People have been fascinated with the idea of a fountain of youth for as long as society was a thing. The first written recordings mentioning such an artifact go all the way back to the 5th century BCE and were written by Herodotus. But it’s only natural that the myth caught on so well over the years.
Because who wants to get old, after all? Sure, growing old can be regarded as a blessing one you’ve reached a certain age, one you’re fulfilled enough, and once you’ve accomplished enough with your life, but for the most part it can be a very traumatizing experience even then. But we’ve got a lot more to cover.
The origin of the fountain of youth myth lies within man’s hopes of living forever, but it also has some ties in reality. Making exception of the geographical factors, people have to have seen other people looking much younger than their age. But this also happens nowadays, as plenty of people don’t look their age.
And science has finally found an explanation as to why that’s the case, as researchers discover gene for youthful look. Known as MC1R, the gene is already well known for its ability to influence the color of one’s skin and hair color, as well as the possibility of the individual developing freckles.
But it does different things in its different variants. For starters, the signs of aging to which the gene is related have nothing to do with wrinkles. There are other signs of aging independent of wrinkles that are just as important. The MC1R gene mostly accounts for other changes in the face’s shape, like a sagging jawline or thinning lips.
And on average, people with a certain variant of this gene appear some 2 years older than their counterparts with a different variant. Usually, these variants are common for people with pale skin, red hair, and freckles. But of course, there are red haired, pale skinned people that don’t carry the variant, just like there are darker skinned people with a different hair color that do carry the variant.
Very much expectedly, there can’t be a single gene responsible for a youthful look. Instead, different genes focus on different aspects of looking young. But something that has even better chances of making a difference and which you can actually control to some degree is your lifestyle.
Smoking, for example, has been known for a long time to cause premature aging. For a more youthful it is recommended by experts that you don’t smoke, that you avoid exposure to sunlight over a certain degree, and, of course, that you keep a healthy diet and that you exercise. You’ve got to work for your looks.