For decades, scientists have been studying ways to increase the lifespan of humans. Here’s 3 treatments they have practiced and learned from about aging.
The 3 Most Talked About Preventative Aging Practices
Practice 1: Rapamycin
Originally found in Easter Island soil during the 1970s, this FDA-approved drug is used in transplant patients to suppress the immune system. The immune function in healthy animals tends to improve. Rapamycin has the potential to reduce inflammation, which increases with age.
One study found rapamycin rejuvenated old mice’s hearts. There were substantial improvements in cardiac function after treatment. Research showed that mice still had improvement in longevity and health duration even when they were administered rapamycin late in life.
Rapamycin shows the most promise of any drug that targets aging, although it won’t necessarily increase lifespan by 20 to 30 years on the average person. Although the right dose could improve several age-related health problems, including boosting immune function and protecting against dementia, cancers, and heart disease.
While it is approved to prevent rejection in organ transplant patients, it is not approved to treat aging. There are also questions about side effects, which may include susceptibility to infection and the possibility of developing lymphoma.
Practice 2: Metformin
Millions of people were given this drug to treat diabetes, it decreases insulin levels. It addresses the aging-related biological mechanisms. The anti-aging effects may be associated with inflammation-related influences on the metabolic and cellular processes. It was linked in animal models to extend the lifespan and protecting against age-related diseases.
Drugs used to treat chronic disease in the early stages may be effective because they target aging. Metformin is an interesting case because it obviously increases longevity in people with diabetes and would definitely do the same for pre-diabetics and others with severe metabolic disease. It’s not clear whether metformin will be beneficial in people who are metabolically healthy and exercise regularly.
Mice studies suggest that metformin is different from rapamycin, in the sense that metformin only improves lifespan by a very small amount, and in some cases no effect has been recorded to even shortens lifespan in mice.
Practice 3: Caloric Restriction
A dietary regimen which reduces calories while withholding nutrients. Work on laboratory animals, which started nearly a century ago, has shown that age-related diseases in mice and rats can be prevented by dietary and caloric restriction, although findings have varied.
Monkeys on a 30% lower-calorie diet than the control group lived for about 28 years longer than males and about 30 years for females, a few years above average for captive monkeys. Calorie-restricted monkeys had less age-related health problems compared to the control monkeys in both categories.
Several “biohackers” embarked on diets for caloric restriction, with the intention of living longer. Entrepreneur Dave Asprey, author of Bulletproof Diet, said he plans to live to be 180 and with a variety of treatments, including vitamins and a strict diet trying to hack his own genetics.
Dieting monkeys displayed improved health, although not living longer than the control monkeys. While they were fed different diets and had different feeding times and access to food, it is not clear why there was a disparity between the two groups of monkeys. There is no compelling evidence caloric restriction will work with people.
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