A pill which could radically extend the human lifespan is being tested on animals in Russia - and showing remarkable success, according to the Moscow State University researchers.
The treatment - a new antioxidant - could extend human lifespans to 120 by slowing down the onset of age-related illness, its maker claims.
He says it proves that anti-ageing treatments are ‘technically possible’.
The pill is an antioxidant - similar to Vitamins C, E and A - but has shown significant results in slowing down typical diseases of ageing such as heart disease and cancer.
The team, led by Dr Maxim Skulachev, claims that the chemical is a ‘new type of antioxidant’, which acts on the mitochondria, the parts of human cells which he believes ‘trigger the ageing process’.
Skulachev claims that ‘A lot of ageing diseases developed much slower,’ in his test subjects, which have so far included rats, mice, fish and dogs.'
Skulachev claims that by targeting his drug on the mitochondria - a part of cells which generate much of each cell’s chemical energy, it’s possible to slow the onset of age-related diseases we think of as inevitable.
Many people already take antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin C as heath supplements, believing they improve heathy by ridding the body of free radicals.
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However, thus far, large-scale studies have shown no effect on mortality from antioxidant vitamins,
Skulachev says, ‘I don't believe we will be able to live to 800. Most probably, some new disease will emerge, let's say, a typical disease for a 120-year-old.
'That was the case with cancer, which was a rare disease when ancient people died much younger.'
'If it turns out that diseases develop more slowly, our idea to fight aging through mitochondria is the right one, added Dr Skulachev, 'It will be possible to postpone old age.'
'The mitochondria are to be blamed for heart attacks, they are linked to diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's,' he said.