You are here

Chicken and steak can extend lifespan

26th March 2007

Scientists have found that eating isotope-enhanced steak or chicken can extend lifespan by up to ten years.

Isotopes are naturally occurring atomic variations of elements.

Scientists fed worms on isotope-enriched diets and found they lived ten per cent longer.

It is thought that isotopes prevent destructive processes, such as free radical attack, by creating more resistant DNA and strengthening the bonds between atoms.

Charles Cantor, a biomedical engineer at Boston University, said: "Preliminary data indicates that this approach can potentially increase lifespan without adverse side effects.

"If this is borne out by further experiments the implications are profound."

Food enhanced with isotopes may be fed to animals such as chickens or pigs so that humans consume them indirectly. This is thought to be more beneficial than eating chemically enhanced products.

Other uses might include protecting soldiers from radiation, as well as prolonging the life of pets by adding it to their food.

It is hoped that, as well as increasing lifespan, the technique could reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases associated with ageing.