A compound found in human sperm, known as spermidine, may prove the next weapon in the fight against ageing, Graz University scientists in Austria have said.
They have found that spermidine slows ageing processes, and increases longevity in yeast, flies, worms, mice, and human blood cells by protecting cells from damage.
AdvertisementThe researchers point out that cell ageing happens when a process whereby damaged cells or parts of cells are recycled, scientifically known as autophagy, goes wrong.
They further state that spermidine concentration has also been found to decline with age.
They have found that adding spermidine suppressed various processes associated with ageing, and reduces free radicals and increasing lifespan.
In a study on fruit flies, the researchers observed that treated insects lived 30 per cent longer than their untreated counterparts.
Worms who were treated using the new approach were found to live 15 per cent longer than those untreated.
Tobias Eisenberg, a researcher, says that this is the "holy grail of age research".
Meanwhile, a British newspaper has suggested that a "wonder pill that could extend lifespan by up to 25 years" may soon be available.
However, the truth is that human trials, let alone treatment, are a very long way off, reports the Telegraph.
In an article, the patient information website NHS Choices agrees that this is an exciting area for future research, but adds that it will take many more years of study including lab tests and further animal trials before it can be safely tested on humans.
The article also points out that this is at least the second elixir of eternal youth that has been 'discovered' in the last few months.