Medical Moment: A pill to cure aging?

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 8:18 PM EST
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According to research, your strength, balance, and endurance starts to decline in your 50′s. But cognitive decline can start as early as 45.

But one researcher believes a missing supplement may be the key to healthy aging.

Exercise, eating healthy, and even lotions and potions. There are several things people do to stay young. But as much as we try, the clock keeps ticking away.

“The way you could walk and run when you were 20 years old is not what you’re doing when you’re 75 years old,” says Rajagopal Sekhar, associate professor at the Baylor College of Medicine.

That’s because as we get older, our bodies start to experience mitochondrial dysfunction.

“Mitochondria are tiny engines that supply the cell with energy,” Sekhar says. “Mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to heart disease, to Alzheimer’s disease, to cognitive impairments, to almost every condition possible.”

Dr. Sekhar studies normal aging and says supplying the mitochondria with fuel may be the key to reversing some of the negative side effects of aging. That fuel is glynac, or a combination of glycine and n-acetylcysteine, components of a natural antioxidant glutathione. When older adults took the supplement for 12 weeks, muscle strength, gait speed, exercise capacity, and cognitive function all improved.

“And at 24 weeks, they were even better,” Sekhar says.

After the trial, the group stopped taking glynac , and their improvements diminished. Dr. Sekhar is conducting two additional studies to test whether glynac could improve cognitive decline, as well.

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