We know that keeping our minds and bodies healthy and youthful ties back to our diets and our exercise routines—living a clean, active life usually leads to a longer, healthy one. (Psst... Your Attitude Toward Aging Can Have a Direct Effect On Your Health too.) But what if staying young was as easy as popping a pill? Sounds too good be true, right?
New research published in the journal Science seems to suggest, however, that there could be a solution in a form of vitamin B3, niamcimide riboside—a vitamin that's already been proven to boost metabolism, to boot.
An international research team set out to look at exactly why increased age was related to the degeneration of bodily organs such as the liver and muscles like the heart. By studying elderly mice, the study authors were able to determine that healthy, functioning mitochondria—the cells' energy centers—were related to the healthy functioning of stem cells, the cells that are critical for organ and muscle regeneration. What's more, they found that supplementing the elderly mice with a dose of vitamin B3 helped support cells' mitochondria, increasing energy production, helping stem cells function and ultimately in turn increasing muscle and organ regeneration. (Scientists also recently discovered that the Diabetes Drug Metformin Could Have Anti-Aging Properties.)
This could potentially be a major breakthrough when it comes to regenerative medicine. Think about it: a dietary supplement (something that's organically found in milk, BTW) that could help the body repair itself? Huge for small reasons like building muscle, but even bigger when it comes to the possible treatment of diseases like muscular dystrophy. However, as with any study, more research is needed to determine how to utilize the supplement with each of these pathologies. But it's a great start—and a good reason to at least considering popping a multi-vitamin daily (if you aren't already). (In the meantime, check out these Anti-Aging Solutions That Have Nothing to Do with Products or Surgery.)