How to Live Longer

How thoughts can make mus­cles grow Why mu­sic strength­ens the heart Which foods ac­ti­vate the body’s self-heal­ing pow­ers

iD magazine - - Contents -

The se­cret codes of re­gen­er­a­tion

Tim’s heart is rac­ing at more than 170 beats per minute. Ev­ery cell is run­ning at full tilt. The level of in­flam­ma­tion in his blood has risen sig­nif­i­cantly, his joints have swollen, and ev­ery mus­cle is cramp­ing up. The rea­son: Through­out the past four-and-a-half hours the 26-year- old’s body has lost more than 3 quarts of wa­ter— the ma­jor­ity of its en­ergy re­serves and nearly 5% of its weight. It seems as if Tim’s body has sud­denly grown deathly ill—al­most as though it is in the fi­nal stage of life—in the space of a sin­gle af­ter­noon. But what has taken place? Tim ran a marathon— and has there­fore de­pleted his last re­serves. In fact, his body ac­tu­ally needs to col­lapse now. How­ever, no sooner does the young man sink to the ground on a patch of grass just be­yond the fin­ish line than one of life’s most fas­ci­nat­ing pro­cesses be­gins: re­gen­er­a­tion. Af­ter just a few sec­onds his cir­cu­la­tion is sta­bi­lized. His body’s own first-aid kit re­leases

Stress, wear and tear, ex­haus­tion— ev­ery sec­ond of ev­ery day our bod­ies are bat­tling against any­thing that threat­ens to dis­rupt their es­sen­tial bal­ance. But what can we do to max­i­mize the body’s ca­pac­ity to heal it­self? And how many years of life do we stand to gain by tak­ing th­ese mea­sures? Here ex­perts ex­plain the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in re­gen­er­a­tion re­search.

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