Dr. Weeks Comment: For years, the only scientifically validated anti-aging medicine was eating less “caloric restriction”. The the use of the drug Cimetidine (off-label) was shown to prolong life (by lowering blood sugar) and now another old drug helps prolong life. “Centisible” medicine is often off-label. Use it while the FDA still allows it!
Drug extends lives of old mice
In an article published on July 8, 2009 in the journal Nature, scientists from three U.S. research centers report that rapamycin, a compound discovered on Easter Island that has diverse medical uses, extends the life span of mice when given in old age.
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center’s Institute of Biotechnology and Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, the University of Michigan, and the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine collaborated on the current study. The team intended to give rapamycin to mice beginning at 4 months of age, however, the compound proved to be unstable in food and in the animals’ digestive tracts. By the time the drug was reformulated to bypass the stomach and break down in the intestine, the animals were 20 months old, the equivalent of age 60 in humans. The scientists decided to go ahead with the experiment despite the animals’ advanced age and were surprised by the results. Mice that received rapamycin were found to experience an extension of 28 to 38 percent in life expectancy, an effect greater than that which would occur in humans if heart disease and cancer did not exist. The drug’s mechanism appears to be similar to that of calorie restriction.
“I did not think that it would work because the mice were too old when the treatment was started,” stated Barshop Institute director Arlan G. Richardson, PhD. “Most reports indicate that calorie restriction doesn’t work when implemented in old animals. The fact that rapamycin increases lifespan in relatively old mice was totally unexpected.”
“I’ve been in aging research for 35 years and there have been many so-called ‘antiaging’ interventions over those years that were never successful,” Dr Richardson added. “I never thought we would find an antiaging pill for people in my lifetime; however, rapamycin shows a great deal of promise to do just that.”