Metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, could very well be the world’s first anti-aging drug that could expand our life span beyond 120 years. Next year, scientists will begin testing the drug’s effectiveness for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. According to The Daily Mail, some testing has already been done on animals, but the FDA is formally allowing testing to begin on humans next year.
Metformin works by suppressing glucose production in the liver and increasing sensitivity to insulin. It is currently the most popular drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, and has been in the market for over 60 years.
Testing will begin on 3,000 human subjects aged 70-80 years old. Based on test results seen from rats and worms, a 70-year-old who takes the drug could have the same biological age as a 50-year-old.
This is huge. This means that doctors could start treating aging as a disorder that can be treated like anything else, and we can slow its effects way down. The Baby Boomer generation has already redefined what it means to be 50 and 60. In the future, maybe all 80-year-olds will look like Jane Fonda.
— Nat Geo Channel (@NatGeoChannel) November 30, 2015
Professor Gordon Lithgow of California’s Buck Institute for Research on Aging pointed out that it’s not just aging itself that this kind of breakthrough would help.
“If you target an ageing process and you slow down ageing then you slow down all the diseases and pathology of aging as well,” Lithgow said. “That’s revolutionary. That’s never happened before.”
So not only would we be able to live forever, we’d do so without having to worry about losing our minds or our physical abilities.
Ok, fine, you talked me into it. Sign me up. 120 years of perfect health. Do I still have to exercise and “eat right”?
Featured image via Flickr