Everyday our team of researchers in Oxford are inundated with scientific, and medical research articles that have the potential to improve health, wellbeing, and longevity. In this blog we highlight a few of them that caught our attention today.
Can an old and inexpensive diabetes drug reduce your risk of death from COVID-19?
Key takeaway(s): The researchers found that among more than 600 patients with diabetes and COVID-19 the use of metformin was associated with a nearly 70% reduction in death from COVID-19. Other studies have also found similar beneficial effects of metformin on COVID-19 related mortality.
Is metformin, the inexpensive drug for diabetes, also an anti-aging drug?
Key takeaway(s): The researchers found that patients with type-2 diabetes who took metformin were 20% less likely to suffer from diabetes related complications, and they were 42% less like to die compared to the type-2 diabetes patients who were on other drugs. Type-2 diabetes patients who were obese but took metformin were less likely to die, even when compared to non-diabetic and healthy patients.
Can antioxidant supplementation prevent age-related diseases?
Why is this important: It is postulated that damage caused by oxidative stress causes or contributes to aging. If this is the case, human healthspan and lifespan could be extended by supplementation with antioxidant molecules.
Key takeaway(s): Despite the many studies involving antioxidant supplementation in humans, contrasting results continue to be produced. The genetic background and health condition of an individual may influence the effectiveness of a given antioxidant. The absorption of antioxidants by the body varies according to multiple factors including delivery method, and the effects of some of these molecules may not be related to their antioxidant capability. Altogether, this makes it challenging to evaluate the benefits of antioxidant supplementation in humans.
Obesity-induced senescence causes anxiety and impedes neurogenesis
Why is this important: Anxiety is one of the most common traits in obese patients. The two conditions can often trigger a positive-feedback loop with each exacerbating the other; weight gain leading to increased anxiety, leading to comfort eating and greater weight gain and so on. This causes a downward spiral of mental and physical health of the patient. Exploring causal pathways between the conditions is crucial to finding a treatment.
What did the researchers do: Based on the fact that recent reports have shown that eliminating senescent cells improves neurodegenerative diseases Parkinsons, the researchers in this study published in the Cell Press, hypothesised that senescence could play a role in obesity-driven anxiety. The team aimed to determine the relationship between obesity, senescence and anxiety, as well as investigating the potential of senolytic drugs, drugs that clear senescent cells, as a treatment for obesity-driven anxiety.
Key takeaway(s): It was determined that cellular senescence in glial cells in the lateral ventricle leads to increased anxiety. Clearing these senescent cells using the senolytic drugs dasatinib and quercetin, restored neurogenesis and alleviated obesity-induced anxiety like behaviour. As the researcher state this study “demonstrates the link between obesity, senescence and anxiety-like behaviour and providing critical support for the potential feasibility of administration of senolytics to treat obesity-associated anxiety-like behaviours”
Can methionine restriction extend lifespan?
Why is this important: Calorie restriction slowing down aging have been studied extensively in various model organisms. Although specific mechanisms are not properly understood, it is hypothesized that TOR pathway plays an important role. Also, in the majority of studies, low-calorie diet composition was not taken into the account.
What did the researchers do:In this article, researches measured lifespan of DrosophilaMelanogaster (common fruit fly) and their rate of reproduction, while the flies are on specific diets with a known amount of methionine intake
Key takeaway(s): Methionine restriction extends lifespan in the fruit flies, although low amino acid status in flies is a requirement. Methionine restriction did not have any effect on longevity, while flies were under conditions of high amino acid status.