Scientists at the University of Bristol in collaboration with researchers at the MultiMedica Group of Italy have found a specific gene among centenarians that kept their hearts young and safe from diseases.
The gene has been found in individuals residing in blue zones, parts of the earth where people live beyond average age. These parts are Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece), and Loma Linda (US).
Residents in these areas normally live up to 100 years or longer. Despite being centenarians, they have good health. They are also less vulnerable to cardiovascular ailments.
During a three-year-long study, Bristol scientists stopped the decay of heart function among middle-aged mice by administering the mutant anti-aging gene once.
The gene was also administered to elderly mice which reversed their hearts’ biological clock by what is considered to be the human equivalent of more than 10 years.
MultiMedica Group researchers also administered the gene to test tube human heart cells with cardiovascular ailments. They then compared their functioning with healthy heart cells.
After administering the gene, the researchers witnessed cardiac rejuvenation in diseased cardiac cells, meaning they resumed their proper functioning.
It is a well-established fact that centenarians pass on their healthy genes to their descendants. This study, for the first time, shows that a healthy gene found in centenarians can be passed on to unrelated individuals to safeguard their heart health.
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