There’s a huge market for diet products, cosmetics, and supplements claiming to help you look and feel younger. These products make billions of dollars worldwide, but most don’t have significant, proven health benefits.
At best, they may keep the more obvious and undesirable effects of aging at bay for a short time. But researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine are researching a different way to look and feel younger – to actually be younger, biologically speaking.
The new study, published last month, focuses on a section of the brain called the hypothalamus, a small region of the brain with a big job. The hypothalamus coordinates your nervous system and your endocrine system. It regulates body temperature, hunger, thirst, some instinctive behaviors, fatigue, sleep, and sleep-wake cycles. Scientists have long suspected that the hypothalamus may play a special role in regulating how and when mammals begin to age, but this study offers the first hard evidence that stem cells in the hypothalamus play a pivotal role in aging.
Stem cells are famous for their unique ability to develop into many different types of cells, and since the beginning of stem cell research in the mid-20th century, the possibilities of these cells have fascinated scientists and researchers, some of whom believe they hold the key to curing diseases, replacing failing organs, and defying aging. A few years ago, the authors of last month’s study were enthused to discover stem cells in the…