Live long and prosper!

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: December 20th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Holidays are joyous, but they are also demanding.

It can be draining to bake turkeys and host out-of-town guests.

And with the time near to flip the page on a new calendar, it’s tempting to consider how much energy we truly have left.

The good thing is… and this contradicts an old scientific theory… we probably do not have to worry about running out of juice.

Formerly, scientists thought animals were allotted a set amount of energy… something known as the “rate of living” theory. Once that energy was expended, the animal reached the end of its life.

Although that theory was often revised, energy use… or metabolism… continued to be linked with aging.

Now American and Dutch scientists suggest that faster metabolisms don’t affect lifespan.

For nearly three years, researchers followed the lives of sixty mice, including two groups of mice bred for running.

They gave one group of these “runner” mice an exercise wheel.

The rate of living theory holds that these mice would expend more energy and die earlier. But in reality, they lived longer.

Researchers suspected increased activity boosted production of antioxidants… chemicals that fight damage in the body.

But when scientists checked, antioxidants were about the same in both groups of mice.

What caused some mice to live longer is mysterious. But increased activity was definitely involved.

So, don’t rule out dancing if you are planning for New Year’s Eve. You’ve got a limitless supply of energy, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.