Whether it comes in the form of creams, surgeries, or even chocolate, people always seem to be on the lookout for the next big thing to help them fight aging. But while everyone has been experimenting with anti-wrinkle treatments and “miracle” creams that promise a youthful glow, researchers have been working behind the scenes to take anti-aging technology to a whole new level: immortality.

 

Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the reality is not too far off. While researchers haven’t quite discovered the ticket to eternal life, they have been working to prove the benefits of metformin.  Metformin is a drug currently used to treat Type 2 Diabetes and can also be used to forestall illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, cognitive impairment and ultimately, death.

 

According to the researchers involved, however, comparing their work to a quest for immortality is to miss the point of the research entirely. For them, it has always been about improving quality of life. By creating a pill that can delay aging, it becomes possible to prolong an individual’s healthy years and maybe even extend their lifespan.

 

“The perception is that we are all looking for a fountain of youth,” Stephanie Lederman, Executive Director of the American Federation for Aging Research in New York, told Nature. “We want to avoid that; what we’re trying to do is increase health span, not look for eternal life.”

 

An elderly couple riding bicycles.

Researchers are preparing to meet with the FDA tomorrow in hopes of gaining approval to begin clinical trials in which the drug will be tested. (cahml.org.au)

In the event that researchers do receive the green light and prove that a drug can be used to delay aging, the entire life event will be redefined. It will be demonstrated that aging may be considered a disorder, to some extent, and can therefore be medically treated.

 

Specifically, this drug poses a question of whether or not there is a line between scientific exploration and advancement. When medicine becomes an interference of the cycle of life, has it essentially crossed that line?

 

Undoubtedly, criticism will arise and researchers will encounter a number of additional challenges during this experimentation period.  At least, however, they have started on a strong foundation by highlighting responsible motives and debunking false claims about the frivolity of their work.

 

It is still too early to understand the full repercussions of an anti-aging pill, but time will be able to reveal more answers even if it loses the power to age you.

 

Do you think an anti-aging pill should be considering ethically compromising, or do you think it should be considered an example of medical advancement like other treatments? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi