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Longevity

Diabetes Drugs Could Lead to Age-Delaying Therapies

15 years, 11 months ago

635  0
Posted on Oct 24, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

New research suggests that blood pressure drugs called ACE inhibitors, which help diabetics to lower their risk of developing complications, could be used to develop drugs that delay the effects of aging. Part of the reason why diabetics tend to age faster than non-diabetics is that their high-blood sugar levels encourages the body to produce complex proteins called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

New research suggests that blood pressure drugs called ACE inhibitors, which help diabetics to lower their risk of developing complications, could be used to develop drugs that delay the effects of aging. Part of the reason why diabetics tend to age faster than non-diabetics is that their high-blood sugar levels encourages the body to produce complex proteins called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These proteins interfere with cell functioning, accumulate in skin making it look wrinkly, and stiffen blood vessels. Now researchers at the Baker Institute in Melbourne, Australia have found that ACE inhibitors appear to exert their anti-aging effects by preventing the build-up of AGE's. ACE inhibitors work by blocking the production of the enzyme angiotensin II, which is thought to encourage the production of cell-damaging free radicals that stimulate the production of AGE's. According to the New Scientist, "ACE inhibitors are unlikely to become an elixir of youth because they cause unpleasant side effects such as coughing and irregular heartbeat." However, there is hope that drugs designed to have a similar effect on AGE's without the adverse effects of current ACE inhibitors could provide us with a new class of age-delaying drugs.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 2nd October 2002

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