The researchers have found a new mechanism of aging that is associated with break of the link between the cell nucleus and mitochondria, which is a kind of energy station for cells. With age it ceases to release energy, which means that the cell’s time to ‘retire’ is coming. Scientists found that in mammals the coenzyme NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is responsible for this process, the level of which falls to 50% in old age. It promotes metabolism, causes muscle atrophy and other signs of aging.
Based on the idea of the significance of NAD, the researchers conducted an experiment with elderly rats, which were injected with a chemical compound, to see if the connection between the mitochondria and the nucleus will be restored. The results were amazing: in just one week the muscle tissue of a two-year rat was indistinguishable from the one of a six-month rodent. This is the same as if the muscles of a 60-year-old man returned to a state of 20 years old!
Experts explain that the introduction of NAD “cheats” on the cell: it begins to “think” that the level of energy (oxygen) is all right.
But, of course, it is not that simple. To create an elixir of eternal youth it is necessary to conduct further tests. Furthermore, as critics say, the discovery relates only to the muscle cells, because it did not have any effect on other parts of the body.
Yet experts believe that the new mechanism will allow people to stay healthy for much longer, and will also help to achieve new results in the fight against cancer and diabetes.
Professor of the School of Medical Sciences, Harvard University, David Sinclair said: “If with age the body is gradually falling apart and loses its ability to effective self-regulation, we can return it to a state of 20-30 years old.”
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