The ‘magic protein’ that can slow down aging
GDF11 is available on the pharmaceutical market in vials for IV injection for research use only, but there are now websites that offer the opportunity to participate in a randomized trial to demonstrate benefits and toxicity.
enjoy a long life but above all, free from disease It has become the golden dream of those who, beyond longevity, seek to live out their years without (too many) physical and mental limitations.
In this race to find the “step” that, in addition to adding decades, helps us do it by slowing down logic the consequences of the passage of timeseveral laboratories have spent decades studying the role that scientists such as Lee Rubin, professor of regenerative medicine at Harvard University (USA) and co-director of the Neuroscience Program at the Stem Cell Institute, did not hesitate to call “magic protein”.
What is this “magic protein” that could become the key to our (almost) eternal youth? The truth is that his nickname is much more poetic and expressive than his real name, because he is called GDF11.
“The GDF11 protein belongs to the ‘superfamily’ group of transforming growth factor betawhich regulates the expression of HOX genes essential for regulating the identity of positional changes (anterior-posterior) during development and growth “, explains Vicente Mera, Head of Genomic Medicine and Healthy Aging at SHA Wellness Clinic and Best European Doctor in Anti-Aging Medicine at the European Medicine Awards.
It is one of, according to those who know about it, tens of thousands of proteins that the human body has, so what makes it different from the rest? It is true that according to several investigations, it can help us rejuvenate the brain and muscles (including the heart) in the much nearer future than we think? Mera tries to explain it to us (and it is not an easy task): “In the classic experiments conducted in the middle of the last century by Clive McKay at Cornell University, it was first confirmed that caloric restriction This was the only performance extended longevity and on youthful physical appearance in certain mice. It was later possible to verify it with a pioneering protocol called parabiosis (laboratory technique for studying physiology from a combination of two living organismsin this case, a young mouse with an old one that are surgically united to develop a unique and shared physiological system) that after a certain time, the most mature rejuvenated; but also this young people age prematurely“.
Thanks, it must be said, to this disturbing technique (which is indeed reminiscent of Dr. Frankenstein’s experiments), it was observed that “ brainespecially the hippocampus, and muscles -indeed, including the heart- were the organs that showed the most remarkable changes. And you are positive modifications They were not only anatomical but also functional, as highlighted by memory tests.”
Mera says that recently at Stanford University “they were able to isolate and purify at least a protein responsible for what McKay called rejuvenation factors and that today correspond to cytokines (small proteins that play a crucial role in the control, growth, and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells) from stem cells that pass from one side of the bloodstream to the other in mice in parabiosis“.
As confirmed, Mera continues, “GDF11 protein was isolated only in the blood of young mice. In mature mice, on the other hand, it was observed that over time, certain mechanisms are blocked – which would work again with the GDF11 protein – which prevent the stem cells from rebuilding the muscle”.
Yes, he emphasizes, “at inject the GDF11 protein into old mice have been received Similar improvements, but less intense to those achieved in parabiosis experiments, suggesting that there are more factors to identify that block or stimulate stem cells.”
It is known that several laboratories have been working for decades on a formula that allows its commercialization, but what truth is there in all this? “The protein is commercially available in vials for IV injection for research use only; but there are now websites offering the opportunity to participate in a randomized trial to demonstrate the benefits (and toxicity) of GDF11.”
To be able to participate in these projects, warns Dr. Mera, “you need to ‘donate’ a medical amount of money, which can reach 500,000 dollars. In such a way that the treatment protocol with GDF11 protein is still within the reach of very few”.
Conclusion? “It is clear that sooner or later they will end identifying more proteins responsible for aging and rejuvenation which, without toxicity, are able to mimic the effect of parabiosis and can be used to prevent, prolong longevity and improve the quality of life, especially in patients with diseases such as Alzheimer’s”, concludes this doctor. Hopefully, that his omen will soon come true!
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