Victor Dosenko: Aging can not win. But death can be postponed

With Professor Viktor Dosenko we met at the Institute of physiology imeni A. A. Bogomolets, where he heads the Department of General and molecular pathophysiology. Viktor is a scientist for our country unique. Unlike most of his colleagues, he not only engaged in scientific research (mostly studying diseases of the cardiovascular system), it is still strongly popularitywith knowledge about the human body, its mysteries and peculiarities. Professor delivers lectures to a broad audience, involved in such contemporary popular projects as "My science" and others. The only way, he believes, can change the attitude to their health, to educate a new generation of intellectuals and to help Ukrainian scientists to take a worthy place among the world scientific elite.

To live 120 years

— Now very much the efforts of both medics and ordinary people sent to fight against aging. And there are forecasts according to which the duration of human life in the near future may increase up to 150 years. You think this is real? Or is it our body is not programmed for such a long existence?

— I think that such assumptions and projections there is every reason. So, in the 20th century greatly increased the life expectancy of people. It is connected with the development of medicine, social security system, solving the problem of food. All of this has reduced, first of all, accidental mortality due to viral diseases, acute cardiovascular diseases, etc.

From this, people learnt to save people. For example, if a person has narrowed coronary arteries, stents are inserted (this is a spring, which supports the vessel in the expanded state) is coronary artery bypass graft (effectively new vessel). All this was impossible to imagine even 30 or 40 years ago. Now it is put on stream, such operations are made EN masse by our surgeons in Ukraine, and it saves the lives of thousands and thousands of people, extending their lives.

Plays a role in the prolongation of life and the system of early diagnosis. For example, biochemical screening helps at a very early stage to identify prostate cancer. And men of a certain age in civilized countries is required to pass such analysis. This is followed, by the way, social services and health insurance. For example, how it works in Germany.

Person comes a reminder that you need to pass this sort of analysis. He comes, delivers, free of charge... Then two years later another, then another, etc. If we suddenly found elevated levels of the marker, you need to consult a doctor. And if the time to begin treatment, the person will be alive and well.

And he will render this medical attention. But if you don't pass in time, this analysis and then come to the doctor with already advanced disease, you too will be treated, but for your money. This is a very reasonable and fair system that helps to detect diseases at an early stage.

So I think in the coming years, the life expectancy of the man could easily reach those limits, which are already up to centenarians.

—That is, 120 years?

— Yes, quite. And will increase and active part of life, when a person is on their feet and sane longer be able to afford to work, to travel, to help their children and grandchildren and be less dependent on the help of medicine.


I think in the coming years, the life expectancy of the man could easily reach those limits, which have already reached centenarians

— What to do?

— Actually, the recipe for longevity has long been known. And in the stories of centenarians, if they are to perform, all the time repeated the same advice.... Just as modern data and animal experiments confirm these principles.

The most important rule – restricted diet. An animal that eats as much as it wants, will live less than that which was underfeeding (that is, it would eat 15-20% less than the first).

This is due to the intracellular process such as autophagy (samopouzdanje). This is an extremely important process that must occur in the body. And runs it is a lack of external amino acids. When a cell loses power from the outside, it starts to eat itself (in a good way) – looking for used proteins, "toxins", damaged organelles and puts them in the scrap.

If we all the time provide your body with nutrients, autophagy does not occur. By the way, the embargo disruption of autophagy (and this is proven) is developing, for example, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease.

An animal that eats so much,
how many it wants, will live less
than the one that was underfeeding


— That is, all of these diseases can be called a disease of overeating?

— Yes, of course. This is the result of inadequate nutrition throughout life and especially during the already started aging (45-50 years). That is, if the person has already started to age and food habits has not changed, and eats the same and as much as at a young age.

The easiest way to follow the rule of malnutrition (and everybody knows it, but few do) – you need to get up from the table a little hungry. This combined with periodic failures of food to prolong aging. You can start to start to eat less some days then try fasting one day a week. Here are all individually, you need to listen to your body. If you feel that as a result of starvation was better to refuse food two days a week. And again, listen to your feelings.

All you need to soberly assess what is happening and to understand that in fact we are all addicts. Just drugs everyone is different – for some it's coffee, for some alcohol, for some fatty meat food, for some sweets. Everyone finds his pleasure, which does not want to give up. The man says: I can't live without sweet, life is not sweet. But it says the same thing and the addict. Addict without a fix bad, drinking is bad without 100 grams. What, then, lovers of the sweet, which harms the body is not less different from drug addicts? Such habits need to analyze and understand what they do in reality our lives better, and you just "sit on the needle" one way or another.


In fact, we are all addicts. Just drugs everyone is different – for some it's coffee, for some alcohol, for some fatty meat food,
for someone sweets


Let's go back to the regulation of longevity and healthy aging. By the way, how many?

— Only four. The first we have already discussed. And develop it in the process of millions of years of evolution, when man, like all living beings, and occasionally experienced the feeling of hunger, sometimes severe hunger.

The second rule is physical activity. Everyone knows that movement is life, but not everyone understands how this principle works. And it works due to hypoxia (lack of oxygen). Modern man, if he is not engaged in the gym and leads a normal way of life, moving very little: machine, computer, another machine, escalator, lift, chair, bed... And because the human body adapted to long-term physical exercise, to frequent hypoxia, after all, to earn their living, always had to move a lot.

The third factor is a sufficient number of xenobiotics in the food, i.e. foreign substances. Since man itself is a protein body, an alien for us is plant food. Any modern man eats them is not enough – he eats mostly refined and animal food. And if we don't eat alien food, the body does not activate the system of adaptation to the effects of xenobiotics. And the person gradually becomes a victim of his own toxins. They accumulate, is not utilized and is self-destruction and self-poisoning.

And if we don't eat alien food, the body does not activate the system of adaptation to the effects of xenobiotics. And the person gradually becomes a victim of his own toxins


And the last factor is the temperature of the test: hypothermia and overheating. This deprived us of civilization. We have all the time in comfort: cold – heater hot – turned on the air conditioner. All the millions of years of evolution has prepared us to another – to the fact that occasionally it will be cold and very cold, or hot and very hot. The use of these termiantion – tempering the body with cold and high temperature is what supports our neuro-endocrine system, starting with the brain and ending every cell of our fabrics in optimal condition. If not, do not work for certain mechanisms of adaptation, and this body is rather derived from the functional state.

— It turns out, the body all the time we need to stress on the principle "the worse, the better"?

— You could say that. Or in the words of Nietzsche: "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger." But all within reasonable limits. Yes, and cold, and hunger, and lack of oxygen – it is all damaging factors, but when they do not act on the body, the body worse. It's millions of years accustomed to such damage. Must be some extreme effects on our body, otherwise he does not understand what is happening. But civilization has made our lives well-fed and comfortable, but it has spawned a group of diseases that in the wild do not occur. The same no atherosclerosis in animals, and we have it almost all.

— That is, people who want to live long, no choice but to run, to freeze and starve?

— Actually, for someone lazy who does not want in his life and habits to change anything, medicine has come up with output. Geroprotectors are already being developed that will compensate for one or the other of the four vysheozvuchenny factors. That is, activation of autophagy already have a tablet. And proven that it prolongs the life of rats. And it applies to people. That is, can be limited to eat, and you can swallow the pill and eat unlimited.

The same applies to the factor of physical activity. You can play sports, and you can just breathe a hypoxic mixture (where the oxygen concentration of 20% and 18%). Health benefits for the body are the same. There is a special apparatus – hypoxylon. With the help of such devices, by the way, athletes train the national team of Ukraine and not just Ukraine. It is the world practice.



— Our life is very different from the lives of our ancestors is not only the fact that we have a lot of food, we were warm and comfortable, but the fact that we are surrounded by huge amount of equipment that this comfort is in part provides. And a lot of writing about what all this also can be a bad influence on our health health. Write about the dangers the same smartphones about electromagnetic radiation. Do you think this could have an impact on our body?

— Well, that's it: it can have an impact. But the negative effect of technology not proven. I know that in the world conducted studies on the subject. In Ukraine such studies I have not heard. Of course, electromagnetic radiation exists. Perhaps it can affect the biological structures, the risk of developing diseases. But to what extent, the simple answer is no. But to exclude that impact, it is impossible.

And in 10 years we can know the unpleasant truth...

Yes. For example, frequent communication on a mobile phone increases the risk of any disease. It can happen. But so far no such evidence.

We are also afraid of Ebola virus, Zeke and even some new diseases. But what is a real threat to the citizens of Ukraine – these new disease or maybe cancer, diabetes, heart disease? What really is fear?

— You are absolutely right. And this is confirmed by statistics. Most people in Ukraine die from cardiovascular diseases (we are in first place in Europe on this indicator). In second place – Oncology. The causes of these diseases are the same. First and foremost, it's low education, low medical culture of the population. Most people think that doctors are doctors, and they know better how to eat. And, like their ancestors, abuse animal food, refined carbs and eat a little fiber. And just like their ancestors dying from cardiovascular disease.

But the situation is gradually changing. I here lately on the street, they began to see students with carrots that are already peeled are sold in supermarkets. 5-10 years ago this was not. And some parents realize that it is better to give the child a ham sandwich/sausage/butter (i.e. fat), and better that he eats the Apple, carrot, celery, and will be healthier.

— I can not ask you, like genetics, about such controversial topics as genetically modified organisms. Harmful or not? You can eat them or better not?

— How can protein be harmful? How can it be harmful to DNA, RNA? We are genetically modified organisms. Man emerged as Homo sapiens (and all kinds of animals and plants) as a result of genetic modification. This is the essence of nature. We have all the time in the process of genetic modification. And if the scientists have got a way faster, more directed genetic modification, it only improves product quality, increases its fertility or nutritional value. All genetic products are carefully checked for 8-10 years. And there is no evidence of their harm is not even hard to imagine what they can are connected.

We are genetically modified organisms. Man emerged as Homo sapiens in the result of genetic modification


By the way, a great school of biotechnology of plants. Our experts work in Germany and in other countries of the world. And here, in Ukraine, they have no right to produce these new varieties, planted them indoors only and in a purely experimental purposes. Because we have been, to put it mildly, not very smart people laws that restrict the production of its genetically modified plants. Although it is clear that for a country with a large agricultural term need to produce these plants and get great yields. This is the future, and all civilized countries understand this and develop it.



— In General, what we have in the country with genetics? If our scientists have something to offer the world than to impress him?

— Of course it is. And always has been. Few people know that the Ukrainian scientist Sergei Mikhailovich Gershenzon world's first established that DNA is the carrier of genetic information. It is recognized throughout the world. It is also much earlier than American scientists who received a Nobel prize, found that information is not only transmitted from DNA to RNA, but back.

Our modern scientists, too, have something to be proud of. Here, for example, our Department at the Institute of physiology deals with the treatment of heart disease. And we have developed a plasmid is a genetic construction for the treatment of myocardial infarction. That is, instead of a pile of drugs can be injected into the body genetic construct, which will inhibit the desired enzyme. Experiments on animals showed that it can reduce the myocardial infarction 4 times.

That is, this invention is at the level of animal experiments?

— So we are all on this level. Because it is unnecessary. I made presentations, our articles about it printed we in reputable Western journals cited... the Introduction of this technology could save many lives, but, again, there is no need.

Another method of genetic engineering we have developed together with the Institute of pharmacology and toxicology AMS of Ukraine for the treatment of hypertension. One injection of such a drug and in rats for 7 days to normal pressure. And preparations of the chemical from the pressure need to be taken every day, even 2-3 times a day. That is why the next generation of drugs – it was drugs genetic, not chemical. They precisely hit the target and virtually no side effects.

— What is the way out of the situation you see, when a scientist has something to offer to his people, his country, but we are waiting for it to invent Americans, Europeans and buy the technology from them?

For this they need people who are engaged in business, manufacturing, politics, possessed a sufficient level of intelligence. Today we see in power, at the head of large business associations, active boys with a very low level of intelligence. This problem is not today, it is a problem of the period of existence of independent Ukraine.

In the Soviet period too, it was bad in this respect, but there was at least some attempt. For example, the working day of Shcherbytsky (Vladimir Shcherbytsky, the first Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Ukraine from 1972 to 1989. – Ed.) sometimes started in our Institute. It was a show, but good. The whole country knew that in the morning Shcherbitsky goes to the laboratory of academician Kostyuk (Platon Kostyuk, a famous scientist. – Ed.) watch how to remove the currents from individual neurons.

Thus was shown the attitude to the science. Now, I think it is unlikely that someone from the powers that be know where the Institute of physiology. They did and are making money mainly raw materials such as oil, ore, and can not even think that you can make the products innovative, to do something for the first time in the world.

That is, if Ukraine took over the implementation of products developed by our scientists, the country could earn?

— Yes, we could earn millions of dollars. Because in the world while these drugs are not. But it needs someone else to want, except for the group of scientists. Unfortunately, this prolonged the conflict the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian science – it is a conflict of dullness, ignorance with something bright, unusual, that can compete at the highest level.

Ukraine could earn millions of dollars in drugs from a heart attack and hypertension, who developed our geneticists


So the only way out of this situation is to educate a new generation of Ukrainians. Go to the people, to popularize science. And we do it. Hold lectures and organise science Days in different cities of Ukraine. These days, the institutes open the doors of their laboratories to all comers, have the ability to communicate with scientists. published


Author: Natalia Trofimova

Photo: Konstantin Grishin



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