By Oli Smith
PUBLISHED: 06:25, Sun, Apr 3, 2016
Scientists have finally found the elusive fountain of youth
Serums, diets and supplements have all been put forward to keep our bodies healthy to little genuine success. But, research has now found that the simple secret to having a "young body in old age" is EXERCISE.
The groundbreaking discovery found that elderly people who were once elite athletes have stronger legs and "younger muscles".This secret answer will not be received with delight by many knowing you have to keep up "superb fitness" to stay youthful.
Serums, diets and supplements have all been put forward to keep our bodies healthy
There has been little research of aging in master athletes in this elderly age group – until now.The study led by experts at University of Guelph, in Canada, found that those who exercised in youth have healthier muscles in old age.The elderly people at the heart of the study were previously "elite athletes" and still compete in competitions around the world.They have much healthier muscles at the cellular level than those of non-athletes.
These individuals are the crème de la crème of aging.
Their legs were also 25 per cent stronger and had 14 per cent more muscle mass.The study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, compared world-class track and field athletes in their 80s with people the same age who were living independently.The active old people also had nearly one-third more motor units in their leg muscles than non-athletes.
The elderly people at the heart of the study were previously "elite athletes"
More motor units – which consist of nerve and muscle fibres – mean more muscle mass and greater strength. Humans often lose motor units and muscle age with age - a process which accelerates substantially after the age of 60.Lead study author Dr Geoff Power explained: "One of the most unique and novel aspects of this study is the exceptional participants."These are people in their 80s and 90s who actively compete in world masters track and field championships."We have seven world champions. These individuals are the crème de la crème of aging."
"Staying active, even later in life, can help reduce muscle loss."
Dr Power said: "Therefore, identifying opportunities to intervene and delay the loss of motor units in old age is of critical importance.""Staying active, even later in life, can help reduce muscle loss."But, he added that further research is needed to determine whether muscle health in elite athletes comes from training or genes.Other recent research has also found that antioxidants related to muscle strength decreased in the elderly, whereas metabolites related to declining kidney and liver function increased.The researchers found 14 age-related metabolites, according to work from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) in Japan.The decline in antioxidants and muscle strength suggest that it is important for individuals to consume foods high in antioxidants and to continue exercising, especially after the age of 65.