The existence of Methuselah is confirmed by all of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions. According to the research, he is considered to be the longest living human being. He lived for 969 years and was born when Enoch was 65 years old. Methuselah is considered is the only human link between Adam and Noah since he was alive to see both of them.
The long lifespan of Methuselah has been reasonably explained through a number of theories. The literalists have suggested a number of reasons as to why the lifespan of humans decreased drastically after the Great Flood which includes the prophecy given by the genesis, a vapor canopy surrounded the earth before the flood which used to delay the aging process in humans caused by the UV rays of the sun, reduction in the population by the flood eradicated the longevity genes and the introduction of meat in the human diet. Apart from that, some unpopular opinions suggest that the number 969 in the Bible is in the context of months and not years or they are in terms of the lunar calendar. However, these calculations prove to be inaccurate due to the inconsistencies between the current and the ancient Sumerian numerical calculations as well as incorrect given the ancient historical events.
The long lifespan of Methuselah could either be considered as a myth or a theory amongst the scientific communities. However, according to a scientific article published in nature, it has been suggested that the human life-span is has a limit of around 115 years. Therefore, the only scientific validation of the long life of Methuselah is the mutations in the current human genetic sequence. In order to live for 969 years, the entire senescence sequence of a human would have to be changed. This might be true because the given human genetic makeup would have made it impossible for Methuselah to have a child at the age of 187 years.
The Methuselah gene is a part of DNA that is responsible for healthy old age by slowing down the process of aging. An important group of receptors known as the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is involved in the process of signal transduction. The methuselah receptor gene (mth) is a sub-family of the secretin family of GPCRs and is commonly found in insects. The mth gene is expressed gastrulation and is generally involved in the development of the embryo and larval development. However, a number of studies on the mth genes are involved with the setting of adult life. This is due to the fact that a truncation in the Mth protein caused due to the encoding of the mutant gene of mth results in an increase in the lifespan. The mutant gene of mth results in an increased lifespan by creating the cells less responsive to the IGF1 hormone which is responsible for the regulation of growth and differentiation which has a significant impact on the physical development of an individual. Previous studies also suggest that the disruption of IGF1 results in an increase in lifespan. It has been studied that, a mutant D. Melanogaster (for mth gene) exhibits about 30% extension of the lifespan as compared to the normal species. Apart from that, the mth mutants also possess a trait of stress resistance and improve chemical tolerance in the organisms. Even though it has been studied that the mth gene has been newly discovered in the species of Drosophila Melanogaster, the genes expressed in many tissues tend to be old. Also, according to the phylogenetic and functional analysis, the neighbors of the mth, as well as a gene present in another species of Drosophila, possess high similarity with the mth gene which suggests that there could be a possibility of the mth being an old or an ancient gene .
A study suggests that the mth subfamily is not specific to the Drosophila species since mth genes were found in Daphnia pulex. Although this type of gene is less known in humans, it could be suggested that similar mechanisms might exist in human beings due to the presence of similar molecular and biological processes as well as evolutionary arguments . Currently, a number of pharmaceutical companies are studying the mth genes and are trying to develop a drug that would have a similar mechanism in the process of increasing the lifespan of humans.
Spermidine is an aliphatic polyamine that is responsible for the maintenance of the proper activity of gene expression. Spermidine is generally present in the chloroplast of plants, bacterial cells, or eukaryotic cells. It is derived from putrescine with the help of the Spermidine synthase (SPDS). Also, it acts as a precursor for other polyamines like spermine and thermo-spermine. Since polyamines are a group of polycations that interacts with negatively charged particles which generally include DNA, RNA as well as lipids, spermidine might be involved in DNA stability, cell growth, proliferation, and death . They play a significant role in intermediate metabolism. It has been reported that the concentration of polyamines decreases with an increase in the age of an individual. The concentration of spermidine in higher eukaryotic organisms like humans is generally obtained through oral ingestion. According to a study that focused on the mice which were ingested spermidine in their drinking water, it was revealed that the supplementation could successfully increase the overall longevity by 10% and has also had a great impact on the improvement of cardiovascular health . A number of studies have shown effective anti-aging properties of spermidine in model organisms, few have suggested that the nutritional uptake of spermidine has caused a significant reduction in the mortality related to cardiovascular disorders as well as cancer on the sample population of humans. It has also been suggested that a high intake of spermidine represented an independent prognostic parameter that results in reduced mortality irrespective of certain variables like age, gender, physical activity, dietary requirements, BMI, diabetes, and physical activity . Another study suggests that the intake of spermidine improved memory performance for old people that were at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease .
It has been reported that spermidine possesses pleiotropic effects that include anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidant functions, enhancement of proteostasis and chaperone activity, improvement of mitochondrial metabolic function as well as respiration . However, the major mechanism that could validate the anti-aging effect of spermidine could be the process of simulation of a process known as autophagy. It should be noted that autophagy is an approach through which the body cleans out damaged cells and therefore rejuvenates the important cellular portions. The process of autophagy is responsible for cellular adaptation in response to stress. Also, it has been studied that behavioral, nutritional, pharmacological, or genetic manipulations that are responsible for the extension of longevity require an efficient process of autophagy. The process of autophagy also results in changes in the lipid composition results in the alteration of the membrane fluidity as well as its proneness to damage . The spermidine compound affects a protein named acetyltransferase EP300 which is a compound that inhibits the process of autophagy in the body. Apart from that, there is further evidence that suggests that the capacity of spermidine to induce biochemical changes is similar to those caused due to caloric restriction.
Also, aspirin could result in an improvement of the anti-aging properties of spermidine. However, a proper molecular pathway should be studied in the future in order to use this mechanism for the drug development of anti-aging medications.
Ultimate Biohacker Methuselah Lived 969 Years!
1. Araujo Ana, et. al., “The Drosophila melanogaster methuselah Gene: A Novel Gene with Ancient Functions”, PLoS One, 2013.
2. Madio Frank, et. al., “Spermidine delays aging in humans”, Aging, 2018.
3. Barzilai Nir, Shuldiner Alan, “Searching for Human Longevity Genes: The Future History of Gerontology in the Post-genomic Era”, The Journals of Gerontology, 2001.
4. Eisenberg, et. al., “Cardioprotection and lifespan extension by the natural polyamine spermidine”, NatureMedicine, 2016.
5. Wirth Miranka, et. al., “Effects of spermidine supplementation on cognition and biomarkers in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SmartAge)—study protocol for a randomized controlled trial”, BMC, 2019.
6. Madeo Frank, et. al., “Spermidine in health and disease”, Science, 2018.
7. Minios N. “Molecular Basis of the ‘Anti-Aging’ Effect of Spermidine and Other Natural Polyamines – A Mini-Review”, Gerantology, 2014.
8. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/methuselah visited on 08 May 2020.
About the author Brian Rose:
As a Biohacker, I completely submerged myself in neural enhancement, receiving training in a Neuro Performance Program with Vitanya Brain Performance, and completing Vipassana, a 10-day Silent Meditation Retreat. These experiences trained my brain to change its frequency from Alpha to Beta and taught me how to move energy within my body to benefit my mind.
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