Friday, September 24, 2010

Fountain of youth pill 'just two years from shop shelves'

It may sound like science fiction but researchers believe they have discovered the 'Holy Grail' - an anti-ageing pill that will add decades to our lives.

Furthermore its creator Professor Vladimir Skulachev said it should be available to the public within two years

The Russian scientist from Moscow State University, said the drug works by halting the damaging effects that oxygen can have on the body's cells.

This would stave off dangerous age-related illnesses thereby adding years to our lives.

The dream of eternal life has been woven into numerous myths over thousands of years. According to legend, the Holy Grail - a cup that was supposedly used by Jesus at the Last Supper - would give immortality to whoever drank from it.

But while many may dismiss the 69-year-old's claims as outlandish, his findings have been backed up by the international scientific community including Nobel prize winner Dr Gunter Blobel.

Dr Blobel from Rockefeller University said: 'It has been shown that oxidative damage is huge. But we do not have an anti-oxidant of the type that Professor Skulachev has developed.

'He is clearly the world's best bio-chemist and bio-energetic scientist.'

The cells in our bodies need oxygen to exchange energy but oxygen can also cause cells to die if it takes on active and poisonous forms.

Natural anti-oxidants have been found to help slow this fatal process but are not strong enough to have a lasting impact.

Professor Skulachev said: 'Ninety-nine per cent of the time oxygen turns into harmless water, but there's that one percent that turns into a super-oxide that later turns into very poisonous elements.

'So the task was to find an anti-oxidant that stops that process.'

Professor Skulachev said he has created innovative anti-oxidants nicknamed 'Skulachev's ions' after 40 years of hard work.

They neutralise the dangerous form of oxygen inside the cells and have been designed to travel to within a few nanometers of the position where they will have most impact in the cell.

The professor said the most difficult part of the process has been trying to prevent any side effects.

However, he said thousands of people have registered to take part in human trials and that the treatment will be available after around two more years of clinical testing.

In previous work the professor received acclaim for showing how special anti-oxidants could double the average lifespan of mice and keep them healthier for longer.

He has also created synthesised eye drops that restored sight to a group of blind horses, dogs and rabbits.

Professor Skulachev even used himself as a human guinea-pig and removed a cataract from one of his eyes.

Biologist Maksim Skulachav, son of Professor Vladimir Skulachav said: 'Finally, we hope that we will manage to convince people that a single pill treats many threats of ageing. So, it must be doing something with the ageing itself.

'Then, if authorities will accept this logic, maybe we could somehow market it as anti-ageing drug.' 

via Fountain of youth pill 'just two years from shop shelves' | Mail Online.

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