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Humans can have a life expectancy of 150 years, but how will they reach it?

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For millennia, humans have been trying to extend our lifespan as much as possible. We've tried plenty of formulas, supplements, injectable and pill treatments, fasting tricks and herbs.

Recently, billionaires like Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos have invested huge sums in biotech companies like Altos Labs, Juvenescence and Unity Biotechnology, which pursue the quest for longevity through cell rejuvenation and disease prevention.< /p>

So far, the longest anyone has ever lived is 122 years. But this may be at the lower end of our potential range.

Even if you lived in a bubble without disease or danger, your body would still experience wear and tear as it pumps blood, digests food, and performs all the functions necessary for survival.

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The older you are, the longer it would take to "work" your body to deal with this wear and tear, because aging happens in our cells and DNA. All of this means that your tissues gradually lose the ability to heal themselves, which can lead to disease and dysfunction.

One study suggested that the human body's recovery time doubles every 15 years — so a bruise that took a week to heal at age 40 may take two weeks at age 55. Eventually, the human body loses all of its resilience, so any bones or tissues that break stay broken. Once too many body parts malfunction, you die.

Researchers don't necessarily agree on the maximum threshold for when this happens. Some have suggested 115 years, others 130 years. One of the most recent studies that analyzed over half a million people in the US and the UK showed that people lose all resilience sometime between 120-150 years old!

The big question is: What if we could slow down this wear and tear, or better yet, prevent it altogether? Some experts argue that with medical advances, the average human lifespan has no natural limit.

Let's take a look at aging at the cellular level, what's keeping us from living longer, and the research groups that want to understand and possibly reverse the aging process.

Cellular aging is one of the most famous topics. Illustration of harmful cells in red between healthy ones in green. Cellular senescence is when a cell stops reproducing but does not die.

When this happens, some senescent cells turn into destructive zombies, floating around and releasing inflammatory chemicals that damage healthy cells, including stem cells – the "repairers" of your body that help replace damaged or broken tissue. But not all senescent cells are bad.

Some senescent cells secrete chemicals that help repair wounds, said Paul Robbins, associate director of the Institute for the Biology of Aging and Metabolism and the Biology of Aging Medical Discovery Group at the University of Minnesota.

< p> Companies such as Life Biosciences and Unity Biotechnology are currently developing drugs called senolytics to contain and destroy only the "bad" aging cells in your body. Some experimental drugs may even prevent cells from aging in the first place.

But so far, no one has figured out how to prevent or completely eliminate harmful senescent cells…

By the age of 60, the human body – especially the immune system – has trouble clearing harmful senescent cells, which can lead to accumulation that causes tissue damage and failure, Robbins said.

Some argue that biological age – how old your cells and tissues are – is a better predictor of your lifespan than your chronological age, or how many years you live.

A common way scientists estimate biological age is to measure the telomeres in certain cells of the immune system. What are telomeres? Special protective formations that “seal” the two ends of the chromosomes to protect the DNA from damage, which occurs both during cell divisions and in other cases where DNA damage is created (e.g. in phases of oxidative stress).

When you are born, the telomeres in certain immune cells, called leukocytes, can be between 7,000 and 11,600 base pairs. Once that size shrinks to 5,000 base pairs, you're at high risk of imminent death, according to a recent study.

But other research has found that some people who live past 100 actually have telomeres that get longer every year, not shorter. This has led some scientists to investigate ways to mimic this process of telomere recovery in younger individuals.

Another factor that contributes to DNA damage and cellular aging is DNA methylation – when molecules called groups methyl groups attach themselves to certain parts of your genes to manage their behavior.

Depending on the location, methyl groups may block genes from being activated or enhance gene activity where necessary. In general, DNA methylation decreases as you age, which can allow the wrong genes to turn on.

Last but not least, some of the biggest constraints on human life are the tiny mitochondria in your cells. These tiny structures generate most of a cell's energy, which is vital for survival, but it also creates byproducts called free radicals. Biotech companies like Altos Labs are working on a way to prevent these diseases by rejuvenating cells and reversing the damage that oxidative stress can cause. The company hopes that by restoring cells to a healthier, younger state, it could boost longevity.

Also read: New 'monkey' doctor hit: He asked for €77k and knew 85-year-old's children's names

Source: Edaily.gr 

Source: www.sigmalive.com

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