Ever dream of living to 100? Well, dream bigger: a new drug may permit you to live up to 150 while staying relatively physically young and active.
Touted by some as the new longevity miracle drug of the 21st Century, the amazing life-extending compound was discovered in common, everyday red wine.
Professor Peter J. Smith of New South Wales University in Australia, one of the original researchers into the property of the organic chemical called resveratrol, calls it the elixir of life.
The Fountain of Youth in your wine glass
While you won't get any younger or halt your aging by guzzling down bottles of red vino everyday, the synthetic versions of resveratrol are concentrated and have been shown to have a significant anti-aging effect. The key to the wonder chemical is its ability to charge up the activity of a special protein in the body known as SIRT1. It's the boost to that protein that makes Smith and other medical researchers believe that resveratrol will give humans significantly longer and healthier lives. Increased sirtuin production is known to extend life.
You won't have to wait decades for it either. Forms of the syntetic drug are expected to become available on the market by 2016.
“The aim is not just to eke out extra existence but to facilitate a longer healthy life," Smith told UK newspaper The Express. "We just don’t want to live longer, we want to live longer well. And these drugs will help with the regeneration of cells, regeneration of processes in the body, so we expect people will live well, much longer.”
David Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard University, told the Telegraph that despite popular belief, aging might not be an "irreversible affliction".
Sinclair emphasized that “Now we are looking at whether there are benefits for those who are already healthy. Things there are also looking promising…Some of us could live to 150, but we won't get there without more research."
For more than 17 years MIT Professor Leonard Guarente relentlessly gathered data proving a link between caloric intake and longevity. Called by some the father of resveratrol, Guarente discovered the compound and has shown how the protein works to extend life and boost health.
"Guarente and others believe that drugs that boost sirtuin production could help fight diseases of aging such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s, improving health in later life and potentially extending lifespan. Drugs that promote sirtuin production are now in clinical trials in diabetes patients, with results expected next year." [MIT]
Treats an array of diseases
Some researchers consider aging a disease, one that resveratrol might treat. Other diseases that the organic chemical seems to treat are cancer, cardiovascular disease and heart failure, diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, sleep disorders and inflammatory related diseases, among others.