JERUSALEM, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers have developed a method to slow down a broad range of aging diseases, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said on Thursday.
The study, led by HU researchers and published in the journal Science, may make the aging years healthier, HU added.
The researchers revealed that the aging of blood vessels has a crucial contribution to accelerate aging processes.
According to the researchers, the functional deterioration of the vascular system, mainly the decrease in the supply of oxygen to the body tissues, accelerates many cellular processes that speed up aging.
The team found that the direct cause of decreased vascular function with age is the decline in the activity of a protein called VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), which initiates the growth of new blood vessels.
The researchers uncovered the molecular mechanism that disables VEGF activity during aging, leading to depletion of the network of tiny capillary blood vessels and the development of aging diseases.
It was also found that a moderate increment of VEGF protein in elderly mice dramatically slowed down many aging processes, made these mice much healthier and prolonged their life expectancy.