A new study published by Aging Cell reveals that rilmenidine, a hypertension drug, is proved to decline aging in worms, which can eventually lead to elongated and healthier lives for humans.
Previous study has also shown rilmenidine and its positive effect on a handful of animals. Rimenidine was able to diminish accessible energy while continuing to keep nutrition, which has been viewed to expand lifespan. Although scientists cannot yet prove if this is applicable to humans, they are continuing to study how it can benefit older individuals.
"For the first time, we have been able to show in animals that rilmenidine can increase lifespan," said United Kingdom's University of Birmingham molecular biogerontologist João Pedro Magalhães. The research consisted of young and old Caenorhabditis elegans worms with rilmenidine.
When treated with the drugs worms lived longer and were healthier. Caenorhabditis elegans worms were chosen as it has similar genes to humans, despite its abroad relationship to humans.
Further tests reveal that the effects of rilmenidine were seen in mice's kidney and liver tissues, containing gene movement linked with caloric restriction.
To put it another way, hypertension drug, a medication for high blood pressure that many people already take, may contain some of the caloric restriction causes in animals, and is believed to contain certain health benefits.
Also, it was shown that the effectiveness of rilmenidine was dependent on a biological signaling receptor nish-1.
Future efforts to extend lifespan and slow down aging may aim at this specific chemical form. Dizziness, hair loss, and delicate bones are just a few of the side effects of low-calorie diets, which are difficult to stick to.
Although it is still early days, the idea is that this medication for hypertension may offer the same advantages as a low-calorie diet while being easier on the body.
The fact that rilmenidine can be taken orally and is commonly prescribed, and that its side effects are rare and relatively mild (in some cases, they include palpitations, insomnia, and drowsiness) make it a promising candidate for use as an anti-aging medication. "We are now keen to explore if rilmenidine may have other clinical applications."
There is still much more study needed before we know for sure if rilmenidine could be used as a human anti-aging medication, but research on animals shows early signs of potential.
The capabilities and workings of rilmenidine are now much better understood. Magalhães said, "With a global aging population, the benefits of delaying aging, even if slightly, are immense."
- Aging Cell Rilmenidine extends lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans via a nischarin I1-imidazoline receptor
- National Library of Medicine Rilmenidine: a clinical overview