In Andrew Steel’s new book Ageless we learn how science is changing the outlook of our future years and you may not know this, but scientists are making great strides towards ‘treating’’ ageing.‘Old Age is a Massacre’ wrote Philip Roth, though Andrew Steele has a hopeful message for all those facing the prospect of getting older.. old age needn’t even be old. The crazy thing he argues is that we have gotten used to old age and acknowledge what this brings including heart disease, cancer and cognitive decline. But we don’t need to accept this – shortly we’ll experience the benefits of drugs which mimic the the life extending effects of dietary restriction, gene editing tools such as CRISPR (for which it’s creators won the nobel prize for chemistry in 2020) and senoyltic drugs that clear accumulating cellular detritus of a long life.
Since COVID though, we have learnt so much about lifestyle and how it can affect the way we age, how we feel and how we act. We now know that being overweight or obese can turn COVID from bad flu into a life threatening disease.
Covid has certainly put lifestyle at the front of the agenda. There is now a microscope on our lifestyles and vulnerabilies. Age is the number 1 identifier for vulnerability followed by ethnicity, underlying health conditions and weight. Vitamin D is a contributing factor to reducing the Those of us who are at home have either adopted a healthy new regime of online workouts or taken to the wine or gin bottle more evenings that not…(or both like myself). Working from home brings a new enthusiasm for wandering into the kitchen and snacking on treats (because life is hard and we need something to cheer us up). And by the time Friday arrives after a week of homeschooling, WFH, walking the dog 10 times around the same route and providing meals for hungry students, kids, families we are all tucking into unhealthy foods and drinking too much.
The French cancer doctor Professor David Khayat says we shouldn’t worry so much about what we eat and how much we exercise, ok maybe worry a little bit, but for the main part we should drink the wine, eat the odd steak frites and have lots of sex, pleasing a large proportion of the French public. Probably most of the rest of us would agree that banning all of the wrong foods and alcohol from our diet, would make us more miserable but whether we feel European or not, this is probably refreshing to hear right now.