain.
As of now, if someone is classified as brain dead there’s no hope for recovery, but Dr. Bansal theorizes that by using lasers, injections, and nerve stimulation, it’s possible to kick-start the dead brain cells and get them to regrow, much like a lizard can regrow a limb if severed. Should the treatment work, Bansal and the entire science world will have difficult ethical questions to answer -- to say nothing of the possible zombie apocalypse if things go horribly awry.
Mark your calendars -- you can quit your gym membership in about a decade. That’s when a possible exercise pill may be available. Dr. Nolan Hoffman published findings in a 2015 article of Cell Metabolism that shows it may be possible to replicate the benefit of exercise via a pill!
Researchers noticed that the human body experiences 1,000 molecular changes after exercise (muscular and skeletal, mostly). By identifying these changes, Dr Hoffman thinks the changes can be replicated thanks to man-made pills. The downside, as of now, is that there’s no one pill that can produce all 1,000 molecular changes, so you may need to choke down a few fistfulls of different capsules (each with possible side effects). Since researchers are only in the planning phase you might not want to sell that NordicTrack on eBay just yet. (Plus, where would you throw all your dirty clothes?)
One way to prolong your life may be spending your retirement years in Antarctica or Hoth. Scientists have found that animals in colder climates live longer than those in warmer climates. Mussels in Spain live only 29 years while those in harsh, cold Russia can live as long as 200 years. Experts aren’t exactly sure why this happens -- cold weather may slow the metabolism and/or killer bacteria can’t thrive as well in cold weather. Whatever the case, there’s evidence to suggest if you stay cold, you could live longer. And if you eat nothing but Slurpees while taking a cold shower, you’ll be immortal!
A pill that stops aging? It sounds too good to be true, but it also sounds too complicated and medical to be 100 percent phoney. The Food and Drug Administration has given the go-ahead for researchers to study a possible anti-aging drug that could help us all live to be 120-years-old (or, more realistically, add better health to the years we do have).
There’s already been evidence that diabetes medication Metformin helps keep animals alive longer, and now, with the FDA’s blessing, work can begin to see if the same medication works on humans in a study entitled “Targeting Aging with Metformin” or TAME. The results could be a step (or giant leap) into the process of slowing the onset of Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s Disease.
If you see an infomercial-looking ad claiming to reverse the effects of aging, chances are the product in question is some sort of testosterone supplement. But can testosterone help fend off the grim reaper?
"It increases aspects of cognition, it protects the brain from dying, it reduces Alzheimer's disease, I mean, it's wonderful," Dr Christian Pike, a neurobiologist at the University of Southern California, told BBC News. But for the time being, there aren’t enough studies to back up the claim that testosterone is the fountain of youth. What we do know is that as men age, their testosterone decreases which leads to a sense of lethargy and fatigue. The hope is that testosterone can prevent those feelings and may make you feel young again.
Shocking Way To Live
Electro-shock therapy might make you think of horrific and antiquated mental health institutions of the early 20th century, but there’s new evidence that suggests properly administered transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may help victims of head trauma, depression, and alzheimer's disease. The best part: It just might make a healthy brain super healthy. Can’t remember who sang “Gloria"? You could look it up on your phone, or use TMS to get your brain juices flowing. (Answer: Laura Branigan sang the song.)
As we learn more about the brain, and how some patients might not respond well to drugs, experts are looking at new ways to heal the mind, and TMS might just be what the doctor orders.
Chamber of Life
We’ve all heard rumors of celebrities who use hyperbaric chambers to prolong their lives and keep them young. But what if this therapy actually works? If Dr. Oz says it’s real, who are we to argue? There are numerous hyperbaric facilities in the country, and they offer the same basic therapy.
Once inside the chamber, the oxygen in your body flows more freely and is able to access areas that would otherwise be blocked. This increased oxygen fights off the aging process. And as an added bonus, you can pretend you’re in the first 15 minutes of Alien.
Feed Your Genes
Professor David Sinclair of the University of New South Wales has found the fountain of youth! He can prevent hair from going gray, stop skin from wrinkling, and might put an end to aging -- in mice.
Sinclair claims to have found the genes responsible for aging in lab mice, and when the mice are given a molecule called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), the effects of aging all but stop. The same results may occur in humans, meaning you can live long enough to see all 617 Spider-man and The Mummy reboots coming out over the next century!
Be A Vampire
When older mice and given blood of younger mice via transfusion, the old mice become young again. That’s what one study found at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco. The older mice showed signs of increased memory, mobility, and were even quite adorable (probably).
Pro athletes already know the (somewhat illegal) benefits of blood transfusions and blood doping, so the results of these mice tests shouldn’t be too surprising. Much more research and testing needs to be conducted before humans can safely benefit from sucking the blood of our young. Until then, don’t bite children in gross attempts to life forever.
If it was good enough to prolong the life of Anakin Skywalker, surely robotics could help non-evil people stay active well into old age. The Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Aalborg University is among the research groups perfecting exoskeleton technology. Simply put, a robotic skeleton surrounds your body and does all the heavy lifting.
It can already be used in limited capacity, and with a few more years of testing, a full-blown robot suit might be as common a sight as seeing walkers and motorized scooters at the mall. Researchers stress that at this point, the exoskeleton isn’t designed for paralyzed individuals. Shaoping Bai, an associate professor at Aalborg, told Science Daily: "This is an attempt to complement the strengths of older people so they can continue to be mobile and live independently for a longer time."
Headbutt A Snake
There are millions of terrible Hollywood anti-aging beauty regimens, but nothing makes us scratch our wrinkled heads more than Sny-Ake. This synthetic snake venom is an alternative to Botox, and paralyzes the skin to wipe out wrinkles and personality.
We’re curious who was the genius that figured out snake venom is good for the skin? And how many people died trying to get it just right? While it won’t make you live any longer, you’ll look younger, and after all...isn’t that the point? (No...it’s not the point! You’re beautiful as you are. You don’t need to shove fake or real snake venom into your skin.)