Whether this line of research into genetic control of ageing will yield satisfactory, readily available, methods remains for the future.
Do-it-yourself anti-ageing approach
For the present there are already techniques, mainly involving dietary manipulation, which can safely lead to better health and greater efficiency, and, therefore almost certainly, to an increase in life span. It is hard otherwise to imagine why leading researchers into ageing are applying dietary restriction to themselves. For example, at the National Toxicology Laboratory, Little Rock, Arkansas (where around 20,000 happy rats are kept on a dietary restriction programmed, doubling their average life span) the majority of the research team are so convinced of the value of this approach that they are collectively eating in a reduced fashion themselves.
Newsweek (5 March 1990) reports that Dr Roy Walford, of UCLA, has for some four years eaten to a pattern of 1,600 calories daily (compared with the more usual 2,500). His findings with animals have certainly convinced him that whatever the genetic encoding which might one day be unravelled, starting now with a sure-fire approach to health is going to produce advantages.
What research has shown for certain is that where the efficiency of cell detoxification and DNA repair is best, there is coincidental increase in life expectancy, and the approach ofdietary restriction is the safest way we know which can lead tothis. This strategy, therefore, lies at the very heart of our quest to increase our life span.
The Secret Life of Cells