Have scientists discovered a way to reverse ageing?

Youthful skinIn what will sound exciting news to many, researchers at the University of Harvard and University of NSW in Australia have discovered what may become the answer to the never-ending fight against ageing, potentially making existing anti-ageing treatments such as Botox a thing of the past.

A scientific study into the use of a chemical compound has so far proven to reverse the age of mice by three quarters.

Two-year-old mice were injected with the substance and soon showed evidence of being mice which were 6 months old, both physically and mentally. This would be the equivalent of a sixty-year-old becoming twenty again. Could this ground-breaking new research offer the highly prized elixir of eternal youth?

The research team, led by Dr Nigel Turner and Professor David Sinclair, is hoping to carry out trials on humans as early as next year.

The compound, called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is naturally occurring and so it’s anticipated that side-effects will be minimal.

The research has focused on an area of cells called mitochondria. This area of the cells is responsible for producing energy and it’s the breakdown of the communication between this and the cell nucleus that is responsible for the ageing process.

Using a slightly depressing comparison, Sinclair explains:

“The ageing process we discovered is like a married couple: when they are young, they communicate well, but over time, living in close quarters for many years, communication breaks down.

“And just like a couple, restoring communication solved the problem.”

They are hoping that clinical trials on humans will work well, and that if successful it would help to eliminate health problems associated with advancing years.

They explained that it would be several years before any kind of “magic (anti-ageing) pill” would be available, and that as it stands it would be prohibitively expensive for general use – currently around $50,000 per day for human use.

Perhaps it’s something to save up for – in the meantime we’ll stick to Botox and face creams.