David Sinclair on the Prospects for Longevity Science

David Sinclair of Sirtris leads research on a few lines of calorie restriction mimetic drug development based on sirtuins that I don't think have a hope of significantly impacting human aging. This is a part of a broader field, that of metabolic manipulation to slow aging, that I also don't think has much of a chance to significantly impact human aging within our lifetimes. Nonetheless, Sinclair is an optimist on the future of this field - which is understandable, given his choice to pursue it, but by this point, with a lot of sunk costs and little to show for it, there may be an element of talking up his position as well.

We can expect to see people live to 120 and beyond within our lifetime, a geneticist has told Insight. Harvard University's Professor David Sinclair is working on a 'cure for ageing' and believes modern medicine can significantly extend the human lifespan. "I think there will be a world where people can look forward to living at least beyond 100, and it will be not uncommon where people can live to 120. Every time we say that there's a natural limit, we develop technology to push us further."

Simple organisms, even yeast cells and fruit flies, have 'longevity genes' that can be switched on by low calorie diets and exercise, says Professor Sinclair. When these genes are 'switched on', they can protect the organism and help them live longer. "We have many of these genes in our bodies and we're just starting to learn that they do help us live longer and healthier."

Sinclair also tells Insight there are drugs already in clinical trials and, so far, they seem to be safe and showing early signs of success. "Instead of just lowering your cholesterol this pill would prevent Alzheimer's disease, lung diseases, bowel diseases, dementia, a whole list of diseases... That's what we're able to do in mice so far. The question is: can we do that in people, and how soon? No matter how much we say that it's good for you to be thin and to exercise, it doesn't seem to help for most people [to provide the motivation to actually get up and make that effort]. If we could have a simple pill that our doctor would prescribe to take with breakfast, that could help our lifestyle. I'm not saying we should just sit on the couch and get fat and take a pill, that's not the point. But we can supplement what our bodies naturally are doing to help keep us young."

Link: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/08/20/insight-pill-cure-ageing

Comments

Would you rather have David Sinclair use his research capabilities to develop a drug like Prozac or the many other drugs whose side effects are as bad as the symptom they are meant to treat? We need many more David Sinclairs. Contrary to what you write, Sinclair's work led to the development of a very interesting and in many instances helpful supplement that has been available for over 8 years now. I refer to Longevinex a red wine type pill that has helped a good number of people. My mom has been taking this pill for over 8 years now and at 90 is clear and active. Outliving her own mother by 32 years her father by 22 years and her brother by 13 years all of whom died of heart disease. All I can say about this pill that I have also taken for the same amount of time is that it has not hurt us and I am very very active. But of course I expect to hear the phrase "How can you prove it has helped you". I can't prove it and neither can the many many others it has helped. I just make sure my mom takes hers every day. I love talking with her and telling jokes, she always laughs. T

Posted by: TLGJR at August 25th, 2013 3:15 PM

Aubrey de Grey and others have had a clear vision for a long time. Details have been flawed but the vision is correct: The cells chemistry gets out of optimum and death ensues. Defining optimum and getting it corrected starts with garbage collection first. Then, working with uncluttered chemistry and biology the pathways can be understood and corrected. Luria calmly said science will solve every well stated problem. It takes time, commitment, belief, had work, and money. We must cooperate, as a self-interested species, and get these resources applied to tis well stated problem -- thousands of years of individual life.
Where had the DePinho and Sahin telemere research gone? Is anyone testing, putting trials together? I'm 71 and in good shape. I would gladly enter trials.

Posted by: roger f. duronio at November 26th, 2013 11:53 AM

Have been very interested in the progress that has been made in "anti ageing"
research.
I am 87 years old and at present in good shape,I work out at least 4 or more times a week.
Would be happy to participate in your Human trials when you are ready

Posted by: Daniel T Cropp at January 26th, 2014 2:59 PM

"David Sinclair of Sirtris leads research on a few lines of calorie restriction mimetic drug development based on sirtuins that I don't think have a hope of significantly impacting human aging."

I invite you to watch this video of a talk he gave:

http://www.omaha.com/article/20140405/LIVEWELL01/140409220

Listen to what he is saying. Simply pushing back the onset of age-related diseases is a huge deal. It would increase the quality of peoples' lives in their later years dramatically. It would reduce healthcare costs that threaten to break healthcare budgets.

I would consider this to be a major advance, even if it only extends lifespans by a few years.

Posted by: Carl White at April 6th, 2014 1:00 AM

My doctor at the VA medical center told me a few weeks ago that he sees my ongoing improvement in health as a kind of "Benjamin Button" performance. Even though I have atrial fibrillation, type 2 diabetes, and recently had carotid artery blockage of about 95%, after the successful surgery I decided to get to a healthier place, in terms of my diet,exercise, and anti-oxidant food capsules, and vitamins. With Astaxanthin,Reveratrol, krill oil, fish oil, coconut oil, probiotics, and Metformin SA. Over a few months I have lost 38 lbs. I walk twice as fast, I have stamina, and now look about 10 years younger than my 73 years. I say, go Dr. David Sinclair, and buy those who enjoy older life, another 10 to 15 good years.That folks...would simply be a life changer for a whole lot of us that are getting into their twilight years!

Posted by: Allan Silliphant at May 18th, 2014 6:37 PM

Would this pill make you look younger e.g. will it make a 70 year old man loom 45 or will you look the same age but just have a longer lifespan.

Posted by: william wade at October 20th, 2014 7:41 AM

Interested in anti aging supplements if they protect the brain and body . Have
a compromised liver and hesitate to take anything that might harm it. Can you
comment on this?

Posted by: Michael Mar at May 10th, 2015 6:37 PM

I'm reading "Spring Chicken" by Bill Gifford and read about Mr. Sinclair. I looked up his age/images on Google and was very surprised that he "dazzled Barbara Walters with his youthful good looks!" I was born in 1959 and have never had any plastic surgeries. I eat an organic vegan menu and use light weights to work out 3x a week. I have 11 grandchildren whom people think are my own. I just boogie boarded at Hawaii's North Shore today and no one believed I just turned 56. (I kept up with the 20 something's who were also out on the water.) You can look at my Facebook page and see for yourself that I am NOT exaggerating or bragging. I love life and live in Independence Missoui, if you would like to contact me. I am the only Peggy Sue Peuster on Facebook and in the world, for that matter, so I'm not hard to track down. I would love to do, or be a study, so that woman who are now in their 30's or even younger, could put some of my ideas to use, and benefit themselves. I'm rather a freak of nature and have learned to just embrace it! Thanks for your time and consideration.

Posted by: Peggy Sue Peuster at May 12th, 2015 3:12 AM

4 of my friends & I have been testing pterostilbene, which seems to be a more bio-available molecule, almost identical to resveratrol. We are all veterans.& also all take the prescription drug, metformin at the VA medical center in Los Angeles area. Last April, I had an A1c blood test. It showed me to have a 7.9 A1c. Last week, after taking pterostilbene for about 65 days, along with the long term prescribed metformin, my A1c had com down to 6.2. Moreover, I have now been able to reduce my body weight by 23 lbs. This cousin of resveratrol is now being tested with lab rats in over 25 American university bio labs against 30 kinds of mammalian cancers, as well as cardio-vascular disease, & Alzheimer's. Our little private test project is helping to prove this Pterostilbene to be a frankly, amazingly promising health boon, perhaps even extending the health-span of middle aged folks into their late seventies, or even middle eighties! I'm amazed at the good results the 4 of us are getting! Please check out the reserch that is being done in the universities!

Posted by: Allan Silliphant at November 10th, 2015 12:07 AM

Thanks for taking the time to provide good coverage for the work of our research Fellow Dr. Sinclair. We're promoting your work at http://www.healthspanpolicy.org

Posted by: Steven at January 25th, 2016 10:11 AM

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