A newly discovered drug may someday help dramatically slow muscular aging, according to BBC News.
In a study published in the journal Cell, researchers from Harvard Medical School homed in on a chemical called NAD, which naturally decreases in the body’s cells as they age. By treating mice with a chemical that their bodies were able to naturally convert into NAD, the researchers were able to effectively reverse parts of the aging process.
After just one week of receiving the medication, 2-year-old mice experienced a reversal in aging that gave them muscles equivalent to those seen in 6-month-old mice, in terms of mitochondrial function, wastage, inflammation and insulin resistance.
While researchers acknowledge that this medication isn’t a “cure-all” for aging, they believe it could make a difference in some aspects of the aging process.
“Aging is multi-factorial, it's not just one component we can fix, so it's hard to target the whole thing,” study author Dr Ana Gomes, from the department of genetics at Harvard Medical School, told BBC News. "I believe there is a lot of cross-talk in cells and energy is very important in a cell and likely to be a very big component of aging that might cause some of the other things that happen with aging."