Can you imagine living a healthy life well into your 120s? That could be a reality sooner rather than later, after the US Food and Drug Administration recently gave the go-ahead for clinical trials to be conducted on the world’s first anti-aging drug.
The drug, called metformin, has already been proven to extend animal lifespans, and the FDA has resultantly decided that trials should be conducted to see if it has the same effect on humans. It is already the most widely used drug in the world for treating Type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, anecdotal evidence was found last year by researchers at Cardiff University, who observed that patients with diabetes taking metformin were living longer than others who were not diabetic, in spite of diabetics having an average life expectancy that’s eight years shorter.
Successful clinical trials would mean that 70-year-olds could have the biological health of 50-year-olds. Scientists also believe that stopping aging could eventually consign aging-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, to history.
We age because our cells divide themselves in order to keep our bodies in the best state of health, however problems begin to occur the more times cells divide, meaning that damage to our bodies eventually can no longer be repaired.
The theory is that if the aging process is slowed down, then all the diseases and pathology associated with aging can be slowed down as well. Scientists believe that this can be achieved because all of our cells contain a DNA blueprint that could keep our bodies functioning correctly forever.
Metformin is believed to have life-extending possibilities for humans because of its ability to increase the number of oxygen molecules released into a cell. This process is believed to boost cell robustness and longevity.
American scientists are currently looking for 3,000 volunteers aged between 70 and 80 who either have, or are at risk of, cancer, heart disease and dementia, to take part in the clinical trial of metformin, which is scheduled to begin next winter.
According to the World Health Organization, the average global life expectancy currently stands at 71.0 years, but if scientists manage to replicate the results observed in animals during the clinical trials, human lifespan could increase by almost 50%. Amazing!
Content Source: New Zealand Herald