Life Extension – Living Longer and Smaller

Holly Brown-Borg from the university of North Dakota presented some interesting research showing that “Ames Dwarf” mice live up to 70% longer than regular mice!

That would mean you or I could be living well past 130 years old. So what is so special about an Ames mouse?
dwarf mouse
Well they are missing the ability to make growth hormone! They don’t have any growth hormone for their entire life. There is a lot more going on in these mice because of this lack of growth hormone. Holly thinks that it might be an increased resistance to stress over the course of the life of the mice.

I’ll spare you the details but these mice live longer and live healthier, but the one catch is that they are 1/3 the size of a regular mouse (see above picture).

The point of this research is that all the processes of the body are linked. Changing one thing like growth hormone can have significant effects on all kinds of systems of the body.

So don’t go out and have your pituitary gland removed just yet (the pituitary gland is where your body produces and releases growth hormone)

What I’m trying to show you is that drugs, hormones and anything that changes the functioning of your body will have multiple effects. And in most cases these effects are unpredictable.

In this case the animals will live way longer but only grew to a third of their normal size. This was an unpredictable side effect.

BUT, if Holly and her team can separate these two effects, one day we may have a solution for longer life without the stunted growth.

And this is exactly the point of all of this research. Find out what will give us the results we want (namely a longer healthier life) and then eliminate the side effects that come with the treatment (namely the stunted growth)

One day soon these little dwarf mice might be a key to helping you and I live healthier for decades longer.

John