The aging process, characterized by a decline in physiological function and an increased susceptibility to disease, continues to confound scientists.
While there’s no definitive cure for aging’s effects, caloric restriction – reducing caloric intake while maintaining nutritional sufficiency – has shown promise in extending both lifespan and healthspan, the period of life free of chronic disease.
However, this approach has yielded mixed results in humans and can have side effects. Consequently, researchers are exploring drugs that can replicate the benefits of caloric restriction minus the side effects.
Drug Candidates for Mimicking Caloric Restriction
Several drugs such as metformin, rapamycin, and resveratrol have been studied for their potential to mimic the effects of caloric restriction.
However, these drugs come with their own set of limitations, such as the necessity for injections, low bioavailability, and severe side effects.
Role of Rilmenidine
A recent study by researchers from the University of Liverpool has shown promising results with rilmenidine, a high-blood pressure medication.
Tested on worms, fruit flies, and mice, the study found that both young and older animals treated with rilmenidine showed increased lifespans and improved health markers, similar to the effects of caloric restriction.
Mechanism of Action
The team identified the I1-imidazoline receptor nischarin-1 as the mediator of the healthspan and lifespan benefits of rilmenidine treatment, indicating it as a potential target for drugs designed to promote longevity.
Advantages of Rilmenidine
Rilmenidine, unlike other drugs previously studied, is an oral high-blood pressure medication that is widely prescribed and has mild side effects, suggesting potential for future human use as an anti-aging treatment.
Implications of the Study
With an aging global population, even slight delays in aging can yield immense benefits. Repurposing existing drugs to extend lifespan and healthspan offers substantial potential in the field of translational geroscience.
While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind rilmenidine’s effects and its potential clinical applications, this study provides a ray of hope in developing new therapies for aging-related diseases.
It underscores the potential of repurposing existing drugs, like rilmenidine, to target the aging process and mitigate aging-related diseases.
If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that drinking tea could help lower blood pressure, and early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure.
For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.
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