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Nov 30, 2015 8:24 PM

Trials set for drug that could help people live to 120 years old

Imagine living to 120 years old and being healthy. It sounds a lot like science fiction, but modern medicine could make it a reality.

Beginning next year the world's first anti-aging drug will be tested on humans. According to the New Zealand Herald researchers have already proven that the diabetes drug Metformin extends the life of animals. Now the Food and Drug Administration has given the go-ahead for a U.S. trial to see if the same effects can be seen in humans.

Metformin is the world's most widely used diabetes drug. Metformin increases the number of oxygen molecules released into a cell, which appears to boost longevity and robustness.

Belgian researchers tested the drug on worms and found the worms aged slower and stayed healthy longer. Cardiff University also found anecdotal evidence that diabetes patients taking the drug lived longer than people without diabetes.

The new clinical trial Targeting Aging with Metformin, or T.A.M.E., is set for winter 2016. Scientists are recruiting 3,000 70- to 80-year-olds who have, or are at risk of, cancer, heart disease and dementia.

If successful it could mean living past 100 becomes the norm, and researchers say it could be the answer to diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

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