Anti-Aging Magic Bullet?
What if you could pop a pill that would pretty much stop the clock – or at least slow down the ravages of time? That sounds like a distant dream, but longevity scientists, including those involved in so-called "senescence research," say they are edging closer to finding a drug or some other treatment that could turn off the cells responsible for bringing on age-related diseases and decline.
A May 14th article in the New York Times quoted Felipe Sierra, director of the Division of Aging Biology at the National Institute on Aging as saying, "It's not just that we're trying to make people live longer; we're trying to make people live healthier. This is an exciting time for research."
The NYT story went on to report that "signs of progress are abundant in medical journals," and listed such studies as a Mayo Clinic report in Science magazine about a drug that attacked senescent cells in mice and another project done at Harvard that controlled the aging process by targeting telomeres. Calorie restriction is also in the news again as is a supplement with resveratrol, the highly-touted ingredient in red wine.
Controversy abounds, however, and none of the studies has yet to be replicated in humans. As Sierra himself told the NYT, "People forget that we're not mice . . . I don't have a tail. I don't have whiskers, and I won't take anything until we have good studies in humans showing a drug is safe and effective."
Looks as though for the foreseeable future, our "magic bullet" will have to continue to be a healthy lifestyle. So lace up those running shoes, skip dessert, and enjoy your red wine in moderation. Cheers!