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Dr. Manny: Science ‘proves’ why vampires live longer

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 (Geralt/Public Domain)

It’s long been thought that vampires live forever by drinking the blood of young victims – and new research may just be proving this theory.

Today, three very interesting studies published in the journals Science and Nature Medicine analyzed older mice and how they were affected when injected with blood, and blood proteins, of younger mice.

RELATED: Young blood reverses aging in mice

Conducted by researchers at Harvard University, University of California San Francisco and Stanford University, these studies found that post-injections, the aging mice had higher levels of strength and endurance, as well as improved memory.  The younger blood also caused the older mice to develop more blood vessels and more blood flow to the brain.  

It’s not clear exactly why these changes occurred, though researchers suspect a particular protein called GDF11 may play a role, as it is much more abundant in the blood of younger mice.  

So what can we learn from this experiment?  As we age, certain components in our blood decrease over time, and because of advancements in life-saving technologies, the global population is growing much older overall. Therefore research must continue searching for bodily substances that get depleted over time, so that we might replace them in the future.

A perfect example includes research surrounding adult stem cells.  There are many scientists that argue that young adults should consider harvesting their stem cells for potential use in the future when they’re older.  There is a whole new field of medicine called regenerative medicine, in which stem cells are already being used for organ regeneration and human transplantation.

Recently, researchers at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, known for conducting the first-ever lab-grown bladder transplants, made another incredible breakthrough in this field.  They successfully implanted fully functioning vaginas into four women – using cells taken from the patients’ own tissues.

Since we are on the topic of longevity, I would also like to point out some of the interesting findings from an ongoing study called “90+,” conducted by Dr. Claudia Kawas of the University of California, Irvine.  Utilizing medical questionnaires from 14,000 residents of a retirement community in Laguna Woods, California, Kawas and her team focused on the members who were still alive past age 90, examining them physically and cognitively for six months.

Their ongoing analysis has revealed a number of lifestyle habits and factors associated with longer life – including moderate consumption of alcohol, moderate physical activity, putting on a little weight, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and finally, socialization.  Thank goodness most of these seniors didn’t care much about their computers. Instead, they were more preoccupied with dancing and having dinner with each other than being hooked on Facebook or Twitter.

So here’s my advice to wannabe vampires hoping to live as long as possible: Keep on sucking that young blood and drop your smart phones.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor.
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