SEP 06, 2019 3:20 PM PDT

The Three Drugs that Reverse Biological Aging

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

 

In the last 100 years, life expectancy in the US has risen from 55 years until 79 (Roser: 2019). And with the continuous development of medicine and scientific thought, ways to live for longer are becoming more and more apparent- even to the point that we may be able to live longer by becoming biologically younger.


A study conducted in California found that it may be possible to reverse the body’s ageing process. A small clinical study made up of nine healthy men aged between 51 and 65; they each took growth hormone supplements alongside two diabetes medications for a year (hgh supplements for anti-aging to be exact). Following the trial, it was found that they had shed an average of 2.5 years off their biological ages as shown by epigenetic markers. Moreover, eight out of the nine men experienced anti-aging effects in their immune systems, and these changes were sustained among six of the participants six months following the trial (Milova: 2017).

Given that pneumonia and other infectious diseases are major causes of death in older people in particular, the researchers put a specific focus on redeveloping the immune system; in this case, via the thymus. After white blood cells have been produced in the bone marrow, they then mature inside the thymus, where they are converted into specialized T cells that help the body combat infections and cancers. As the gland starts to shrink after puberty, its function is known to falter, something that is made worse as it becomes increasingly clogged with fat (Abbott: 2019).

Although growth hormone had been proven in previous studies in both animals and humans to rejuvenate the thymus, the hormone has also been shown to cause diabetes. Thus, in the study, two well-known anti-diabetes medications (dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and metformin) were administered alongside growth hormone to nullify this effect.

 

During blood tests throughout the treatment period, the researchers found that blood cell counts among each of the participants we rejuvenated. In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, they also managed to confirm that accumulated fat had been replaced by thymus tissue in seven of the nine men. A success in itself seeing the rejuvenation of the thymus, it wasn’t until the researchers handed their results over to Steve Horvath to conduct an epigenetic analysis, looking at the methyl signatures linked to the participants' DNA, that they realised the overall anti-aging properties of rejuvenating the thymus in this way (Wayt: 2014). According to geneticist Steve Horvath who conducted the epigenetic analysis, “I’d expected to see slowing down of the clock, but not a reversal. (Abbott: 2019)."

 

Although exciting results for the field of anti-aging, these results are not conclusive due to their small sample size alongside insufficient controls including the lack of a control group. Thus, the researchers are now planning a larger study to further assess the effects of the three drugs on people of different age groups, ethnicities, and women.

 

Sources

 

Roser, Max: Our World in Data

Milova, Elena et al.: Leaf Science

Abbott, Alison: Nature

Wayt Gibbs, W.: Nature

 
About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
NOV 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
THC & ASD: A Crucial Contributor to Symptom Alleviation
NOV 05, 2021
THC & ASD: A Crucial Contributor to Symptom Alleviation
Up until recently, cannabis-based treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have focused on CBD-enrichment and THC d ...
NOV 22, 2021
Microbiology
Researchers Solve the Structure of the HIV Capsid, May Be a New Drug Target
NOV 22, 2021
Researchers Solve the Structure of the HIV Capsid, May Be a New Drug Target
Though treatments are available, there is no cure or vaccine from HIV, which impacts about 38 million people worldwide. ...
NOV 29, 2021
Cancer
An Amino Acid Can Improve Radiation Therapy for Metastatic Brain Cancer
NOV 29, 2021
An Amino Acid Can Improve Radiation Therapy for Metastatic Brain Cancer
There are 20 different amino acids that the human body uses to generate proteins.  Amino acids form chains called p ...
DEC 12, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Cyagen: One-Stop Research Model & Gene Therapy Solutions
DEC 12, 2021
Cyagen: One-Stop Research Model & Gene Therapy Solutions
With gene therapy demonstrating an enormous potential to treat a wide range of diseases, Cyagen has added a range of gen ...
DEC 13, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
An inhalable vaccine joins the fights against COVID-19
DEC 13, 2021
An inhalable vaccine joins the fights against COVID-19
Two biotech companies are joining the fight against COVID-19 with their collaborative work on an inhalable COVID-19 vacc ...
DEC 15, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
New study launches Viagra into the spotlight as the next drug to treat Alzheimer's disease
DEC 15, 2021
New study launches Viagra into the spotlight as the next drug to treat Alzheimer's disease
A recent study, published in the journal Nature Aging, reaffirmed the role of Sildenafil (brand name Viagra) in tre ...
Loading Comments...