We all hear ‘hope you live to be 100’ at least one time during our birthdays. It seems like this milestone is a difficult one to reach, especially considering all of the health implications on an aging population.
Heart disease, cancer, neuro-cognitive degeneration and respiratory problems are among the biggest medical conditions for people after the age of 50.
As according to the Office for National Statistics in the U.K, men’s life expectancy is at 78.8 years old, vs. women’s is 82.8 years old.
But what if someone told you one could live up to 110 years old? What about 120?
That’s quite a shocking statement for one to internalize and actually consider to be true. But this is exactly what science has come up with, and is testing whether it could actually be true.
Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) is a new study which will be conducting a clinical trial with people between ages of 70-80 who are at risk of several health issues, like cardiovascular disease, different cancers, and different kinds of dementia.
This study will not check to stop aging altogether but will try to replicate the findings of slowing aging and increasing longevity. Previous trials in different species of worms, mice, and pigs have proven to such results.
This study presents a revolutionary period of avoiding the treatment of diseases in an isolated manner, but looks at the underlying common reasons between all – that is, aging. This is now known as geoscience, and it has caught the attention of doctors worldwide.
Metformin is an inexpensive generic drug used to treat patients suffering from diabetes type 2, which indicates an overproduction of sugar in the liver.
The drug’s function entails enabling an enzyme which improves the way our bodies handle insulin and subsequently lowers the levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood.
Higher levels of these cause the aforementioned diseases, which reveals why metformin has been this successful in previous trials. In addition, the drug induces a higher release of oxygen molecules into the brain, inevitably affecting the progression of cognitive damage that comes with age.
When tested in worms, it was noticed there was no sign of wrinkles, their speed of movement did no slow down, and they stayed healthy longer in addition to slower aging. When treating mice, it was found they lived 40% longer and maintained better bone strength.
The most shocking statistic is one derived from a Cardiff University study, which came to the conclusion that Metformin patients who were suffering from diabetes 2, lived an average 8 years longer in comparison to their disease-free counterparts.
In cases of cancer, Metformin has been used in studies targeting 17 different organs. The cancers have either been spontaneous or induced and tested on 21 different strains of mice and rats.
The findings showed that tumor progression was slowed down through the activation of the AMPK enzyme by the use of the drug, and 86% of the studies showed that it clearly inhibited cancer development.
Heart attacks, which happen due to atherosclerosis – the hardening of the arteries through the accumulation of fat in the arterial walls, could also find use with Metformin. The drug enhances the resistance of endothelial cells to fat poisoning, which helps dissolve the accumulated fat, and allows the blood to flow through the arteries and be pumped in and out of the heart.
Heart attack patients have been treated with the drug, and subsequently experienced a 75% reduction in the risk of dying after 30 days and a 68% decrease in the risk of dying 12 months after the attack.
The brain organ is highly susceptible to sugar and is of particular importance in diseases like Alzheimer’s, who has also been regarded as Type III diabetes. Other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s which come as a result of an accumulation of misfolded proteins in the brain could also use the benefits of the drug.
When used, it dissolves the sugar and the accumulated proteins in the brain, prevents future accumulation, and equally as important prevents the loss of dopamine – the happiness hormone.
These results were rather intriguing and caught doctors’ attention, considering mass human trials which could lead to the wonder drug to be prescribed routinely.
This research breakthrough has also caught the media’s attention, with Fox News broadcasting Dr. Evelyn Minaya speaking about the study and its possibly miraculous results.
Whether or not these results will be conclusive of a longer and healthier life is expected to be found out with the results of the TAME study. Up until that point, the drug is only safely used when prescribed to Type II diabetes patients only.