A Little Stress...

It's been a slow weekend for both news and my brain, more is the pity, so I'm reduced to pointing out research that suggests a modicum of "good stress" is good for longevity:

Dr Kyriazis, the medical director of the British Longevity Society, argued that moderate stress increased the production of proteins that help to repair the body's cells, including brain cells, enabling them to work at peak capacity.

"Research shows that cells subjected to stress repair themselves, allowing us to live longer," he said.

"As the body ages, this self-repair mechanism starts to slow down.

"The best way to keep the process working efficiently is to 'exercise it', in the same way that you would exercise your muscles to keep them strong."

"Good stress" in this context results from activities that require effort, learning and time management, but are not simply execises in frustration or feeling trapped. This is akin to normal exercise, supplementation or calorie restriction in terms of managing your health using present day knowledge and lifestyle choices - we know that it's a good thing to do, it will lengthen our lives and delay age-related disease ... but we can't use it to obtain what I would regard as significant healthy life extension. Yet far too much attention and time is put towards these issues rather than into, say, raising the profile of directed longevity research. Science is capable of providing us with far better than the absolute best we could ever manage with present day techniques for maintaining our health and lengthening our healthy life spans. Think regenerative medicine, stem cells, nanomedicine, therapies to repair mitochondrial free radical damage, the whole engineered negligible senescence plan. We should put more effort into supporting the advance of science into the realm of radical health life extension and less into tinkering around with present day methodologies that have a much more limited potential payoff.

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