Saturday, December 01, 2007

Longevity Pill (Update)

Those following anti-aging research will remember the headlines (like here and here) the Sinclear Lab at Harvard University made with their research on resveratrol, an anti-aging molecule (found in red wine). This article published last year in Nature showed that "resveratrol shifts the physiology of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie diet towards that of mice on a standard diet and significantly increases their survival....These data show that improving general health in mammals using small molecules is an attainable goal, and point to new approaches for treating obesity-related disorders and diseases of ageing".

This research is fascinating and important stuff! And the latest issue of Nature updates this research. See the scoop here. Researchers have now created compounds that are 1000 times more potent than resvertrol. The MIT Technology Review also has a story here entitled "The Longevity Pill". Here is a sample:

A novel group of drugs that target a gene linked to longevity could provide a way to turn back the clock on the diseases of aging. The compounds are 1,000 times more potent than resveratrol, the molecule thought to underlie the health benefits of red wine, and have shown promise in treating rodent models of obesity and diabetes.

Human clinical trials to test the compounds in diabetes are slated to begin early next year, according to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, MA, which developed the drugs. "As far as I'm aware, this is the first anti-aging molecule going into [testing in] man," says David Sinclair, a biologist at Harvard Medical School, in Boston, and cofounder of Sirtris. (See "The Enthusiast.") "From that standpoint, this is a major milestone in medicine."

The new drugs target an enzyme called SIRT1, which belongs to a class of proteins known as sirtuins that have been shown to lengthen life span in lower organisms. Sinclair and others theorize that activating these enzymes, which play a role in cell metabolism, mimics the effects of caloric restriction--a low-calorie but nutritionally complete diet that dampens disease and boosts longevity in both invertebrates and mammals.

The first anti-aging molecule is going to be tested in a human!!....

O brave new world
That has such people in't.