In a news update on 5th December 2015 William (Bill) Faloon, co-founder and Director of the “Life Extension Foundation” a non profit organisation formed in 1980, whose long term goal is the radical extension of the human lifespan, published details and news reports of the US Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of a large-scale human study to see if Metformin ( a drug that has been used worldwide since its introduction in the UK in 1957 to treat type II diabetes) can protect against the multiple diseases of human aging.
He points out that “Life Extension Magazine® listed Metformin as one of many important offshore medications way back in 1995. And now, 20 years later, even the FDA concurs that Metformin has potential to delay the onset of degenerative disease.”
What is most significant about this announcement (besides the drug’s incredible potential implications for the future of humanity) and has caught the attention of the words media, is that it is the first time ever that the FDA has authorised any human trials on a drug with a view to establishing its potential to protect against the multiple diseases of human aging.
Up until now scientists have faced an uphill battle to get trial approval because there are so many spurious claims of ‘anti-aging’ technologies and therapies on the market.
Dr Robert Temple, deputy director of the FDA said: “Their hope is that a wide variety of age related problems, loss of muscle tone, dizziness, falls, dementia, loss of eyesight, all of those things ” (could be eliminated).
“That would be something never done before. If you really are doing something to alter ageing the population of interest is everybody. It surely would be revolutionary if they can bring it off.”
The Telegraph says that “The new clinical trial called Targeting Aging with Metformin, or TAME, is scheduled to begin in the US next winter. Scientists from a range of institutions are currently raising funds and recruiting 3,000 70 to 80 year olds who have, or are risk of, cancer, heart disease and dementia. They are hoping to show that drug slows the ageing process and stops disease.”
How Does Metformin Work?
The respected UK Newspaper “The Telegraph” reports that “Although it might seem like science fiction, researchers have already proven that Metformin extends the life of animals.”
According to WebMD, Metformin is currently prescribed to type 2 diabetics to help control blood sugar and prevent damage to kidney, blindness, nerve problems and loss of limbs and sexual functions. It also lessens risk of heart attack or stroke.
Without getting too technical, according to “diabetesincontrol.com” Research from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center reveals that Metformin, “the drug most commonly used in Type 2 diabetics who don’t need insulin works on a much more basic level than once thought, treating persistently elevated blood sugar — the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes — by regulating the genes that control its production.”
They added that “Metformin, introduced as frontline therapy for uncomplicated Type 2 diabetes in the 1950s, up until now was believed to work by making the liver more sensitive to insulin. The Hopkins study shows, however, that metformin bypasses the stumbling block in communication and works directly in the liver cells.”
What the Experts Have Said
The various articles I list in the sources section below have quoted the reaction and comments from a number of World Experts on human longevity and aging. For me these comments are the most informative and exciting aspect of this landmark announcement.
Dr Jay Olshansky, University of Illinois Chicago and world leading expert on human aging “This would be the most important medical intervention in the modern era, an ability to slow aging.”
“If we can slow aging in humans, even by just a little bit, it would be monumental. People could be older, and feel young.”
Dr Simon Melov of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging added: “You’re talking about developing a therapy for a biological phenomenon which is universal and gives rise to all of these diseases. And if you’ve got a therapy for this thing, these diseases just go away.”
Professor Gordon Lithgow of the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing in California, one of the study advisers.
“If you target an ageing process and you slow down ageing then you slow down all the diseases and pathology of ageing as well,” he said “That’s revolutionary. That’s never happened before”.
“I have been doing research into ageing for 25 years and the idea that we would be talking about a clinical trial in humans for an anti-ageing drug would have been though inconceivable…20 years ago aging was a biological mystery. Now we are starting to understand what is going on.”
“But there is every reason to believe it’s possible. The future is taking the biology that we’ve now developed and applying it to humans. 20 years ago ageing was a biological mystery. Now we are starting to understand what is going on.”
Stephanie Lederman, executive director of the American Federation for Aging Research in New York, who is also involved in the trial added: “The perception is that we are all looking for a fountain of youth. We want to avoid that; what we’re trying to do is increase health span, not look for eternal life.”
“However if their trial performs as promised, experts say slowing ageing would be a ‘public health revolution’.”
My Final Comment
After quoting all those experts I feel humbled. But I just wanted to say that I am incredibly excited that I am now reading more frequent research updates and announcements such as this, and I can feel that the pace of progress in increasing human life expectancy is growing rapidly, even exponentially.
Anti aging medicine is becoming a reality no longer considered to be science fiction.
I will publish updates more frequently to keep you informed and excited.
I urge you all to make sure you are in the best possible shape to maximise the benefits you personally are able to receive by by living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining your well being.
All the information you need to do this is contained in the articles and posts on my website. www.designyournewlife
Main sources for information used in this article include: