Fountain of youth doesn’t exist — study says aging is inevitable

Fountain of youth doesn’t exist — study says aging is inevitable

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for CNT

A recent study has confirmed that you cannot stop aging or death.

Researchers at Duke University and the University of Southern Denmark led the study. It offers new insights into the idea that all species have a relatively fixed aging rate.

The findings were published in Nature Communications.

Fernando Colchero is an associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. He says no matter how much we exercise or the vitamins we take, we can’t outrun aging or death.

“We were able to shed light on the invariant rate of aging hypothesis by combining an unpresented wealth of data and comparing births and deaths patterns on nine human populations with information from 30 non-human primate populations, including gorillas, chimpanzees and baboons living in the wild and in zoos,” Colchero said in a press release.

Researchers evaluated the connection between life expectancy and lifespan equality. The former is the average age of death in a population. The latter measures how many deaths occur at an older age. They found that life span equality increases with life expectancy.

“Life expectancy has increased dramatically and still does in many parts of the world,” Colchero said. “But this is not because we have slowed our rate of aging; the reason is that more and more infants, children and young people survive and this brings up the average life expectancy.”

The study shows the relationship between life expectancy and lifespan equality may be universal among primates. It also offers insight into what produces this pattern.

“We observe that not only humans, but also other primate species exposed to different environments, succeed in living longer by reducing infant and juvenile mortality. However, this relationship only holds if we reduce early mortality, and not by reducing the rate of aging,” Colchero said.

Still, the researcher says it’s possible that the aging rate could be reduced.

Colchero said, “medical science has advanced at an unprecedented pace, so maybe science might succeed in achieving what evolution could not.”

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By Troy Warren

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