Scientists find potential key to prolonging life

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Researchers at the National Institute of Health discovered that activating a protein called sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) extends lifespan, delays age-related metabolic diseases, and improves health in mice. The findings could lead to drugs that help people become healthier and live longer. =

For the study, researchers tested the effects of a small molecule that activates SIRT1, called SIRT1720, on the health and lifespan of mice. The mice were fed a standard diet supplemented with 100mg/kg SRT1720 from 6 months of age for the remainder of their lives.

The results showed that SRT1720 significantly extended the average lifespan of mice by 8.8-percent. Supplementation also reduced body weight and body fat percentage, and improved muscle function and motor coordination. In further studies the researchers found that SRT1720 supplementation decreased total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels, which might help protect against heart disease and help prevent diabetes. Supplementation also had anti-inflammatory effects, which is thought to contribute to aging and age-related diseases.

“Here, we show for the first time that a synthetic SIRT1 activator extends lifespan and improves healthspan of mice fed a standard diet," study leader Dr. Rafael de Cabo was quoted as saying. “It illustrates that we can develop molecules that ameliorate the burden of metabolic and chronic diseases associated with aging.”

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