Scientists Reversed The Biological Age Of Humans In Groundbreaking New Study
A new study suggests a window of opportunity for scientists seeking to study the reversal of aging, according to The Independent.
Volunteers who were given a mixture of drugs for a year actually “aged backwards,” losing an average of 2.5 years from their biological ages, the new study found. The research showed that the marks on their genomes that represent their “epigenetic clock,” as well as their immune systems, improved despite the passage of time.
“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. “That felt kind of futuristic.”
The study was done with a limited number of participants, however. Only nine people took the drug cocktail and there was no control group. If further research confirms the initial study’s findings, then it could have huge impacts on healthcare, the treatment of disease, and how people think about aging.
The nine participants were given a growth hormone and two diabetes medications. Scientists then monitored the test subjects’ epigenetic clocks to understand the effect on how they aged.
The epigenetic clock is measured by the body’s epigenome, a record of chemical changes to an organism’s DNA. As people age, chemical modifications or tags are added to people’s DNA, which change throughout a person’s life.
Professor Horvatch found that the four different measures of the epigenetic clock he looked into had reversed significantly, prompting him to be optimistic about the results given the limited number of participants.
Scientists hope to confirm the study’s findings with more people, through a controlled study, and with different age groups, ethnicities, and with women.