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Old 07-14-2009, 06:54 AM
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An Article on Increasing Life Expectancy

Tests raise life extension hopes

Rapamycin was discovered on Easter Island
A drug discovered in the soil of a South Pacific island may help to fight the ageing process, research suggests.

When US scientists treated old mice with rapamycin it extended their expected lifespan by up to 38%.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, raise the prospect of being able to slow down the ageing process in older people.

However, a UK expert warned against using the drug to try to extend lifespan, as it can suppress immunity.


We believe this is the first convincing evidence that the ageing process can be slowed and lifespan can be extended by a drug therapy starting at an advanced age.

Professor Randy Strong
University of Texas
Rapamycin was first discovered on Easter Island in the 1970s.

It is already used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients, and in stents implanted into patients to keep their coronary arteries open. It is also being tested as a possible treatment for cancer.

Researchers at three centres in Texas, Michigan and Maine gave the drug to mice at an age equivalent to 60 in humans.

The mice were bred to mimic the genetic diversity and susceptibility to disease of humans as closely as possible.

Rapamycin extended the animals' expected lifespan by between 28% and 38%.

The researchers estimated that in human terms this would be greater than the predicted increase in extra years of life, if both cancer and heart disease were prevented and cured.

Researcher Dr Arlan Richardson, of the Barshop Institute, said: "I've been in ageing research for 35 years and there have been many so-called 'anti-ageing' interventions over those years that were never successful.

"I never thought we would find an anti-ageing pill for people in my lifetime; however, rapamycin shows a great deal of promise to do just that."

Professor Randy Strong, of the University of Texas Health Science Center, said: "We believe this is the first convincing evidence that the ageing process can be slowed and lifespan can be extended by a drug therapy starting at an advanced age."

Calorie restriction

Rapamycin appears to have a similar effect to restricting food intake, which has also been shown to boost longevity.


In no way should anyone consider using this particular drug to try to extend their own lifespan, as rapamycin suppresses immunity

Dr Lynne Cox
University of Oxford
It targets a protein in cells called mTOR, which controls many processes involved in metabolism and response to stress.

The researchers had to find a way to re-formulate the drug so that it was stable enough to make it to the mice's intestines before beginning to break down.

The original aim was to begin feeding the mice at four months of age, but the delay caused by developing the new formulation meant that feeding did not start until the animals were 20 months old.

The researchers thought the animals would be too old for the drug to have any effect - and were surprised when it did.

Professor Strong said: "This study has clearly identified a potential therapeutic target for the development of drugs aimed at preventing age-related diseases and extending healthy lifespan.

"If rapamycin, or drugs like rapamycin, works as envisioned, the potential reduction in health cost will be enormous."

'Don't try it now'

Dr Lynne Cox, an expert in ageing at the University of Oxford, described the study as "exciting".

She said: "It is especially interesting that the drug was effective even when given to older mice, as it would be much better to treat ageing in older people rather than using drugs long-term through life."

However, she added: "In no way should anyone consider using this particular drug to try to extend their own lifespan, as rapamycin suppresses immunity.

"While the lab mice were protected from infection, that's simply impossible in the human population.

"What the study does is to highlight an important molecular pathway that new, more specific drugs might be designed to work on.

"Whether it's a sensible thing to try to increase lifespan this way is another matter; perhaps increasing health span rather than overall lifespan might be a better goal."

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Old 07-14-2009, 09:25 AM
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Re: Increasing Life Expectancy.

thanks for an interesting and informative post

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Old 07-14-2009, 04:25 PM
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Re: Increasing Life Expectancy.

like often they found out by accident
Quote:
The decision to feed the drug to very old mice was the result of a "fortunate accident".

At first, the researchers found that simply adding the drug to the animals' feed wasn't translating into high levels of their blood.

They needed to imprison the chemical in a capsule, timed to dissolve within a mouse's digestive system and it took a year to develop this delivery system.

Meanwhile, the mice that had been assigned to the study were getting on a bit.

That would normally lower the odds that any chemical would successfully boost their survival, but it gave rapamycin the opportunity to show what it could do.

The delay meant that the eventual results were all the more impressive.

Less fortuitously, the groups in the Michigan and Texas laboratories made an error in feeding the mice. They used different formulations of chow for the rapamycin and the control groups, so that the mice ate slightly different diets before the 600-day mark. Harrison openly admits the error ("we thought they were the same"), and he notes that in these labs, the males who ate rapamycin already had lower death rates than those who didn't before the point when they started eating the drug.

Based on these errors, it would be difficult to say conclusively if the animals' longer lives were the result of rapamycin or some other nutritional advantage. Thankfully, Harrison's own group at the Jackson Laboratory, saved the day. They raised all of their mice on exactly the same food before rapamycin was added to the mix, and they also saw that the drug extended lifespan. The female mice from all three labs add extra rigour to the results - their lifespans only started diverging once one group began their rapamycin diets.

So despite an unfortunate feeding mistake, the results still seem solid. Still, there are many questions to be answered, not least of which is what happens if you start giving mice the drug at a younger age. Harrison, Strong and Miller are starting to find out. They have begun to feed rapamycin capsules to mice at just 270 days of age and so far, these animals are also dying at lower rates than their peers.

These experiments will tell us more about the maximum benefit that rapamycin can provide. For now, the fact that the drug extends life even at old age is itself a heartening result. In a related editorial, Matt Kaeberlein writes, "The results... provide a reason for optimism that, even during middle age, there's still time to change the road you're on."

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Old 10-07-2009, 08:27 PM
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Re: Increasing Life Expectancy.

i myself have stopped eating beef because it taxes the colon
and makes it work harder than it suppose to.
i eat more vegetables and fruits than meat, obesity runs in my
family and i take perventative to stay at a healthy weight.
love the info

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Old 10-07-2009, 08:42 PM
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Re: Increasing Life Expectancy.

and something found a little closer to home ;p

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A new study by scientists at Graz University found that spermidine, a compound that is found in sperm, slows ageing processes and increases longevity in yeast, flies, worms and mice, as well as human blood cells, by protecting cells from damage.

Cell ageing happens when a natural process called autophagy – a sort of cellular cannibalism whereby damaged cells or parts of cells are recycled – goes wrong.

Spermidine concentration has been shown to decline with age.

Adding spermidine suppressed various processes associated with ageing, as well as reducing free radicals and increasing lifespan. Treated fruit flies lived 30 per cent longer than untreated ones, while worms lived 15 per cent longer.

While one researcher, Tobias Eisenberg, has been quoted as saying that this is the "holy grail of age research", and a British newspaper has prophesied the coming of a “wonder pill that could extend lifespan by up to 25 years”, the truth is that human trials, let alone treatment, are a very long way off.

In an article titled “Key to a long life found (again)”, the patient information website NHS Choices points out that while this is an exciting area for future research, it will take many more years of study including lab tests and further animal trials before it can be safely tested on humans.

The article also points out that this is at least the second elixir of eternal youth that has been 'discovered' in the last few months.
SOURCE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...g-process.html

Funny because I was watching a new thing on BBC iPlayer (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ory_Episode_1/
) and they were quizzing an expert on anti-ageing.
The link is probably only for people in the UK but if you can watch it, do so! It's funny as hell without taking the piss.. it does star Reginald D Hunter!

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