One should bear in mind that many biochemists and physicians do not recommend taking any drugs and supplements exclusively for life-extension purposes, and that there is preliminary evidence that many of these can potentially have adverse effects on healthy persons.
Contrary to many (hypo) critical reviews on life-extension research, the fact that anti-aging products generate about $50 billion a year in the US alone proves otherwise. Our insatiable lust for life is self-evident. For the first time in human history we have a chance to cross the threshold of naturally set boundaries of individual existence.
Many treatments are available these days that are proven trough clinical trials to extend the lifespan of mice. Unlike tests conducted with yeast, fruit flies and worms, these are more promising treatments, since mouse, as a mammal and a higher order animal that shares 99% of genetic similarity with humans, is much closely related to us. On top of that, some people take these drugs on regular basis, but considering the length of our lives, it is difficult to obtain any conclusive results about their efficiency in humans, at least for the time being. One should bear in mind that many biochemists and physicians do not recommend taking any drugs and supplements exclusively for life-extension purposes, and that there is preliminary evidence that many of these can potentially have adverse effects on healthy persons.
Just for informative purposes, these are some of the drugs commonly believed to prolong human lifespan and provide healthier living in advanced age:
1. Synthetic Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
HDH deficiency, naturally occurring with age, is connected with the reduction of muscle and bone mass. Synthetic HGH is believed to regenerate human tissue and help fighting some of the manifestations of aging; however, it does not directly help extending lifespan. It is not recommended for persons under the age of 30.
2. Melatonin and other drugs fighting free radicals
Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant used by physicians as a treatment for a wide range of diseases which also helps fight free radicals in our bodies. Since some studies have shown that caloric-restriction (CR) helps prolonging life up to 50% and it stimulates natural production of melatonin in gastrointestinal tract, by connecting dots, researchers have come to conclusion that melatonin can also have life-extension properties. Similar properties were exhibited by enzymes called sirtuins and pheromones called daumone, but no drugs have yet been developed based on these research. Tests with synthetic small molecules, which could be developed as drugs showed they can trigger production of sirtuins in mice, which as a consequence improved their health and extended their lifespan. Rasveratrol, which functions on a similar way, was mostly dismissed as a potential therapy for life-extension, since many trials have proven it does not have any obvious rejuvenating qualities.
Metfomin is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes, but it has some properties which can slow the aging process and improver the healthspan in mice. It can do so by mimicking “some of the benefits of calorie restriction” and by increasing antioxidant protection, which indicates that “these action may contribute to the beneficial effects of metformin on helthspan and lifespan”, according to an article published on nature.com.
There are many other drugs out there which help fight aging processes, by enhancing cognitive capacities of elderly persons, and reducing other degenerative mechanisms related to aging, such as acetyl-l-carnitine, centrophenoxine, and deprenyl, but their direct contribution to the overall healthspan and lifespan in particular have not been proven. Many other promising drugs and supplement treatments circulating among life extensionists have not been mentioned here. Many of them are still under the microscope, for not being able to produce any conclusive evidence on a short run or because of their potential to generate some serious side-effects, but there will be time to discuss them as well. Several others are in various stages of development, and we are looking forward to see how their clinical trials will come through.