Posted by Ayurdhi Dhar on October 08, 2009

In a new study conducted by Graz University scientists in Austria, it has been found that a compound called spermidine, which is found is human sperms, could be the next step in the fight against aging.

This compound helps fight aging by slowing the process itself, and thus increases longevity in flies, mice, yeast, worms, and most importantly human blood cells, by protecting them from getting damaged.

Reversing the damage
Researchers have said that aging takes place when autophagy, that is the process of repairing or recycling the damaged cells of parts of cells, no longer happens properly. This process maintains a balance in the growth and regeneration of cells.

Their claim is strengthened by the fact that with age, the concentration of spermidine reduces in the human body.

The scientists found that adding spermidine led to suppression of various aging processes in the cells. It reduces free radicals and increases the life span of the cells.

The study and its findings
They conducted the study by applying spermidine to aging yeast cells, adding it to the diet of fruit fly and nematode worm, giving mice drinking water with spermidine in it for 200 days, and lastly comparing human blood cells treated with the compound to those which were not treated.

Research on fruit flies indicated an additional life span of 30 percent in the spermidine treated specimen than the untreated specimen.

Worms also showed a similar pattern, with an increase in life span by 15 percent.

Researcher Tony Eisenberg has called the study the "holy grail of age research".

Anti-aging pill still far-fetched
The importance of the research is unquestionable, but the claims by a British newspaper that an anti-aging pill is going to hit the markets is far from true. Even human trials cannot be seen in conceivable future.

It will take many more years of testing, short-term and long-term clinical trials, and animal studies to confirm the safety, the cost, and the side-effects of such a treatment.

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