In a study from the University of Auckland, scientists found a drug that can increase life span. The age-old quest for immortality has taken a step forward.
The team that long-term treatment of healthy mice from middle age (one year) with a drug currently used to treat cancer can increase their lifespan by an average of 10% to around three years.
In this study, mice were fed a control diet or the same diet with the addition of a drug called alpelisib.
Not only did the mice fed the drug-containing diet live longer, but they also showed some signs of being healthier in old age such as improved coordination and strength.
However, the researchers are cautious about the application to humans since the mice treated with the drug also had some negative markers of aging like lower bone mass.
They are not suggesting that anyone should go out and take this drug long-term to extend lifespan, as there are some side effects.
However, this work finds mechanisms crucial to aging that will be of use in our long-term efforts to increase lifespan and health span.
It also suggests a number of possible ways in which shorter-term treatments with this drug could be used to treat certain metabolic health conditions and we are following this up now.
The team says that alpelisib targets an enzyme called PI 3-kinase.
Scientists have been working on developing drugs to target PI 3-kinase for more than 20 years as evidence indicated they would be useful to treat cancers as many cancers have an excessive activation of this pathway.
It’s great to see that these drugs might have been used in other areas and reveal novel mechanisms contributing to age-related diseases.
It also shows the value of the long-term investment in research is areas such as this.
If you care about health, please read studies that animal protein is better for aging muscles than plant protein, and scientists find a drug that may reduce muscle aging.
For more information about health, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.
The study was conducted by Dr. Chris Hedges et al and published in Nature Aging.
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