"As people get older, their arteries become stiffer and they develop high blood pressure. He and his colleagues suggest that a healthful diet and lifestyle can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stiff arteries, both of which raise the risk for heart disease. The team studied nearly 3,200 people aged 50 and older who took part in the Framingham Heart Study, and they assessed how many participants met the requirements for healthy vascular aging. The researchers defined healthy vascular aging as having normal blood pressure and the arterial stiffness of people aged 30 and under, which was assessed using a method called pulse-wave velocity. One percent of older adults have healthy blood vessels The results showed that nearly 18 percent of participants (566 individuals) met the definition for healthy vascular aging. The age group most likely to meet the requirements for healthy vascular aging were aged 50 to 59, in which 30 percent met the definition. Niiranen says that they also found that the participants with healthy vascular aging had a 55 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. In fact, they found that participants who were meeting six out of the seven targets of the American Heart Association's (AHA) Life's Simple 7 program were 10 times more likely to meet the requirements for healthy vascular aging than participants who met none or only one of them. Life's Simple 7 In 2010, the AHA for the first time linked "ideal cardiovascular health" to seven simple diet and lifestyle changes that people can make to reduce their risk of stroke and heart disease. However, he suggests that the odds of maintaining healthy blood vessels - "even into old age" - increase by following Life's Simple 7, and concludes that: "For the most part, it's not genetic factors that stiffen the body's network of blood vessels during aging.
For many people, declining skin health is one of most loathsome effects of getting older. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity, becomes thinner and drier, and its ability to repair dwindles. A new study, however, has uncovered an antioxidant that could delay skin aging.
Researchers reveal how a compound called methylene blue reduced signs of aging in human skin cells, as well as in a 3-D model of human skin.
Lead study author Zheng-Mei Xiong, an assistant research professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park, and colleagues say that their findings indicate that methylene blue could be added to cosmetic products to help combat skin aging.
The researchers recently reported their results in the journal Scientific Reports.
Methylene blue is a compound primarily used for the treatment of methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the blood is unable to effectively carry oxygen.
Recent studies, however, have suggested that methylene blue is effective for reducing cellular senescence – that is, the arrest of cell division, which is considered a key player in aging.
“Based on these observations, we speculate that MB [methylene blue] may effectively protect skin from oxidative stress and delay skin aging,” write the authors.
Methylene blue reduced markers of senescence in skin cells
To test their theory, Xiong and colleagues tested methylene blue and three other antioxidants – N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine, MitoQ, and MitoTEMPO – on skin fibroblasts. These are cells in the dermal skin layer that produce collagen, the skin’s primary structural protein.
The skin fibroblasts were derived from healthy middle-aged and older adults, as well as from individuals with progeria – a condition characterized by accelerated aging.
After treating the fibroblasts with methylene…