Since the start of the 19th century, life expectancy at birth around the world has more than doubled and currently stands at approximately 70 years. Yet, these gains represent victories against premature death, not the delay of aging. Many people now live long enough to experience cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological decline.
“Most of what we do in medicine is sick care. We don’t do very good prevention. We wait until people get sick, then we spend a lot of time and effort trying to treat those diseases that come with age,” said Professor Brian Kennedy, director of the Center for Healthy Aging at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. “This is a prediction, but I’m going out on a limb to say this: I think it’s going to be easier to slow aging than to treat aging-related diseases.”
“Sirtuins, which are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylases, are believed to be one of the important modifiers for lifespan,” said Professor Hiroshi Itoh, vice chairman of the Center for Supercentenarian Medical Research at Keio University, Japan.