Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Antibiotic rapamycin delays aging in mice

Antibiotic Delayed Aging In Experiments With Mice
New York Times
Published: July 8, 2009

A new star has appeared in the field of drugs that delay aging in laboratory animals, and are therefore candidates for doing the same in people.

The drug is an antibiotic, rapamycin, already in use for suppressing the immune system in transplant patients and for treating certain cancers.

...[T]here are now many ways of extending life in small laboratory animals through a variety of compounds, including resveratrol and sirtuins, PGC1-alpha and now rapamycin. All these compounds seem to be involved in helping an organism detect and respond to the level of nutrients in its environment.

“It’s no longer irresponsible to say that following these up could lead to medicines that increase human life span by 10, 20 or 30 percent,” Dr. Miller said.

But it will be at least 10 years before matters are sorted out, in his view. As of right now, he said, “I don’t think there’s any evidence for people that there’s any drug that can slow aging down.”

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