According to a new study, scientists might be able to reverse the process of aging. This study is not rock-solid yet, but could have huge consequences for aging, experts say
A scientist succeeded in reducing the epigenetic clock (by two and a half years) by using a combination of growth hormone and two drugs used in diabetes medications.
“I’d expected to see slowing down of the clock, but not a reversal,” researcher Steve Horvath from the University of California, Los Angeles told Nature, which first reported the findings. “That felt kind of futuristic.”
This study was known as the TRIIM (Thymus Regeneration, Immunorestoration, and Insulin Mitigation) trial.
The study was done with a very limited number of participants: only nine people took the drug cocktail, and there was no control group. But if it is confirmed by further research it could prove to be monumental in the field.
In the study, nine healthy volunteers — all white men between 51 and 65 years old — took the drug cocktail, as part of a drug trial funded by the biomedical firm Intervene Immune in Los Angeles. The cocktail was administered many times over a year. Distinctive marks adorning the DNA suggested that participants had shed 2.5 years off their biological ages, on average.
In simpler words, if the researchers had frozen time to perform the study, the volunteers would have emerged 2.5 years “younger” than they entered.
The research was actually intended to look at how the growth hormone would change the tissue in the thymus gland.
It was only as a secondary result that the drugs changed their epigenetic clocks.
Scientists now hope to test the same effects with more people, through a controlled study, and with different age groups, ethnicities and women.