Coenzyme gives hope to eternal youth

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Coenzyme gives hope to eternal youth

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have discovered that a coenzyme not only slows down the aging process of cells, but actually reverses them. The discovery awakens hope for eternal youth again.

Dream of eternal youth The dream of eternal youth has existed since time immemorial. Over time, people came up with various, sometimes crazy ideas to extend life. Freezing yourself and then defrosting later is one of the most bizarre considerations. In contrast, methods such as gene therapy or hormone replacement appeared to be somewhat more down-to-earth. But American scientists have now discovered that it may be much easier to reverse aging.

New from old Researchers at the Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and other researchers from Portugal and Australia have discovered that a coenzyme that uses nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to make old cells young again. NAD is an enzyme that transports protons and electrons from one cell corner to the other as an “information shuttle”. This has long been known to science. There is a lot of NAD in the body to ensure this essential process of metabolism. However, it has now turned out that the quantity plays an important role.

Coenzyme reverses cell aging process A team led by prominent age researcher David Sinclair found out. In experiments on mice, the scientists have found that an increased concentration of NAD not only slows down the aging process, but can even reverse it, i.e. reverse it. They report this in a contribution in the specialist magazine "Cell". ("") NAD has a positive effect on the function of the mitochondrium, the "energy power plant" of the cell, and thus the life of a cell can be extended.

Signs of aging recede The cell organelles lose their creative power with increasing age and so the researchers write in the "Cell" article: "One of the most conserved and robust phenomena in biology is a progressive decline in mitochondrial function with age. This leads to a loss of cellular balance and health. ”With the help of NAD, however, both could be restored. The signs of aging regress after just one week if a preliminary stage of NAD is added to the cells. The cells of two-year-old mice resembled those of a six-month-old mouse after an NAD cure.

Anti-aging from the tap However, there is still a problem with the administration of NAD. When it comes to slowing down the aging process, it makes a significant difference whether the cells are single cells or, as in humans, the entire organism. In a follow-up experiment, Sinclair and his colleagues plan to supply NAD mice with the drinking water. The hope is to use this anti-aging agent from the tap to slow the development of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's or diabetes.

Treatment of people far away However, the treatment of people is currently still a long way off. “However, based on what we know today, it shouldn't be the case that a drug should be taken from the age of 20 until death. It seems enough to start with when we're older, ”said Ana Gomes, one of the study's authors. However, it is crucial that humans are not yet so old that damage has occurred. According to the scientist, getting older could be a lot more pleasant if you started taking it around the age of 40. However, this is currently only a guess, which has to be substantiated by corresponding study results. (ad)

Picture: S.G.S. /

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