1. Increased Average Longevity among the “Tour de France” Cyclists. Tour de France Cyclists live 8 years longer than the general population. The longevity of 834 cyclists from France (n=465), Italy (n=196) and Belgium (n=173) who rode the Tour de France between the years 1930 and 1964. Dates of birth and death of the cyclists were obtained on December 31, 2007. We calculated the percentage of survivors for each age and compared them with the values for the pooled general population of France, Italy and Belgium for the appropriate age cohorts. We found a very significant increase in average longevity (17%) of the cyclists when compared with the general population
2. Hormosis – small damage and longevity
Fightaging – Hormesis is the process by which a little damage or stress to our biology can lead to a longer life span, as it wakes up the repair mechanisms and makes them do a better job than they otherwise would – a net gain in resiliency. This review aims to summarize published evidence that several longevity-promoting interventions may converge by causing an activation of mitochondrial oxygen consumption to promote increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These serve as molecular signals to exert downstream effects to ultimately induce endogenous defense mechanisms culminating in increased stress resistance and longevity, an adaptive response more specifically named mitochondrial hormesis or mitohormesis.
Various nutritional, behavioral, and pharmacological interventions have been previously shown to extend life span in diverse model organisms, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, mice, and rats, as well as possibly monkeys and humans. This review aims to summarize published evidence that several longevity-promoting interventions may converge by causing an activation of mitochondrial oxygen consumption to promote increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These serve as molecular signals to exert downstream effects to ultimately induce endogenous defense mechanisms culminating in increased stress resistance and longevity, an adaptive response more specifically named mitochondrial hormesis or mitohormesis. Consistently, we here summarize findings that antioxidant supplements that prevent these ROS signals interfere with the health-promoting and life-span-extending capabilities of calorie restriction and physical exercise. Taken together and consistent with ample published evidence, the findings summarized here question Harman’s Free Radical Theory of Aging and rather suggest that ROS act as essential signaling molecules to promote metabolic health and longevity.
Aging-associated diseases are often caused by progressive loss or dysfunction of cells that ultimately affect the overall function of tissues and organs. Successful treatment of these diseases could benefit from cell-based therapy that would regenerate lost cells or otherwise restore tissue function. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) promise to be an important therapeutic candidate in treating aging-associated diseases due to their unique capacity for self-renewal and pluripotency. To date, there are numerous hESC lines that have been developed and characterized. We will discuss how hESC lines are derived, their molecular and cellular properties, and how their ability to differentiate into all three embryonic germ layers is determined. We will also outline the methods currently employed to direct their differentiation into populations of tissue-specific, functional cells. Finally, we will highlight the general challenges that must be overcome and the strategies being developed to generate highly-purified hESC-derived cell populations that can safely be used for clinical applications.