Drugs used to flush toxic cells from the body may be the answer to reversing the frailty of old age.
James Kirkland, co-author of a paper published in the journal EBioMedicine says, “It may be possible to delay, prevent and alleviate age-related diseases”.
Nine subjects who had diabetes-related kidney disease took part in a trial carried out at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
For three days they received a medicine usually used to treat cancer and a compound found in fruits and vegetables.
The drugs resulted in a 30% fall in senescent cells in fat tissue, (ageing cells that are still alive but no longer able to divide and grow).
These cells secrete damaging chemicals as they accumulate in the body, usually as people enter their 60s.
They can remain in the body and contribute to multiple diseases as well as features of aging, ranging from heart disease to frailty and dementias.
Though the drugs used in the trial cleared the body in a couple of days, the effects on reducing the senescent cells were evident for at least 11 days.
While more research is needed, the initial results seem to indicate that senescent cell numbers can be reduced in two tissues in humans.