A team of Australian and American scientists has developed a new chemical compound with the ability of reversing aging process tested in animal.
The newly found drug like a youth elixir targets and reverses muscle aging while it can build up muscle tone, reduce inflammation and give mice more energy.
The drug that conjures up the story of David Fincher’s movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button rejuvenates muscle in mice, transforming a 60-year-old’s muscle to that of a 20-year-old though it cannot improve muscle strength.
The study focused on a chemical compound called NAD. Its levels naturally drop in all cells of the body with age, according to the finding published in the journal Cell.
“I have been studying aging at the molecular level now for nearly 20 years and I didn’t think I’d see a day when aging could be reversed. I thought we’d be lucky to slow it down a little bit,” said the study leader Professor David Sinclair, working from Harvard Medical School in the United States.
“When we’re young, we have the high levels of NAD and if we exercise and diet, the levels of this NAD molecule are high in our body… but as we get older, and as these mice in our experiments got older, the levels went down about 50 per cent and then we could give this drug to bring the levels back up again,” Sinclair explained.
An aging reversal appeared in two-year-old mice after one week of youth-medication. The muscles in old mice showed a high similarity to those of a six-month-old in mitochondrial function (power of producing energy for various parts of the body), muscle wastage, inflammation and insulin resistance.
“This is an intriguing and exciting finding that some aspects of the aging process are reversible. It is however a long and tough way to go from these nice mouse experiments to showing real anti-aging effects in humans without side effects,” Professor Tim Spector from Kings College London commented.
Many experts believe that the study needs to treat for longer as the changes occurring in the cells require more time to affect the whole organism.
The researchers suggested that their findings could also be used to treat cancer, type 2 diabetes and other diseases.
The research team is planning to begin clinical trials in 2015.
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