If we talk about medications, what's on everybody's tongue, what's been published about is metformin and rapamycin for decades, probably. So what is new in research into pharmaceuticals agents? As far as the aging process is concerned, what's new with Metformin?
Well, so we know a lot about Metformin when it's taken by diabetics. Dr. Steven Austad, PhD. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Metformin has been the number one treatment for diabetes for a long time, there's 60 years worth of evidence. We don't know if Metformin benefits healthy people. We know there are many benefits of Metformin for diabetics. It not only controls blood sugar, of course, but it also seems to lower the risk of dementia and heart disease and cancer and many major things.
But what we don't know about this, or about rapamycin, which also has just remarkable effects in mice, is what's their effects in otherwise healthy people? Should they be taking these drugs? And if they are taking the drugs, will they get a health benefit? Are there some subtle side effects such that healthy people should stay away from them? Dr. Steven Austad, PhD. Dr. Anton Titov, MD.
We don't know these things. But what's happened recently is that human trials are getting underway. For years and years we learned more and more about rodent aging. But we never tried to extend any of it into human biology or human medicine. But that's changing. Dr. Steven Austad, PhD. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. A study is just starting to get underway of giving Metformin to healthy people. There are some small studies of rapamycin and then a whole bunch of new drugs.
These so-called senolytics. These drugs kill senescence cells that accumulate in our bodies with age. That are combinations of drugs that have been used in cancer chemotherapy, but also drugs that are commonly available at the health food store. Dr. Steven Austad, PhD. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. And so, to the extent that those things prove to be beneficial, it may be that we already have drugs that would be very beneficial to health. Senolytics just haven't been studied properly. Now you will notice I haven't mentioned those drugs that are used as senolytics.
And that's because I don't think it's a good idea for people to just rush out to GNC and buy them. After all, one of the things we know is that the supplement industry's completely unregulated. Dr. Steven Austad, PhD. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. And you can't even be sure that what it says on the bottle is necessarily what you're getting when you take the pills. But there's some very exciting stuff going on. There are over 20 clinical trials going on with some of these drugs right now. They're in a preliminary state but very exciting research going forward.