Fountain-of-Youth Pill Could Be on Horizon After Scientists Dramatically Extended Longevity in Mice
A fountain-of-youth pill could be on the horizon after scientists dramatically extended longevity in mice.
Injecting elderly rodents with a grape seed extract increased their remaining time by more than sixty percent.
It also boosted overall lifespan by nine percent—equivalent to more than a decade in a human.
Corresponding author Dr Yu Sun, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, said, “The plant chemical has high potential as a clinical intervention to delay, alleviate, or prevent illnesses.”
The flavonoid known as PCC1 flushes out ‘zombie’ or ‘senescent’ cells that have stopped dividing. They accumulate naturally as we get older—and release chemicals that cause inflammation.
Dr Sun explained, “Ageing-associated functional decline of organs and increased risk for chronic disease is driven in part by their accumulation.
“Here we show PCC1, a component of grape seed extract, increases the healthspan and lifespan of mice through its action on senescent cells.”
The study screened a panel of natural compounds in a model of cultured human prostate cells. It found PCC1 selectively killed senescent cells—leaving healthy ones alone.
In several mouse models of disease, including exposure to radiation, numbers were slashed and health boosted.
The therapy also improved the effect of chemotherapy in those whose immunity had been compromised.
What’s more, injections of PCC1 were administered to 91 male and female mice aged 24 to 27 months. In human years, it would be in the range of 75 to 90 year-olds, explained the researchers.
The regime appears to have been well tolerated. A safe dose needs to be established before further clinical trials can begin.
Dr Sun said, “Considerable progress has been made over recent years to develop specific agents to treat individual age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, fragility, and vascular dysfunction.
“However, the combined effect of these drugs in controlling morbidity and mortality has been modest.
“These diseases tend to occur in synchrony as multimorbidities—with prevalence increasing exponentially after 70 years of age.”
The findings offer hope for prolonging health and lifespan —and treating age-related conditions with a therapy derived from natural sources.
Dr Sun added of the study, published in Nature Metabolism, “The potential anti-ageing effects of PCC1 provide good support for further translational and clinical development with the overall aim of achieving a longer and healthier life.”