Elixir of life? A breakthrough anti-aging drug may be just around the corner

Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging in Cologne, Germany, have discovered that just a brief exposure to the drug can have the same anti-aging and health span effects as the lifelong dosage – without the bad side effects. This may open new, life-long doors for human consumption.

The team published its findings in the journal Nature Aging.

Let’s face it, we’re all living longer nowadays. So we may as well do so with more comfort and ease. Hence, researchers have been focusing their energy on and putting a lot of funding into finding anti-aging antidotes.

Currently, the most promising anti-aging drug is rapamycin – a cell growth inhibitor and immunosuppressant that is normally used in cancer therapy and after organ transplantations. It needs to be taken on a lifelong basis in order to have the desired anti-aging effect. However, rapamycin has some negative side effects when used consistently over a long period of time, which makes it unviable for people wanting to combat the effects of age.

That’s why the team at the Max Planck Institute decided to find out whether or not the drug could have the same anti-aging effects if taken only for a brief amount of time without giving the same negative side effects.

After testing varied brief exposures of the drug on fruit flies, the team discovered that a brief window of two weeks of the treatment in young, adult flies protected them against age-related pathology in the intestine and kept them alive longer. Similarly, a short time window of three months for three-month-old young adult mice had the same positive effects.

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