Previous research has shown that super low calorie diets extend the lifespan. It's a dilemma, of course. A real-life "eat now, die sooner" conundrum. But...
Researchers say they have now uncovered the medical equivalent of the low calorie diet - in a pill, of course. The key to anti-aging may be a family of enzymes called sirtuins. Dr. David Sinclair, of Harvard, helped found Sirtris Pharmaceuticals to study and develop the enzymes into consumer medications.
The enzymes, known as SIRT3 and SIRT4, mimic the action of the super low calorie diets. They target the mitochondria - the power sources of the cells - and help them stay healthy. This is critical to slowing the aging process and warding off age-related diseases. As we age, the mitochondria become less efficient, and we become prone to development of age-related disease, such as heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.
The hope is that a new medication may be developed that effectively protects the function of the mitochondria as we age. This would, theoretically, allow the body to naturally fight off the common ravages of old age.
The company is already testing a version of the drug in Phase 2 clinical trials for type-2 diabetics.
What's that - you say you're a bit skeptical? Hmmm... Maybe there's a pill for that...To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about healthy aging, see this from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.