A Plant to Keep Us Young
Scientists have been on the hunt for anti-aging medicines since time eternal. A newly tested compound derived from a desert plant appears to be the most promising yet, according to new research.
Richard Miller, a pathologist at the University of Michigan, and his colleagues are in the midst of testing up to two dozen potential anti-aging medicines on mice. One compound they have recently started studying, called NDGA, seems to have a magical effect: male mice fed NDGA in addition to a normal diet survive in greater numbers than other mice. (For some reason,the compound has no effect on females.)
This compound is derived from the desert creosote bush that Native Americans have used as a healing remedy for many years.
The mice being studied haven't yet reached "old age," so the key question will be whether the mice fed NDGA will survive to be a lot older than the other mice, in addition to being more healthy at a younger age.