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LONDON: Dieting rats could hold the key to combating ageing and increasing human life by up to 20 years, a group of scientists developing an anti-ageing treatment have said.
The Institute of Health Ageing at University College London is studying genetics and lifestyle factors, particularly diet, to develop treatments to combat ageing. It is displaying its research as part of this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
The scientists are aiming to keep people younger for longer by studying fruit flies, which share 60 percent of human genes and age in remarkably similar ways.
Matthew Piper, one of the key members of the team working at the institute, said: “If we discover the genes involved with ageing, we should be able to delay ageing itself.”
“If you reduce the diet of a rat by 40 percent it will live for 20 or 30 percent longer. So we would be talking 20 years of human life. This has shown on all sorts of organisms, even Labradors,” Piper said.
The scientists have been using modified diets and drug treatments to prolong lifespan in flies and mice. They say the results indicate that such treatments might have beneficial effects for humans. – The Independent