First real anti-aging drug on the horizon? Common drugs turned back body’s epigenetic clock 2.5 years in small trial

Image: Enzo
Image: Enzo

A small clinical study in California has suggested for the first time that it might be possible to reverse the body’s epigenetic clock, which measures a person’s biological age.

For one year, nine healthy volunteers took a cocktail of three common drugs — growth hormone and two diabetes medications [metformin and DHEA] — and on average shed 2.5 years of their biological ages, measured by analysing marks on a person’s genomes. The participants’ immune systems also showed signs of rejuvenation.

The results were a surprise even to the trial organizers — but researchers caution that the findings are preliminary because the trial was small and did not include a control arm.

Related article:  How old is that child? 'Epigenetic clocks' could help fight child labor, trafficking and improve age records on immigrant children

“I’d expected to see slowing down of the clock, but not a reversal,” says geneticist Steve Horvath.

Researchers are already testing metformin for its potential to protect against common age-related diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. [Researcher Gregory] Fahy says that the three drugs in the cocktail might contribute separately to the effect on biological ageing through unique mechanisms. Intervene Immune is planning a larger study that will include people of different age groups and ethnicities, and women.

Read full, original post: First hint that body’s ‘biological age’ can be reversed

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