What if you could find out, in your youth, how long you were going to live.

“Researchers have been trying to understand why cells die.  Why they age and why they eventually die,” says Dr. Kevin Morano, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the UTHealth Medical School.  “There is a theory that has been out there for some time that has to do with the way our cells make energy.  One of the by-products of our cells making energy is the formation of these nasty things called reactive oxygen species.”

Those are chemically active molecules that contain oxygen.  They’re a natural byproduct as oxygen metabolizes.

Scientists in China have been working with worms, and have come to the conclusion that an organism’s lifespan can be determined in their youth.

“What they did in this study was to get a special type of worm, called a C. elegans, which is an experimental organism, and it’s actually transparent, so they could put a protein in that worm that would flash green every time the cells used a big burst of energy and generated a bunch of these reactive oxygen species,” Dr. Morano tells KTRH News.  He says the worms that had a lot of these bursts died early and worms that had fewer bursts lived longer.

So the key to keeping your youth is fewer reactive oxygen species, often a byproduct of environmental stress.  Less stress, longer life.