- Revealed, the health benefits of being a sabre toothed sausage
- How a cup of tea can beat a horrendous health issue
- Your headache remedies shared
When I am in the office (or clutterden as Lara calls it!) I often listen to the radio, BBC Radio 4 more often than not.
Last week they had a programme on about Naked Mole Rats which caught my attention.
Strange little creatures who spend their lives in the pitch black underground in their native East Africa.
Hearing one of the researchers into this strange rodent describe them as ‘sabre toothed sausages’ made me giggle, but I was astounded to learn that they are incredibly long lived.
Some of her specimens are over thirty years old, and they don’t suffer any signs of ageing such as joint disease, skin changes and astonishingly they are resistant cancer.
This is why they have become the focus of medical investigation; imagine if we could match their longevity and avoid all of the problems of ageing.
What the research team found was that these amazing creatures did not accumulate oxidative damage in their cells and it is this which keeps them alive way beyond their expected time.
Believe it or not the length of time an animal lives depends upon its size, hence shrews live for about a year and elephants for about 35 years.
But… humans and Naked Mole Rats are the only mammalian species which buck this trend, and also break a fundamental law of mortality.
There is a mathematical formula for life expectancy called Grompertz Law of Mortality which essentially says mammals bodies begin to suffer exponential damage from 3 times their age of sexual maturity.
And apparently this works.
So, for humans we reach maturity in our teens, so say 12 and this means our bodies start to accumulate age related damage from the age of thirty six. A Naked Mole Rat is sexually mature at six months, so it should be at risk from 18 months old.
Accordingly the Mole rats should live for no more than 2 years and we should be shuffling off this mortal coil in our fifties…
Thankfully we’ve been able to avoid this early demise, through lifestyle changes, exercise and medication.
But the Naked Mole Rat does it by advanced physiology, and that’s the amazing part.
What’s in it for us?
Having found a creature that is immune from cancer scientists are getting very excited about the prospect of being able to transfer this benefit to humans.
Or at least that is what they would like to do.
But the mole rats physiology is pretty unique, especially their ability to cope without much oxygen.
It is this which means that they don’t suffer oxidative damage to cells that lead to cancers forming.
This adaptation is ideal for a creature which lives underground… not so good for humankind.
The key fact that we can take from this though is how important it is to try to reduce oxidative stress on our bodies.
That’s where foods that are rich in antioxidants come to the fore.
I’ve written about these before and thankfully they tend to be nice to eat too.
Dark grapes, dark pure chocolate, turmeric, blueberries and oily fish are all great sources of antioxidants, but the best source is good quality tea.
So, your daily cuppa could be your saviour, how good is that? Let’s raise a brew in respect of the Naked Mole Rat… I think they deserve it!
Readers remedies for migraines…
Last week I mentioned some of the odd and even weird remedies I had collected for headaches and migraines and I asked what your experiences were…
Well you didn’t disappoint me.
First I had several people tell me that the bar of soap at the end of the bed was not a myth, my favourite was this;
“A bar of soap under the bottom sheet at the foot of the bed works. My husband is very sceptical so I snuck it under his side and after a couple of weeks of him not having the cramps I told him about the soap. Doesn’t cost much to try it.”
I had to check that it wasn’t Lara that wrote this!
Other great tips were as follows;
“My hubby, in his working life with I.T. (Computers, analysis, programming etc since punch cards/sorters in the sixties when machines filled big rooms) suffered every Saturday with tension relief migraines. He too would be up all Friday night and maybe Saturday night doing the compresses. Not good with young busy family!
“Then I won a trip to New York with optional entries in the marathon and breakfast run! Well, we started running round the block for one month. Short story he, ended doing the marathon – took his BP three weeks to recover!
“BUT found running cured the migraines! At 77 he’s still running and occasionally mentions his miraculous cure.”
“I used to suffer migraines that would put me in a darkened room with sick-bowl handy! Until I discovered an acupressure trick which stopped it developing.
“It entails finger and thumb gripping the piece of cartilage in each ear for up to 15 minutes. Miraculous!”
“Many moons ago, around 55 years to be more accurate, I used to suffer from fierce migraines which I could only mitigate by standing on my head; none of the conventional, at the time, drugs could alleviate the pain. This made life rather difficult as I was driving about 1,000 miles a week for work.
“My GP at the time suggested, in an unusually holistic approach for those days, that I should start taking brewer’s yeast; it won’t work for about three months, he said, but then it should make life a lot easier. He was absolutely right! I started taking it and about three months later the migraines abated and I can honestly say that I have not experienced a serious migraine in the last 55 years.”
Thank you so much for your advice and tips, keep ‘em coming.