Live longer: Dr Mosley says 'simple' lifestyle tweaks are 'proven to hold back the clock'
Doctor Michael Mosley has shared that two research-backed practices could add almost two extra years to your lifespan.You might be fed up with hearing about how a healthy diet and exercise are key to a healthy life, but these two practices are truly essential for your wellbeing as well as longevity.
Ageing is a multifactorial process determined by a person's genetic makeup and environment. Among the various genetic components connected to human longevity, the FOX03 gene has consistently been proven the most essential. Though everyone carries it, eating certain foods may allow it to express further, thus prolonging lifespan. One ageing scientist suggests that a metabolite unique to several dietary sources could hold the key for activating the "longevity gene".
According to Weill Cornell Medicine, studies of humans "who live longer than 100 years" have shown that many of these individuals share an unusual version of a gene known as The Forehead box protein O3 (FOXO3).
'Prolong your lifespan': 5 'cheapest' foods that can boost longevity
When compromising on the cost of your shopping list, you don't also have to sacrifice your health.While it's no secret that colourful fruit and veg as well as fibre-packed pulses are some of the healthiest foods out there, these longevity staples can be often taxing on your wallet.
Doctor Bradley Willcox, the principal investigator of the National Institute on Ageing-funded Kuakini Hawaii Lifespan Study, suggests there are ways this gene can be activated through diet.
The longevity expert explained: "The bottom line is that even if you don't have the 'best' FOX03 variant in terms of longevity, by expressing or 'turning on' the gene, you'll be able to duplicate the longevity mechanism.
"You can do it by eating certain foods, which is one of the functions that the Okinawan diet achieves."
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The main foods in the traditional Okinawa diet are as follows:
Vegetables (58 - 50 percent): Sweet potato (orange and purple), seaweed, kelp, bamboo shoots, daikon radish, bitter melon, cabbage, carrots, China okra, pumpkin, green papaya
Grains (33 percent): Millet, wheat, rice, and noodles
Soy foods (five percent): Tofu, miso, natto, and edamame
Other (one percent): Alcohol, tea, spices and dash (broth).
Two other antioxidant-rich ingredients consumed liberally on this diet are jasmine tea and turmeric.
Doctor Willcox notes that one thing many of these foods have in common is a potent micronutrient found predominantly in marine plants, known as astaxanthin.
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He said: "It's known as a marine carotenoid, found in seaweeds and kelp. It's part of the Okinawan diet and shows particular promise in our research.
Research published in Nature Communications discovered that rodents who lacked the FOX03 gene are also less able to cope with stressful situations.
What this suggests, is that the gene may preserve the brain's ability to regenerate by preventing stem cells from dividing until the environment is conducive to the survival of new cells.
Stem cells, in combination with anti-ageing genes, create a protective shield against the effects of ageing.
Researchers have long sought ways to introduce youthful stem cells into the body in order to reverse the process of cellular ageing and prolong lifespan.
Live longer: Two dietary patterns that may turn on 'longevity gene' shared by centenarians .
Studies have shown that individuals with a specific variant of the FOXO3 gene have a longer life expectancy than those without it.A specific variation of the FOXO gene, known as FOXO3, is known to have a strong impact on ageing and age-related phenotypes.