Testing Anti-Aging Supplements May Uncover the Answer to Healthy Living | Science and technology news


Clinical trials on anti-aging supplements may hold the answer to how to stay healthy later in life, an expert said.

While many supplements are readily available and inexpensive, there’s a lack of evidence to show whether they’re effective, said Professor Cynthia Kenyon, an aging expert.

Clinical studies may show that a dietary supplement already in circulation holds the secret to slowing down the biological aging process and thus age-related diseases such as cancer and dementia.

Prof Kenyon, who works for Google subsidiary Calico Life Sciences and whose research has revolutionized the scientific understanding of aging, said trials of rapamycin and metformin — two dietary supplements linked to anti-aging — are particularly needed .

Rapamycin was originally developed as an immunosuppressant for organ transplant patients, while metformin is used to control glucose production in type 2 diabetics.

Professor Cynthia Kenyon speaks at a science conference in Switzerland

She also called for testing of other substances found in red wine and semen.

“A clinical trial large enough to be meaningful costs millions of dollars,” said Prof. Kenyon. “There’s no business model for that because if you want a clinical trial of something that’s freely available and inexpensive, you can’t recoup your cost of the trial.

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“And yet it’s an important need for the world, because when they work and make you more resilient, these interventions not only slow aging but also counteract age-related diseases.”

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The Science of Aging

“So they would make people — if they work — more resilient and disease-resistant, and they can be sold to anyone, they can be given to poor people.”

She added that it would be “wonderful for the world” to know what supplements work for people.

Prof. Kenyon called on the World Health Organization (WHO), governments, non-profit groups and philanthropists to come together and start human trials.

“We don’t know if any of them will work, but you find out,” she said.

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