What's the secret to living a long and full life? How can we beat the clock and age past 100-years-old? And will there ever be a "wonder pill" to prevent ageing?
These are just some of the questions which a team of scientists on the Longevity Science Panel have attempted to answer in a new report on life expectancy.
According to the study, the UK population's life expectancy could be effectively improved through simple measures such as exercise, diet and better use of existing treatments rather than waiting for an "anti-ageing breakthrough" or "wonder pill".
In the report, "What is ageing? Can we delay it?" researchers focused on the key advances in scientific understanding of ageing, new developments in drug treatments and when we might expect to see any changes in lifespan from these developments.
They commissioned a survey which involved interviewing eight of the most well-respected biogerontologists - scientists who study bodies as they age - and compiled their views based on current knowledge on the biology of ageing, as well as treatments which show promise in delaying the ageing process and future outcomes from scientific research on this topic.
Researchers agreed that the ageing process is a complex one and while many potential anti-ageing interventions have been explored, their effectiveness on humans is unclear.
They added that it's "unlikely" that a single anti-ageing drug would be available in the near future.
Instead, the panel suggests that simple behavioural changes including uptake of particular physical activity and dietary restriction could be far more effective in extending life expectancy.
Drugs already licensed for other purposes such as rapamycin and statins could also help slow down ageing, as well as the use of regenerative medicines including stem cell therapy, gene therapy and epigenetics.
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Dame Karen Dunnell, Chair of the Longevity Science Panel said: “From this research we have been able to build up a picture of the latest developments in this area.
"The experts tended to agree on which possible factors are important in understanding the biology of ageing.
"However, they did not necessarily agree on which are the most important components of the ageing process, or on which interventions might have the greatest potential for extending lifespan."Suggest a correction