Worms in Space! What?! Yes, worms in Space! It sounds like a bad sci-fi movie but it is in fact a scientific experiment being prepared for by three well-respected English universities. So if you thought that Silver Grey Sports Club was somewhat obsessive in continually making so much fuss about the importance of muscles perhaps a government funded experiment sending worms into space specifically for research into what makes muscles atrophy, and how to avoid it will reassure you as to the importance of the issue!
One of the aims of this experiment is further understanding of muscular dystrophy, but another aim is that of understanding why muscle loss happens in people as they age and finding a treatment aimed at avoiding it. According to the press release from www.gov.uk “The team of scientists from Exeter, Nottingham and Lancaster Universities involved in this project hope to discover more about muscle loss in space, which in turn could lead to developing effective therapies and new treatments for muscular dystrophies. The research could also help boost our understanding of ageing muscle loss and even help improve treatments for diabetes.” The microscopic worms are C. elegans, which “share many of the essential biological characteristics as humans and are affected by biological changes in space, including alterations to muscle and the ability to use energy.”
So once the space research has been carried out, we can look forward to some excellent lab research over the next number of years, then product development and testing to produce a treatment, followed by trials on humans to ascertain the safety and effectiveness of the treatment. And in 10, 15 or 20 years we can all take a pill to prevent muscle loss as we age.
After all, what we really really want is for our lives as we age to be lived courtesy of more and more pills...
OR... while you wait for the magic pill you can start to do something about it yourself and take up resistance exercise - that’s weight training - to maintain your muscles. As well as maintaining muscle mass and strength without the need to take a pill you’ll also experience all the added health benefits that come from this kind of exercise - for instance reducing the chance of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and various cancers, getting better mental health, improved bone density, control of weight gain due to increased body fat, ability to continue independent living etc etc.
The choice is yours!!?