20 November 2008

An Anti-Frailty Pill for Seniors?

A real holy grail for medical researchers is to find a way to safely restore the declining levels of growth hormones that attend aging. Dropping levels of testosterone and HGH result in a decrease of muscle mass, which can result in frailty among the elderly. This in turn leads to loss of mobility and independence, as well as to accidents (falls) and to other health issues. Muscle mass and mobility can be maintained or restored through physical training, but most people won't do it.

If this research continues to be successful, there may be a "muscle pill" in our future.

    Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System report that a daily single oral dose of an investigational drug, MK-677, increased muscle mass in the arms and legs of healthy older adults without serious side effects, suggesting that it may prove safe and effective in reducing age-related frailty. Published in the November 4, 2008 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, the study showed that levels of growth hormone (GH) and of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF- I) in seniors who took MK-677 increased to those found in healthy young adults. The drug restored 20 percent of muscle mass loss associated with normal aging.
Read more here.

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