We are continually getting closer to finding the elixir of youth. In fact, we have found it, in a way.
It is true, scientists have even been successful at utilizing this youthful concoction on lab mice – injecting the solution and watching the rodents completely regenerate into the youthful mice of their past.
Although it may take some time before humans reap the full benefits, this accomplishment has still set a milestone for humanity.
Why do we age?
One of the most important systems of the body is the muscular system. This function is greatly reduced as the human ages. If you want to understand how muscle can be strengthened through anti-aging formulas, then you have to understand how the muscle dies.
Muscle deteriorates with a process called senescence. This process is just the basic wearing down of the body – it is natural, and naturally, in all mammal species, the levels of metabolic coenzyme NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) decrease by 50% with age.
This prevents the cells from producing ATP in the mitochondria. Since the mitochondria is used to produce energy, then the body becomes tired more easily and thus muscles become weakened. As a result, metabolism slows down and muscle atrophy and other signs of aging become more evident.
Over time, aging muscles will weaken and even swell. They can also become resistant to insulin, which causes another aging issue in many human beings. This is why elderly people have issues with mobility and with diabetes as well.
The newly found ‘elixir of youth’
Scientists from Harvard Medical School claimed that they have finally found the ‘elixir of youth’ which can not only slow down the aging process but also reverse it.
The most productive research comes from Harvard from a man named, David Sinclair. Sinclair has been hard at work on a molecular solution that could indeed add decades to the human lifespan.
The researchers found a new mechanism of aging that is associated with the break of the link between the cell nucleus and mitochondria, which is a kind of energy station for cells. As we said above, with age, it ceases to release energy, which means that the cell’s time to ‘retire’ is coming.
In a living organism, NAD serves as a conduit between the nucleus and mitochondria. The latter generates energy, and NAD delivers it to the cell nucleus. At a low concentration of NAD, communication between mitochondria and the nucleus of cells weakens.
“This substance is present in our body. However, with age, its concentration becomes lower and lower. We hypothesized that this might be the cause of aging, and introduced a drug to increase the level of this substance in mice,” said Prof Sinclair.
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.
It’s worth noting that this rejuvenating substance created by American scientists currently works only on mice.
“We worked on understanding the mechanisms of aging and conducted experiments on mice. For this purpose, we selected mature enough animals that were older than two years and began to introduce the experimental drug.
To our surprise, just in a week the mice got younger. They became vigorous and energetic as if they were six-month-old,” said Prof David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School.
While testing this formula on mice, Sinclair concluded that the anti-aging serum had no adverse side effects and did indeed reverse aging. Sinclair’s discovery actually focuses on muscle aging and degeneration.
The test subjects, ordinary lab mice, had to undergo a simple process to gain youth. These mice were injected with the metabolic coenzyme NAD+, which actively improved the skeletal muscles.
This solution had the same effect as a healthy diet and dose of exercise. Instead of fighting age while staying active, the healthy muscle was immediately regenerated, filling the body with new life.
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.
If we graduate from mice to humans, and we will, we could see elderly people with a young adult’s physique. This is the same as if the muscles of a 60-year-old man returned to a state of 20 years old! We could also experience improved health and even a much longer life expectancy.
The muscles of the rejuvenated mice were in tone, and their cardiac muscles were as new. It was the coenzyme NAD that played a major role in this incredible transformation.
Moreover, young mice, which also were given a dose of NAD, became more alert and energetic.
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 youth, it is necessary to make 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 achieve new results in the fight against cancer and diabetes.
Professor 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.”
Many people may come against this research, saying that we are playing God. I say that it cannot be any different than the advent of antibiotics at the turn of the century. One day, living forever might just be another characteristic of the human race.
At the moment, the scientists have the following tasks to be accomplished: to determine how long the rejuvenating effect will hold, to identify side effects of the drug, as well as to find out whether it may be used in humans.
The study’s authors hope to test the drug on humans this year. However, it is worth noting that the cost of a single drop of NAD – which is a daily dose for a mouse – is about $1,000.
Therefore, in the case of the successful outcome of further testing, it is necessary to find a way to reduce the drug’s cost to launch the mass production of the ‘elixir of youth’.
It is indeed a wonderful discovery. It shows that aging can be stopped and even reversed!
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