Tests show that lithium chloride could increase the life expectancy of nearly one-fifth of its average duration.
Is lithium the key to a long life?
In a laboratory experiment conducted on fruit flies, scientists discovered that lithiumextends their life by blocking an enzyme called GSK-3.
Different doses of lithium chloride were given to 160 adult flies to measure the effect on the duration of life, compared to a control group that received from sodium chloride.
The study, published in Cell Reports, showed that fruit flies lived 16% longer than average when they were given low doses of lithium. The benefits of the drug were also observed when he was used irregularly, or in the form of a single treatment. On the other hand, high-dose lithium reduces their life expectancy.
"We found that low doses not only extend life but also protect the body from stressand blocks the production of grease in the flies to whom it provides a diet rich in sugars" said Dr. Ivana Bjedov, Institute of cancer of Harvard, co-author of the study. This last hope now explore the effects in more complex animals in the hope of eventually developing a drug allowing humans to grow old in good health.