Cardiologist and nutritionist Dr. Frédéric Saldmann talks about the annual “Les Stéthos d’Or” charity dinner of the Foundation for Research in Physiology.
- As a member of the Foundation for Research in Physiology, you devote a lot of your time and energy to helping scientific research. What exactly is the Foundation’s mission?
The vocation of the Foundation is to better understand the naked mole rat. A lot of people one day or another are confronted by an illness and this is what the Foundation is all about. Our mission is to uncover the mechanisms and help save mankind.
- What is it about the naked mole rat that makes it the ideal guinea pig?
The naked mole rat is a mouse that lives for up to 30 years. Compared to humans, it is as if we live 600 years in perfect health. Its genetic makeup is similar to ours with 99% of common genes. The rat is resistant to cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and cardio-vascular diseases. Its longevity is amazing. Its arteries do not age, neither does its brain. In fact it is super resistant to all those illnesses and diseases that one day are likely to be the cause of our death.
- Each year the Georges V hotel is the privileged setting for the “Les Stéthos d’Or”. Can you tell us a little more about the event …
Basically it’s a wonderful event! (Laughter). All our energy goes towards deciphering the puzzle of the naked mole rat. This event is a time to award the “Stéthos d’Or” to personalities who communicate joy and well-being to the public.
- Who are the members of the “Stéthos d’Or” committee?
The members are all colleagues and medical practitioners who make a diagnosis of the level of well-being needed!
- What’s In store for the third edition of the event?
We are currently exploring the possibility of adding other categories because we reward films and songs but not painting or architecture for example. Other artists from other fields also contribute joy and well-being and deserve to be rewarded for this.
- What can we wish for your Foundation in the future?
That it flourishes and that we can open our very own laboratory at the Hôpital Necker. We already have an animal research unit at the National Veterinary School, but we need to go faster in our research. No-one is immortal, but it is possible to delay our death and preserve our good health longer!
- Could you give us a winter tip just to finish?
Many people suffer from a lack of light. Consider a bit of light therapy and a 30-minute brisk walk each day. Your body will secrete endorphins, this will brighten up your day and also vitamin D to keep you happy! Beware of fat and go for vegetables as much as possible!