Fruit fly lifespan almost doubled by a three-drug combination
It’s unlikely that we will find a \”magic bullet\” for preventing age-related illnesses due to the complex interplay between various processes and mechanisms. New research by University College London and Max Planck Institute for Biology and Ageing could be as close to a cure as we have ever seen. Scientists have extended the life of fruit flies’ by 48 percent with a triple drug combo made of drugs that are already prescribed to people.
The study’s co-lead researcher, Dr Jorge Castillo Quan, says that as life expectancy increases, so do age-related illnesses. \”There is a pressing need to find ways to enhance health in old age,\” explains the study’s co-lead. By studying fruit flies, which age more quickly than humans, we found that a drug combination targeting different cellular functions may be an effective method to slow down the process of aging.
Three drugs are used to make the combination. These include trametinib (a cancer drug) which inhibits MEK1-MEK2-enzymes, and rapamycin (an immune system regulator made by bacteria). Rapamycin was discovered in soil samples from Easter Island, and it has been shown to improve memory and learning in mice.