How To Stay Young: Dogs, diets & the blood of young people

By Kitty Knowles 6 April 2016

Do you dream of drinking at the fountain of youth? A new BBC series reveals surprising & shocking new ways to stay young. 

Yes, we’re living longer, but did you know the elixir of youth already exists?

New BBC series How To Stay Young follows Angela Rippon & Dr Chris van Tulleken as they meet the world’s best scientists and discover often bizarre ways to prevent ageing.

Here are just some of the things we learned…

We love Angela Rippon

The 71-year-old is a joy to watch. Fans should be prepared though, a full body MRI scan reveals some bad news that is difficult to watch.

“Im not a Ferrari any more I’m a, sort of, hopefully reasonably well-preserved vintage model.”

Life & death can be as simple as standing up

One test shows how scientists can determine how healthy you are (and when you’re likely to die), from how easy you find it to lower yourself into a seated cross-legged position, and then stand up again.

Viewers can try it out at home using a 10-point system, with points deducted for wobbling or using your knees or hands.

Twin tests might surprise you

Did you know that how long we live is impacted much more by your lifestyle (75%), rather than your genes (25%)? Poor lifestyle can damage the actual DNA in your blood, making you biologically older than your actual age.

See if you can guess whether the country twin is younger than her city-loving counterpart…

A surprising diet could add years to your life

The US loves fast food.

“It’s like an enjoyable slow suicide,” says van Tulleken.

But one small Californian town called Loma Linda holds the answer to healthy living, with an ageing community that includes a number of 100-year-olds. Clue: They eat a lot of nuts.

Dancing and dogs are great

We knew this already, but now science does too.

See experiments that not only prove that dancing far more effective than hitting the gym, but than keeping your canine close at work can improve your stress levels and cognitive ability.

More pooches in the office, please.

Eternal youth already exists

Researchers in Equador think they’ve discovered a cure to ageing itself.

Studies have revealed that a rare genetic condition called Laron Syndrome not only stops physical ageing, but creates an immunity to two of the biggest killers, cancer and diabetes. Scientists now plan to produce a medicine that will recreate these age delaying benefits..

Rapamycin also already exists, and has been shown to extend the life of mice by 15%. It’s only a matter of time before it hits the human market…

If you love life, watch How To Stay Young

It includes a clip of an elderly lady enjoying a roller-coaster. What’s not to love?

Plus, the second part of the two-part series has even more surprising findings in store.

You’ll find out about a diet that decreases your chances of getting dementia, and see how the US airforce keep their minds sharp.

There’s also an experiment that involves injecting the elderly with the blood of young people. Proper creepy!

How To Stay Young will air at 9pm on BBC One on Thursday 7 April.