Scientists See Bright Prospects of People Aging Gracefully

Manila Bulletin, March 21, 2002 | Go to article overview

Scientists See Bright Prospects of People Aging Gracefully


WE are now in a threshold of medical advances where getting old is no longer a dreaded specter.

Every now and then medical research laboratories in many countries are full of excitement reporting their promising findings. Doctors and researchers are jubilant over their strides in fending off the withering of age.

This is now science winning over the inevitable ravage of old age. And the natural corrosion of the human body.

The public is in an unavoidable euphoria over these medical breakthroughs that are markedly defying senility, among others. Scientists are now talking of older people being productive and useful even beyond their retirement life.

In capsule, these medical discoveries will lift the spirit of many senior citizens who are resigned to their aging fate. This time, they will be valuable and worthwhile once again in their personal and professional lives.

Masterful 'melatonin'

Today, scientists are doubly confident of the life-enhancing properties of melatonin. It is a natural substance which results from the secretion of the pineal gland.

The size of a pea, this gland is buried deep within the brain. Its potentials as an anti-aging pill were never fully substantiated by experts until these days.

Last year, this column had reported the budding promise of melatonin in exhaustive studies made by American doctors and researchers.

A number of European and Asian scientists have clinically supported the encouraging findings which are given prominent media focus, as well as highlighted in medical journals.

The irony of it is that melatonin's primary function is to regulate man's cycle of sleep and waking up. It is prescribed by doctors to enhance sleep especially for frequent travelers who are bugged by jet lag, or sleeplessness caused by insomnia.

But today, scientists are convinced the substance can extend healthful life of older people. It zeroes in with its anti-aging powers by its ability to protect man's immune system as an anti-oxidant, warding off disease-carrying free radicals. …

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