Do “vampire mice” hold the key to human longevity?

As the weather gets chilly, you may have noticed that mice are starting to come indoors. But before you label these critters as pests, consider this: New research suggests some mice may represent the start of a real antiaging breakthrough for humans.

Scientists have found that when blood from young mice is given to older mice, the older mice have better cognition, memory, and overall brain function.1 The heart muscles of the older mice also thickened and reverted to a youthful state.2 In addition, the older mice were able to run twice as long on a treadmill as they could prior to receiving transfusions from the young mice.3

Scientists believe all of these benefits can be traced back to one specific protein. And the blood of the young mice contains a higher concentration of this protein.

So how does this translate to us? Well, it turns out that the same protein found in the mice is also present in human blood.

Of course, it will take a lot more research to discover whether siphoning blood from young people and giving it to older people will result in eternal youth… But, especially at this time of year, there are all those stories about “ageless” vampires…

All kidding aside, other research suggests aging isn’t the only contributor to human memory loss. Failing to exercise our brains can also make us forgetful. So make sure you keep your brain active by reading, solving puzzles, and playing memory games.

And don’t forget about the natural memory-boosters I’ve told you about before, such as  lutein, magnesium, and vitamin E. Recent research has shown some remarkable cognitive benefits these nutrients. The herbal remedy berberine is also a powerful brain booster. And, of course, as I first told you back in the August 2013 issue of Insider’s Cures, the drug Metformin (which comes from the herb French lilac, or goat’s rue) also has significant brain-protecting benefits.

After all, keeping your brain young and healthy is the real “fountain of youth.”

Sources:

1Katsimpardi L, et al. Vascular and Neurogenic Rejuvenation of the Aging Mouse Brain by Young Systemic Factors. Science 9 May 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6184 pp. 630-634.

2Loffredo FS, et al. Growth Differentiation Factor 11 Is a Circulating Factor that Reverses Age-Related Cardiac Hypertrophy. Cell Volume 153, Issue 4, p828–839, 9 May 2013.


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