Sunday, July 29, 2007

What's the Key to a Long Life?

tidbits that tantalizeCould I Get That Without The Prattle?

It's not exactly Science 101, but researchers at Children's Hospital in Boston have a thought or two to share on longevity.

It works like this:

The amount of insulin in the brain may be the key to living longer. They engineered mice with defective genes to mimic various capabilities of insulin management. The gene they targeted is known as insulin receptor substrate 2 (Irs2). One group had no copies of the Irs2 gene, resulting in diabetes. The second group had a single copy of the gene, resulting in distinct advantages that extended their lives.

The second group lived slovenly lives, overeating and packing on the pounds - attributes that should shorten life. But, because the mice had been designed to use less insulin in the brain, they actually lived longer than normal lab mice. In fact, they lived an average of 18% longer.

Confused? Join the club.

Fortunately, the scientists have a simple take away message: diet and exercise are the key.

Ah... There's a statement of scientific fact that makes sense. All this prattle about insulin receptors, genetically engineered mice, and other such nonsense only serves to confuse the issue. Let's have some straight talk, with a bit of practicality thrown in for good measure.

Yes, diet and exercise. Eating less, and exercising more, make the body's peripheral tissues more sensitive to insulin. The result is lower insulin production, resulting in less insulin circulating in the brain, resulting in a longer life.

But, lest we fall into the prattle trap once again, let's review the central message:

Diet and exercise are the keys to a long life.

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about healthy diets and exercise, see this from the HealthCentral Network.


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