Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. Ageing is the result of the accumulated damage to cells that have not been repaired. This results in the complications (side-effects) of ageing, such as Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Dementia. Part of this is related to a reduction in the number of normal stem cells and their ability to reproduce.
What is the Healthy Life Foundation?
Today we are living life longer than ever before. However, for many of us, that extended life will be spent fighting diseases and living with pain and suffering. Aging is the biggest risk factor for the major diseases facing society today such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia. To help us to enjoy our longer lives, we need to tackle age-related diseases. The Healthy Life Foundation has been set up to fund research into age-related diseases.
What do you do?
The Healthy Life Foundation funds medical and scientific research that aims to not only extend human health span but also human life span. Our funding carries out research into age-related diseases that help bring less harmful treatments to the public including natural compounds and also the repurposing of FDA approved drugs that have the potential to tackle age-related diseases enabling us to live healthier longer lives.
Is there anyone else doing this research?
Yes, there are lots of people carrying out research but our focus on new anti-aging therapies is quite unique.
What’s your goal / objective?
Our objective is to identify therapeutic strategies that slow or reverse the complications of the ageing process.
What do you mean by health span?
Health span is the healthy years of life, in which your daily life is disease-free or your day-to-day life has not been taken over by disease.
How on earth do you hope to stop diseases like cancer?
Cancer is a major ageing associated disease. Therefore, ageing is the number one risk factor for developing cancer. By re-purposing FDA-approved drugs, like antibiotics, we hope to target cancer stem cells (CSCs).
What makes the HLF different?
The Healthy Life Foundation is unique because our main focus is the re-purposing of existing (FDA / EMA approved) drugs that are already on the market being used to treat other medical conditions. In essence, what this means is that rather than waiting up to 20 years for new a drug to be approved for clinical use, FDA / EMA approved drugs can immediately enter clinical trials at an advanced stage thus saving 10-15 years of time and billions of pounds. We are also exploring the use of natural compounds & remedies with anti-ageing properties, using FDA / EMA approved drugs to use as therapies for anti-ageing.
Cancer, Heart Disease, Dementia and Diabetes seem to take so many lives? Why?
Because of the failure of bodily mechanisms of self-repair and rejuvenation.
Is there an alternative to chemotherapy/radio therapy?
Alternatives are not FDA approved, but could be used as an add-on to conventional therapy but only under the supervision of a physician.
Can you actually stop/slow down the aging process and how?
Yes, experiments in various model organisms show that you can extend life span and health span.
What do you mean by age related diseases?
Diabetes, Heart Disease, Dementia and Cancer are complications of ageing.
I’ve got cancer what can I do?
See your doctor but also talk with your medical oncologist about new innovative therapies and joining potential clinical trials.
I have cancer, heart disease and diabetes what can I do?
See your GP and get regular check-ups.
Glossary. An explanation of some of the terms used on this site
Age-related: Related to or associated with age, especially advancing age.
(Oxford English Dictionary).
Age-related diseases: Diseases related with age, especially advancing age.
Alzheimer’s diseases: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease, named after the doctor who first described it (Alois Alzheimer), is a physical disease that affects the brain. There are more than 520,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer’s disease. During the course of the disease, proteins build up in the brain to form structures called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue. People with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain. These chemical messengers help to transmit signals around the brain. When there is a shortage of them, the signals are not transmitted as effectively. As discussed below, current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease can help boost the levels of chemical messengers in the brain, which can help with some of the symptoms. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. This means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, more symptoms develop. They also become more severe. (Alzheimer’s Society)
Antibiotics: A medicine (such as penicillin or its derivatives) that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms. (Oxford English Dictionary)
Antioxidants: A substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products. (Oxford English Dictionary)
Cancer: Cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way. Some cancers may eventually spread into other tissues. There are more than 200 different types of cancer. 1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime. (Cancer Research UK)
Cells: The smallest structural and functional unit of an organism, which is typically microscopic and consists of cytoplasm and a nucleus enclosed in a membrane. (Oxford English Dictionary).
Stem cells: An undifferentiated cell of a multicellular organism which is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation. (Oxford English Dictionary).
Clinical Trial: For the purposes of registration, a clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Interventions include but are not restricted to drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiological procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, process-of-care changes, preventive care, etc. (World Health Organization)
Diabetes: A disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the body lacks cells which produce insulin in the pancreas. In Type 2 diabetes (which is common, and often develops in later life) the cells of the body fail to respond to insulin normally and the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
Dementia: Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain. There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. Some people may have a combination of types of dementia. Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.
The four main types of dementia are: Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, Frontotemporal and Dementia with Lewy bodies
EMA (The European Medicines Agency): The European Medicines Agency is an agency of the European Union in charge of the evaluation and supervision of medicinal products. Prior to 2004, it was known as the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products or European Medicines Evaluation Agency)
FDA (Food & Drug Administration): The Food and Drug Administration is the U.S. agency responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation
Genes: (in informal use) a unit of heredity which is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring.
(in technical use) a distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome, the order of which determines the order of monomers in a polypeptide or nucleic acid molecule which a cell (or virus) may synthesize.
Heart Disease – Cardiovascular Disease: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke. It’s also known as heart and circulatory disease. Coronary heart disease (angina and heart attack) and stroke may be caused by the same problem – atherosclerosis. This is when your arteries become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material (called atheroma) within their walls. In time, your arteries may become so narrow that they cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to your heart. This can cause angina – a pain or discomfort in your chest. If a piece of the atheroma in your arteries breaks away it may cause a blood clot to form. If the blood clot blocks your coronary artery and cuts off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle, your heart muscle may become permanently damaged. This is known as an attack. When a blood clot blocks an artery that carries blood to your brain, it can cut off the blood supply to part of your brain. This is called a stroke. (British Heart Foundation)
Stem Cells: An undifferentiated cell of a multicellular organism which is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation. (Oxford English Dictionary).
Mico organism: A microscopic organism, especially a bacterium, virus, or fungus.
Mitochondria: An organelle found in large numbers in most cells, in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur. It has a double membrane, the inner part being folded inwards to form layers (cristae). (Oxford English Dictionary)
Osteoporosis: A medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.