A new study led by researchers from Harvard and MIT may offer important advances in the quest to reverse the effects of aging, reports the Boston Globe. In a report published Thursday, researchers believe they have found a new tool in the field of study aimed at discovering ways to combat age-related frailty and diseases.
David Sinclair, a senior author of the study and a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School explains that as people age, their blood vessels lose the capacity to deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscles—this results in loss of endurance. He believes that NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) could increase life expectancy, restoring energy and vitality in humans. This naturally occurring compound is said to strengthen metabolism, cardiovascular functions, and cell maintenance.
In the study, 18-month-old mice treated with NMN for two months experienced a 56 percent to 80 percent increase in endurance. Mice that were 32 months old—equivalent to humans in their 80s—experienced the same effects. Sinclair believes this study is significant.
“It’s definitely going against the natural process of aging, which I think is one of the most important things humans need to work on, just like working against cancer or Alzheimer’s,” he says.
Although it is too soon to expect any benefits for humans, the team is in the first stage of a trial that is testing NMN in people.