Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tech & Science

The science of physiology advances our understanding of ageing

Central to this was the study of physiology, a subject essential to answering virtually every critical question about life, health, and disease.

Shanghai pensioner Mou Guoying has spent the past three months crocheting woollen roses for Beijing Olympic medallists' bouquets
Shanghai pensioner Mou Guoying has spent the past three months crocheting woollen roses for Beijing Olympic medallists' bouquets - Copyright AFP Jessica YANG
Shanghai pensioner Mou Guoying has spent the past three months crocheting woollen roses for Beijing Olympic medallists' bouquets - Copyright AFP Jessica YANG

Scientists gathered recently at the American Physiology Summit, the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS), to discuss the science behind the biggest issues affecting life and health today.

Central to this was the study of physiology, a subject that is essential to answering virtually every critical question facing us in our understanding of life, health and disease.

One of the areas discussed related to ageing and how the human body alters and what this means for understanding health and disease. The focus included four key research areas.

Study reveals how obesity could accelerate aging in the brain

Obesity and a high-fat diet may accelerate aging in the brain by reducing blood flow and oxygen to the organ.

The researchers suggested that the established link could explain the connection between obesity and cognitive impairment. Specifically, the findings suggest that obesity and a poor diet can cause damage to accumulate in the blood vessels, reducing the supply of oxygen to parts of the brain and ultimately leading to cognitive decline.

Skin wetting helps cool older adults in very hot, dry weather

Research that simulated the 2018 Los Angeles heatwave found that older adults who sprayed water on their skin reduced core and body temperature, and heart and sweat rates.

The scientists found that wetting the skin with a water spray reduced core temperature by 0.59 degrees Fahrenheit and heart rate by six beats per minute.

This important finding represents a simple strategy to minimize the risk of heat injury in older adults and there may be merit in exploring different approaches with health agencies in order to improve heatwave survival rates.

Intermittent fasting may help preserve intestinal health as we age 

The connection between ageing and fasting is one that has received support in the academic community. The practice of eating only within a certain period may help maintain intestinal health.

The study focused specifically on the jejunum, a portion of the small intestine where most nutrient absorption occurs.

With the new research strand, intermittent fasting was found to lead to improved glucose control, less weight gain and reduced inflammation after eight months.

Regular exercise prevents DNA damage with ageing 

What is the impact of exercise upon ageing? A new study finds that an aerobic exercise routine later in life may prevent genomic instability characterised by DNA damage and dysfunction of the chromosomes’ protective caps.

The animal model discovered that exercise was shown to be especially helpful in cells that come in direct contact with blood flow (endothelial cells).

The researchers said their findings could aid in customized interventions for cardiovascular health.

Avatar photo
Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

You may also like:

Life

Staying in a campervan is reasonably cost-effective way in this country.

Business

Spotify has been sued in New York for allegedly underpaying royalties - Copyright AFP/File Lionel BONAVENTUREMusic streaming giant Spotify has been sued in a...

Entertainment

Kerry King, the co-founding guitarist of Slayer, released his new solo album "From Hell I Rise" via Reigning Phoenix Music.

Sports

Shaun White is a three-time Olympic gold medalist for Team USA, a former professional snowboarder, and musician.