A diabetes drug known as metformin claims to boost life expectancy to 120 years, and has been hailed by some of its supporters as an actual fountain of youth.
Metformin is normally administered to patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, due to its euglycemic properties. Basically, it can lower the production of sugar, allowing glycemic levels to return back to normal, with very few side effects, such as stomach cramps, indigestion or diarrhea.
However, recently it was discovered that it also has exceptional rejuvenating qualities and can decelerate the aging process, because it can contribute to higher cellular oxygenation levels.
Thanks to this hugely beneficial characteristic, it has the potential to guard people against cancer, reducing the risk of developing this disease by as much as 30%, according to Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Moreover, some scientific papers have suggested that metformin can effectively prevent cognitive ailments associated with growing older, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
One study led by experts at Cardiff University has even came to the staggering conclusion that overweight diabetes patients who use this drug have a higher life expectancy than those who have a normal BMI and don’t suffer from this metabolic disorder.
The medicine targets the actual process of growing older, by slowing it down considerably, so as to limit the incidence of diseases connected with aging, as part of a revolutionary approach known as geroscience.
In fact, Gordon Lithgow, professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing, believes that taking the miracle drug might allow patients to live up to 120, without experiencing several harrowing health disorders that are prevalent nowadays.
As he explains, while eradicating all types of cancer could only extend life spans by approximately 3 years, metformin’s effects would be much greater, because it would combat a wider array of afflictions, prolonging life even by 50%.
The Food and Drug Administration has just given the green light to the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) study, which will investigate these claims, so as to assess their validity.
So far, the drug, which costs as little as 15 cents per day, has been administered to Caenorhabditis Elegans roundworms during a trial conducted by Belgian scientists.
It was determined that the parasites which had been given metformin lived much longer in comparison with those which hadn’t received this treatment.
Moreover, they also appeared to be much more agile, their skin was much smoother and devoid of wrinkles, and overall their health seemed to be flourishing.
Another similar study was also carried out on laboratory mice, and it was discovered that those that had been assigned to the metformin treatment had substantially more robust bones, appeared much more energetic and young, and eventually their average life span was approximately 40% longer than that of their counterparts.
It remains to be seen if these promising results will also be replicated on human subjects as well, allowing people in their 70’s to be as healthy and vivacious as others in their 50’s.
The TAME randomized controlled trial, which will test this hypothesis, is scheduled to commence in the winter of 2016, and will involve a group of 3,000 volunteers, aged between 70 and 80.
The participants will be chosen among those who are either affected by cancer, dementia or cardiovascular disease, or have a high likelihood of developing such conditions.
The experiment is expected to unfold for a period of 6 years, so only time will tell if this is indeed the elusive key to longevity that humanity has been seeking for millennia.
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