Posted on May 13, 2019, 6 p.m.
Anti-aging science is gaining more publicity due to breakthroughs in genetic engineering and other discoveries that are pushing the boundaries of what was once only thought of as science fiction making them a very possible reality.
Futurologists say that immortality is a real possibility, but most scientists believe that delaying aging and age related diseases which in turn will extend health and lifespan is not only more ethical but more achievable, thus research into this science is booming.
According to cbinsights.com in 2017 longevity biotech firms received around $800 million in funding compared to less than half of that in 2014. “In the past decade we have made a major discovery, we have proven that you can slow the ageing process using drugs.” says Gerontologist Richard Miller of the University of Michigan.
However the process of taking a drug through clinical trials can take 7+ years, and the majority of these trials fail to get approved past animal studies for one reason or another. Some people are willing to dabble in these anti-aging medicines and other processes that have yet to be approved by the FDA despite any possible risk, these people are called biohackers. “We know biohacking happens all the time, there’s a lot of DIY,” says Lynne Cox of the University of Oxford.
Although possible cures for aging seem to be on the horizon, biohackers feel the science is there and don’t want to wait. From taking off label pills, to unregulated blood transfusions biohackers are willing to go forward with processes shown to work in animal studies with little to no harm, and use the unapproved processes on themselves.
Parabiosis/ young blood is the practice of transfusing blood from a younger donor to an older recipient. This process has shown incredible rejuvenation promise in animal studies. However citing concerns that some people may be receiving rogue blood transfusions the US FDA issued stark warnings to clinics offering these treatments saying “Such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them and are potentially harmful.”
Other hacks showing incredible promise in studies include drugs such as metformin which has been shown to increase lifespan in animal studies, and spermididne has been shown to restore mitochondrial function in older mice. The senolytic combination of dasatinib and quercetin are being studied for their use in removing toxic senescent cells from the body before them become dangerous, the cocktail worked so well in animal studies it is now in their first human clinical trials.
Some are concerned of those using these methods before they are approved, “I’m deeply worried about biohackers because if somebody dies taking a senolytic it’s going to damage the field for quite some time,” Prof Cox added.
Research is showing that we will be able to extend the average lifespan making us live healthier for longer. In the meantime for any wanting to take measures to extend healthspan there are things you can do now that have been proven to help time and time again such as intermittent fasting, exercise, managing stress, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol, avoiding processed foods and added sugars, and following a healthy balanced diet full of organic produce.
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