Long Life and Health
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Aging Mental Health

Take These Antiaging Drugs and Live Longer!

A new study suggests that so-called antiaging drugs work best if they are taken for a short period of time when we are young.

Rapamycin is an antiaging drug that has been showing significant promise and has gotten a lot of attention in the world of antiaging medicine. In several peer-reviewed clinical studies, rapamycin has been shown to significantly extend the lifespan of mice.

The drug is approved and used as an anti-rejection drug for transplant patients. It has yet to be tested for the same longevity results achieved in mice as in humans, because of its known ability to reduce the immune response and the problems that could present to enrollees in such trials.

However, a group of German scientists is wondering about side-stepping those fears by suggesting the use of low doses of rapamycin for a very short period of time early in life, and seeing if the same kinds of life extension seen in mice and worms would translate to humans.  

“At the doses used clinically, rapamycin can have undesirable side-effects, but for the use of the drug in the prevention of age-related decline, these need to be absent or minimal,” said lead investigator on the study, Paula Juricic. “Therefore, we wanted to find out when and how long we need to give rapamycin in order to achieve the same effects as lifelong treatment.”

The first experiments looked at a species of fruit fly commonly used in antiaging research because its short lifespan offers good insights into the effects of any specific life-extending intervention. The striking findings revealed that giving the flies rapamycin for a short period of time in the first few days of their lives was just as effective at extending lifespan as chronic lifelong administration.

The researchers then tested their theory on the mice models and found similar life-extending results in giving rapamycin to very young mice.

According to the researchers, these findings mean antiaging drugs such as rapamycin could be more effective when administered for brief periods at younger ages. As most aging issues begin to accumulate in adulthood, it may be that antiaging drugs given in early adulthood, when the first signs of aging start to appear, could offer the most effective long-term improvements to lifespan, rather than taking an antiaging drug later in life when age-related degradation has already taken hold. 

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