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The Latest Approach to Anti-Aging

Instead of fighting chronic diseases one by one as they develop, researchers suggest, medicine should focus instead on preventing several of these illnesses at once. That approach, the investigators say, could help extend healthy lifespans.

The commentary was published in the journal Nature. Written by a trio of experts on aging, it calls for moving forward with strategies that treat the metabolic and molecular causes of human aging. The causes include the gradual accumulation of cellular damage. Such strategies, they say, could help people stay healthy into their 70s and 80s. They have already been shown to work in animals.

But, say the researchers – from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Brescia University in Italy, the Buck Institute for Aging and Research and the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California – say that economic incentives in research are stronger for treating disease thn , write that economic incentives in biomedical research and health care reward treating disease more than promoting good health.

“You don’t have to be a mathematician or an economist to understand that our current health care approach is not sustainable,” said first author Luigi Fontana, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and nutrition at Washington University and Brescia University. “As targeting diseases has helped people live longer, they are spending more years being sick with multiple disorders related to aging, and that’s expensive.”

The researchers also said that a personalized, preventive program of diet and lifestyle should be part of the anti-aging campaign.

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