The life expectancy of girls born today is 82.8. For boys, it’s 78.8. But a group of scientists believes they may be able to extend humans’ life expectancy by one third, making it a whopping 120 years. How? With a cheap diabetes pill.
Metformin has been on the market for years as a diabetes drug. One of the things it does is increase the oxygen in a cell, which seems to boost the cell’s longevity. Clinical trials have already proven that metformin can increase the lifespan of certain animals. Anecdotal evidence suggests it may do the same with humans. At Cardiff University, researchers noted that diabetes patients who took metformin were outliving their peers who didn’t have diabetes, despite the fact that people with diabetes have shorter life expectancies.
The FDA has now approved trials to see if metformin can truly increase lifespans in humans. If it is successful, scientists believe it will not only help humans live longer, but also healthier lives. They think a person’s 70s could become their new 50s. They hope the treatment will improve everything from mobility to memory, even decreasing risks of heart disease and cancers.
“If you target an ageing process and you slow down ageing, then you slow down all the diseases and pathology of ageing as well. That’s revolutionary,” said Professor Gordon Lithgow, from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
Another bonus of metformin is how inexpensive it is, costing just $0.15 a day which comes out to under $55 a year.