Diabetes Drug May Increase Human Life-Expectancy To 120 Years
Scientists believe they may have found the Fountain of Youth. But instead of drinking from a fountain, it comes in a pill form and might prolong life well past the 100-year-old mark.
A recent study by Belgian researchers using the Type 2 diabetes drug, metformin, has shown improved lifespans in both worms and mice. The study’s results demonstrated not only a slow down in the aging process, but both the mice and the tiny roundworms stayed healthier longer. The roundworms also developed less wrinkles (goodbye, Botox), while the mice’s bones appeared stronger. Metformin is currently used to treat Type 2 diabetes across the globe. It is especially useful in treating overweight and obese patients with the disease. With very few adverse side-affects, metformin is one of the most popular and widely used diabetes drugs. Researchers believe using metformin will not only prolong one’s lifespan, but also help avert illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Metformin could increase the lifespan of a human by increasing the number of oxygen molecules released into a cell, keeping the cell healthier longer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a US-lead study of metformin in humans to commence next winter. The new clinical trial called Targeting Aging with Metformin, or TAME, will study the drug’s affects in over 3,000 70 to 80-year-olds who meet several criteria such as being at risk for cancer, dementia and heart disease or presently have cancer, dementia or heart disease. Dr. Jay Olshansky, of the University of Illinois Chicago, speaking in the National Geographic documentary, “Breakthrough: The Age of Ageing” 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. Enough advancements in aging science have been made to lead us to believe it’s plausible, it’s possible, it’s been done for other species and there is every reason to believe it could be done in us.” At present, the United States’ overall life expectancy is 79 years old, with men at 76 and women at 81. If this new study can replicate its success in humans, those numbers may dramatically raise way into the 120s.