London: Reducing daily intake of food by 40 percent may help in enhancing one`s life span by 20 years, British scientists working over treatment for ageing disease have suggested.
Researchers at the Institute of Health Ageing at University College, London are developing a treatment they hope will combat the `disease` of getting older, he Daily Mail reported.
They are looking into how genetics and lifestyle, adapted to offset the effects of ageing, can add years possibly decades to a person`s life.
Age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegeneration can also be combated, it is claimed.
One line of inquiry that the team is developing is how the life of a rat can be increased by up to 30 percent simply by reducing its food intake.
"If you reduce the diet of a rat by 40 per cent it will live for 20 or 30 per cent longer. So we would be talking 20 years of human life. This has shown on all sorts of organisms, even labradors," lead researcher Mathew Piper told The Independent.
Scientists are also studying fruit flies, which share 60 percent of human genes and age in a similar manner, and mice.
They have already prolonged the healthy lifespan in both flies and mice by using drug treatments and a modified diet. It is hoped that this combination will also work to extend human life.
Piper said: `If we discover the genes involved with ageing, we should be able to delay ageing itself. This is what we`ve found.`
Piper, however, cautioned that the field of research into extending life is only a decade old, so remains "theoretical".