Tory Hagen’s research suggests it may be possible to slow-and perhaps even reverse-the aging process.

Hagen in his lab
Hagen in his lab

Tory Hagen’s lab in OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute features rats that seem to be in the prime of life. They are active, full of energy, and have good memories.

The amazing thing is that these rats are quite old–in the time of their lifespan when most rats are sedentary, slow, and rather senile.

What makes these rats different from others is that Hagen, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State, is feeding them two dietary compounds, carnitine and lipoic acid, that can mask metabolic problems caused by cellular aging.

“What we are trying to do is understand how these micronutrients work in the body,” Hagen says. “We need to understand both the proper effective dosage and whether they are completely safe.”

So far, the tests have been short-term studies, Hagen says, so it’s unknown whether the benefits can be preserved over the long term.

“Before going on to human clinical trials, we feel compelled to understand the ramifications of supplementation, including any potential safety problems with the use of these supplements,” he says. “Therefore, I cannot recommend that people use them until this information is available.”

“This research is exploring the fundamental process of aging, and we may in fact find ways to slow down that process and even reverse some of the effects of it,” says Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute. “But what we learn about aging is also directly relevant to the chronic diseases that kill most people around the world, such as heart disease and cancer.”

Tory Hagen’s Linus Pauling Institute page

Tory Hagen’s gene research center page

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One thought on “Searching for the “fountain of youth”

  1. It really goes that ways even if we dont like it. As we grow older, we cant avoid sickness and diseases. Simple because of the foods and preservatives that we have taken everyday.

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