Researchers from Russia and Sweden have made a breakthrough in slowing down aging. They successfully demonstrated that aging can be slowed down in mice when treated with an antioxidant compound. The study was published in the journal Aging.
Mitochondria are basically the powerstations of cells. It is known that mitochondria produce toxic by products call free radicals (or reactive oxygen species) that contribute to the cellular aging process.
The researchers in this study targeted mitochondria in cells with an artificial antioxidant compound called SkQ1. This compound was developed in the Moscow State University in Russia.
Fast Aging Mice
The study used a special strain of genetically-engineered mice created and characterized in Sweden. This strain of mice had a mutation that caused their mitochondria to mutate quickly. As a result, these mice age fast. They live less than one year (the normal mouse life span is over 2 years.)
Starting at the age of 100 days, these mice were treated with small doses of SkQ1 in their drinking water. A control group of mice only received pure water instead of SkQ1.
The hypothesis was that SkQ1 would protect these mice from the toxic byproducts of mitochondria. As a results, this would slow down aging in these mice.
That was exactly what they saw and was clearly evident around the age of 200-250 days in these mice.
The control group receiving only water aged quickly as expected. They started to exhibit typical symptoms of aging such as:
– increased weight loss
– decreased body temperature
– severe curvature of the spine (as a result of osteoporosis)
– thinner skins
– impaired estrus cycles in females
– decreased mobility and oxygen consumption
Aging Dramatically Slowed Down
However, aging in the mice receiving SkQ1 dramatically decreased. Moreover, some aging traits did not even appear in these mice.
The breakthrough in this study could lead to “anti-aging” drugs developed for humans.
In fact, a drug based on SkQ1 has already been approved and is being sold in Russia. The drug has already passed phase 2 clinical trials in US. The drug is administered in the form of eye drops. Another form is currently being developed as an oral drug.
If these clinical trials have positive results, you could be able to buy “anti aging” drugs in about 2-3 years!
Improved health-span and lifespan in mtDNA mutator mice treated with the mitochondrially targeted antioxidant SkQ1. Irina G. Shabalina, Mikhail Yu. Vyssokikh, Natalia Gibanova, Robert I. Csikasz, Daniel Edgar, Anne Hallden-Waldemarson, Zinaida Rozhdestvenskaya, Lora E. Bakeeva, Valeria B. Vays, Antonina V. Pustovidko, Maxim V. Skulachev, Barbara Cannon, Vladimir P. Skulachev Jan Nedergaard, Aging, http://www.aging-us.com/article/101174/text