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A new chemical compound that could potentially extend the human lifespan is due to be tested next month.
The compound, called nicotinamide mono nucleotide (NMN), will be tested on 10 healthy humans in an experiment to be conducted by researchers from both Washington University and Keio University in Japan.
The experiment will test whether the drug is safe, as well as its effectiveness in improving bodily function and staving off the effects of aging, according to Gizmodo.
Should the chemical compound work, it could potentially become the first clinically-proven anti-aging medication on the market — a market that is saturated by various fraudulent elixirs and claims backed only by pseudoscience.
NMN is a naturally occurring molecule found in various sources, including milk.
In testing on mice, NMN was found to mimic the effects of diet and exercise in. In other recent tests, conducted at the University of New South Wales, researchers found that the drug could potentially lead to treatments for aging, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.
Similarly, research at Washington University in St. Louis found that mice fed NMN experienced many health improvements, including a slowing of age-related health declines. The compound provided benefits to metabolism, eyesight, lipid profiles, and staved off glucose intolerance.
But while the drug is a fountain of youth for laboratory mice, there’s still no research on whether it’s effective — or even safe — for human beings.
Gizmodo points out that researchers have reason to doubt that NMN’s anti-aging abilities will translate to humans. Historically, anti-aging tests on mice rarely show the same effectiveness when tested on people.
But even if the chemical doesn’t become a proverbial fountain of youth, research might show that it still has positive effects and health benefits when taken by humans.