b'SENSE, NONSENSE AND SCIENCEBY: JOE SCHWARCZSEEKING THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? WATCH OUT FOR ALLIGATORS!F unny the things one remembers. Likespan can be readily determined. When mice Dons Fountain of Youth, a short car- were treated with metformin at a dose of 0.1 toon I saw some time back in the 60s.per cent by weight of their total food intake, Don was Donald Duck, and the story wasthe animals mean life span was extended all about taking his nephews on a FloridaThe search for theby about six per cent! However, a tenfold vacation. The kids are more interestedincrease in the amount of metformin, in reading comics than the sights Donaldfountain of youth isresulted in a 14 per cent shorter lifespan.is pointing out, at least until they chanceOther research shows that the effect upon a pond with a sign Mistaken for themore likely to leadhas to do with metformins ability to gen-Fountain of Youth by Ponce de Leon 1512.us to a bottle thanerate a small dose of reactive oxygen species Donald decides to have a little fun with his(ROS). These are generally a normal prod-nephews and removes the mistaken fora spring or lake, butuct of metabolism, but because of their free part of the sign. He wades into the waterradical character are highly reactive and and pretends to have turned into an egg thatthe science is allcan cause cellular damage.he found in a nearby nest. Indeed, such oxidative stress has been Tales of waters that restore youthwet and drips withassociated with aging and theories abound have been with us for thousands of years.crackpot notions. about the use of antioxidants to counter Alexander the Great supposedly lookedthe process. But now Belgian researchers for a restorative spring and a famous 1546have cast a shadow on this widely accepted painting by Lucas Cranach the Eldertheory by demonstrating that metformin depicts aging people entering a pool on oneproduces a small dose of ROS that actu-side and emerging as youths on the other. ally increases the robustness and longevity These days the search for the fountainof a cell. If this effect can be confirmed, it of youth is more likely to lead us to a bottleof glucose in the blood, the hallmark of dia- would imply that antioxidants could actu-than a spring or lake. There are waters thatbetes control. ally negate the benefits of metformin.are oxygenated, hydrogenated, alkalized,But why the connection to aging?Of course, we are neither mice nor ionized, clustered, frequency harmonized,Because a universal sign of aging is theworms, so we will have to wait for more catalyst altered, photonically enhanced,development of insulin resistance, a con- evidence about metformins benefits before plasma activated, vibrationally charged,dition in which cells progressively fail tojumping on the anti-aging bandwagon. chi energized, or DNA encoded. Their adsrespond to insulin, the cells gatekeeper forMany wagons carrying the likes of human flood us with scientific-sounding lingo andthe entry of glucose. As insulin resistancegrowth hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone promises of health and rejuvenation. Butdevelops, blood levels of glucose rise, and(DHEA), shark cartilage extracts and meg-the science is all wet and drips with crack- diabetes eventually sets in. Since diabeticsavitamin supplements have ground to a halt pot notions. are at an increased risk for cancer, heartafter a promising start.If a fountain of youth is to be found,disease and inflammatory conditions, itMetformin, however, may yet hatch it may indeed be found in a bottle, but itcomes as no surprise that metformin hasinto an effective life extension treatment.wont be filled with penta, double helixbeen associated with a decreased risk ofBut let me take you back to Donald or negative field activated water. It willthese ailments. Given that such illnesses arefor a moment. The egg he picked up to probably contain a pharmaceutical productnormally age related, researchers began totrick his nephews into believing in the of some sort. Maybe something like met- wonder whether aging was actually a sort ofanti-aging effect of the Fountain of Youth formin. prediabetic condition that could be retardedturned out to be an alligator egg. And that Metformin is the most widely usedwith the appropriate use of metformin. resulted in an unforeseen outcome, namely diabetes drug in the world. It decreasesWhen scientists are confronted byDonald being chased by a pretty angry glucose production in the liver, increasessuch a premise, they tend to turn to mice.alligator mom. That chase, though, had a insulin sensitivity and enhances the uptakeMice may not be men, but they can be givenreal anti-aging effect. Exercise really does of glucose from the bloodstream by cells.known doses of a drug, their diet can beturn back the clock. Just look at Donald, he All of this amounts to reducing the amountcontrolled, and their health status and lifehasnt aged a bit. And he is close to 90. 14IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'