Aging and the Environment
November 24, 2002


Longevity Index

Aging and the Environment 
    The aging of skin is primarily a function of exposure to sunlight. Sunlight ages skin. Secondarily, smoking and drinking can also age skin from within. On the other hand, for most people, abdominal skin remains virtually un-aged. This suggests the question: what would happen if we could better protect the rest of the body from environmental damage? Wouldn't other tissues also age slower? We might not have had a sufficient knowledge of nutrition and supplementation to have tried such an experiment in humans in the past. Could it be that life spans could increase significantly for someone who takes quite good care of themselves from childhood onward? This might explain why maximum life spans are slowly creeping upward.
The Methuselah gene
    Another interesting fact is that there seems to be a single gene--the Methuselah gene--that permits those who possess it to live to 100+. A search is underway to identify this gene (if it hasn't already been found).