Transfusing young blood and freezing heads may get most of the anti-aging and life-extension buzz, but don’t count out the molecule hunters: After setbacks and stumbles and what critics called debacles, these scientists are figuring out which biochemicals might potentially, possibly be fountains of youth in pill form.

In the latest advance, biologists reported on Thursday that a molecule already sold by supplement makers (even as scientists scramble to understand it) restored youthfulness to blood vessels in 20-month-old mice, an age comparable to 70 years in people. The research supports the idea that boosting certain genes and molecules that fade with age could keep people functional, resilient, and even spry well into their 80s, even without living longer.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • Nicotinamide riboside and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) are very similar molecules – the same except the second one has a phosphate group added. They ought to be metabolized the same way by the human body. But taking a huge dose of anything has some risks. Unless you are already very old and have nothing to lose, I would suggest waiting until solid long-term data on their effects in humans comes out.

  • At age 80 I look forward to the development of anything promoting physical strength and mental acuity. How can I help?

  • The compound that raises NAD is nicotinamide riboside, sold as a dietary supplement. Ideal dosing is still questionable and it is very expensive. People who use it say it gives great energy.

    • I’ve been taking NR for a little over three years. At $45 a month, I don’t consider it to be “very expensive.” I’m 54 and was already in good health when I started, but as I listen to similarly aged friends moan and groan, I’m beginning to realize how well off I am from a health perspective. I do believe the NR is a vital part of my overall longevity picture. Now whether it’ll really work or not, check back with me in thirty years, lol.

  • Whenever I see the name “Buck Institute” my quackery detection meter goes off. It’s basically a money-making scam for the people who control a great big pot of money left by the widow. They pretend to do research, but they fund some of the most obvious quackery in the AD/dementia field.

    • NMN is nicotinamide mononucleotide which increases levels of NAD.
      NAD is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which (according to the claim of this article) may add to resilience, protection, and longevity to animal cells (to possibly include human cells).

  • Fascinating article and research, thank you. I would also welcome more research attention to the everyday exposures that harm health and accelerate cell degeneration and aging. A big one that should no longer get a free pass is dental mercury exposure, especially for those with genetic variants who do not methylate (excrete toxins) well. For me, removing a 24/7/365 source of decades-long accumulating mercury exposure safely – working with a biological dentist who used the latest SMART protocol to protect the patient, staff and dentist – was something of a fountain of youth and restorer of health after 20 years of fibromyalgia, and a year of escalating neurological problems that many specialists could not diagnose. I enjoy being healthy and younger again.

Comments are closed.

Sign up to receive a free weekly opinions recap from our community of experts.
Privacy Policy