New compound from pig blood can reverse ageing in rats, study claims

A new therapeutic developed from compounds found in pig’s blood can reverse the age of rats, researchers claim in a new study.

The anti-ageing therapeutic – dubbed E5 – was developed from the blood of a young pig and injected into ageing rats, according to a new study published recently in the journal GeroScience.

E5, which consists of complex nanoparticles and young plasma sourced from pigs, could reverse the biological clocks of the rats by nearly 70 per cent on average, said researchers, including those from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

If the results can be translated to humans, it could mean the reversion of an 80-year-old to the age of 26, scientists claimed.

“Initially, I could hardly believe the profound epigenetic rejuvenation effects of E5. However, our findings are robustly supported by parallel rodent studies from different labs,” study co-author Steve Horvath said in a statement.

In the research, scientists found when the pig blood treatment was applied to various rat tissues, it also appeared to reverse the biological age of the blood, heart and liver.

“The treatment more than halved the epigenetic ages of blood, heart, and liver tissue,” scientists wrote in the study.

There was also a “less pronounced, but statistically significant” rejuvenation effect on the brain’s hypothalamus.

Researchers said they witnessed “progressive improvement” in the functioning of these organs and also observed behavioural and cognitive improvements.

Overall, the findings suggest a young porcine plasma-derived treatment that “markedly reverses aging” in rats.

“We found the plasma fraction treatment consistently effective in both male and female rats, drastically reducing the epigenetic age of multiple rat tissues,” researchers said.

The new results also offer insights into the shared biological mechanisms across mammal species.

While the treatment is yet to undergo human trials, researchers said there is room for optimism.

In the future, there could be a possibility of using rejuvenation to systemically reduce disease onset risk “rather than treating diseases individually”.

There are also reasons to be sceptical of the findings translating to humans.

Scientists pointed out that the markers of ageing observed in the rats in the study can differ significantly in values and patterns compared to humans.

“What may be detrimental in one species could be inconsequential in another,” they said, hinting this could be the reason why numerous rejuvenation treatments do not effectively transition from rodents to humans.

Several authors of the study are founders, owners, employees or consultants of the biotech firm Yuvan Research Inc, a company that works on the development of rejuvenation treatments.

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