The world’s first anti-aging drug will be tested next year in trials that could help humans live healthily well into their 120s.
The diabetes pill metformin has been used on animals to extend their lives and now the Food and Drug Administration has given scientists the green light to begin testing on humans and see if the cheap drug can produce similar longevity effects.'
The goal of the clinical trials is to slow down the aging process so someone in their 70s is as healthy as a 50-year-old.
“If you target an aging process and you slow down aging then you slow down all the diseases and pathology of aging as well,” Professor Gordon Lithgow of the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing, one of the study’s advisors, said “That’s revolutionary. That’s never happened before."
When Belgian researchers tested metformin on roundworms, they discovered the worms aged slower and stayed healthier longer. Cardiff University found that diabetic patients tested with the drug lived longer than those without the condition.
Scientists are currently recruiting 3,000 70- to 80-year-olds who have or are at risk of heart disease, cancer or dementia to participate in the clinical trial expected to start next winter. The scientists hope to not only see the aging process significantly slowed down but are also hopeful in stopping these diseases.
Speaking about the study in the National Geographic documentary Breakthrough: The Age of Aging, the University of Illinois Chicago’s Dr. Jay Olshanksy said, “If we can slow aging in humans, even by just a little bit it would be monumental. People could be older, and feel young.”
Looks like society might have finally found the Fountain of Youth.
Banner image credit: Rudy Anderson