David Sinclair, molecular biologist and genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, is trying to develop a pill that will extend human life and reduce “heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.” But not only is he developing it, he’s also testing it on himself and even his loved ones.
Specifically, he’s researching and testing a chemical called resveratol which is found naturally in grapes and cocoa. Unfortunately, you can’t get enough resveratol by simply drinking wine and eating chocolate. “You would need to drink hundreds of glasses of red wine a day,” said Sinclair, a treatment which would cause more harm than good. Instead, he takes a pill with 1,000 milligrams of resveratol every morning.
Resveratol activates a protein called SIRT1, which is said to regulate life span. But some scientists doubt the abilities of Sinclair’s pill, calling it an “elixir” and “overhyped.”
It does sound too good to be true, but to be fair medicine has greatly expanded humans’ lifespans and quality of life over the past few decades. And Sinclair’s vision for the future is extremely enticing. “People will be healthy throughout most of their lives. They’ll be eighty years old and still active. They could play tennis and hang out with their grandchildren. You see some people like that now, but we can expect the majority of people to look like that when these medicines are available,” said Sinclair.
Currently, Sinclair is trying to get the FDA to approve a clinical trial on combating aging itself.