Scientists found a drug that extends life by 90%, but it's not all that simple
Aging is an inevitable process characterized by a gradual decline in the functions of cells, tissues and organs. The search for ways to stop it has been going on for centuries, and a new study conducted on worms has probably brought scientists closer to unlocking the secret of, if not immortality, then a longer healthy life.
The details are described in a study published in the journal Aging. Scientists have found that a significant factor in prolonging life is the impact on mitochondria.
Mitochondria can be called power plants inside our cells. They help the body get energy from sugar, which then nourishes the cells. But there is one caveat. In the process of converting sugars into energy, mitochondria produce some waste products that accumulate and damage the mechanism inside the mitochondria. This is one of the reasons why our body begins to show signs of aging.
Studies have shown that antibiotics can affect mitochondria in such a way that they do not destroy them completely, but only slow down their work.
To investigate this phenomenon better, scientists studied a tiny worm called Caenorhabditis elegans, which has some similarities to mammals.
During the study, the worms were injected with doxycycline and azithromycin, drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
It turned out that doxycycline was indeed able to prolong the life of the worms. Moreover, there was a correlation between life extension and the dose of the drug. Thus, a lower dose allowed the worms to live 72.8% longer, and a higher dose - 63.64% longer compared to the control group of worms that did not receive any medication. The control worms lived for about 11 days, while the experimental worms lived for 19 and 18 days, depending on the dose.
The researchers also studied what happens to a pigment called lipofuscin, which increases as worms age. It turned out that a lower dose of doxycycline reduced the amount of pigment by about 50% and a higher dose by about 90%.
According to Interesting Engineering, a slightly different but also successful result was obtained in tests using azithromycin.
A lower dose prolonged the life of worms by 50%, and a higher dose by only 17% compared to worms from the control group. The control worms lived for about 12 days, while the worms that received the low dose lived for 18 days, and those that took the higher dose lived for 14 days.
"This confirms the theory that mitochondria are actively involved in the aging process, although this topic remains very controversial," the authors of the study emphasized.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA also talked about the paradox that leads to the fact that people in an airplane age more slowly.