Can we change how our bodies age? The Doctors share a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where researchers manipulated the aging process of mice. The researchers caused mice to age by creating a mutation in their cells that caused the cell’s mitochondria to malfunction. They were able to turn on the mutation when an antibiotic was given to the mice. Within weeks the mice developed gray hairs, had hair loss, lethargy, and wrinkles. Then, researchers withdrew the antibiotic and reversed the mutation. After a month, the mice returned to having smooth-looking skin and thick fur.
The Doctors found this study fascinating and say it’s the first to show that mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouse, can regulate some of the changes we associate with aging. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork points out that this study is a sign that we can impact our aging and not everything is predetermined.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon reminds viewers that this doesn’t mean we can get away from those lifestyle factors that we know impact aging like smoking, not eating right, not exercising and sun damage.
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra points out that while this study excites her, it’s important to note that we don’t know if the results will play out so dramatically in humans as they did in mice.
One thing we can all start doing today to prevent aging? Start living a healthy life!