Male Mice Get Boost From Compound Found In Creosote Bush

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Federal study's early results suggest male mice fed a normal diet plus anti-inflammatory substance may live longer than control mice.

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Aspirin didn't pan out. Neither did two other potential anti-aging agents. But a synthetic derivative of a pungent desert shrub is now a front- runner in ongoing animal experiments to find out if certain chemicals, known to inhibit inflammation, cancer and other destructive processes, can boost the odds of living longer.

Today at the annual meeting of the American Aging Association, University of Michigan scientist Richard A. Miller reports early results from a mouse study his lab and two others are conducting for the National Institute on Aging. The study, now in its fourth year, will test as many as two dozen possible anti-aging agents in animals in the next five years. The other centers are the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, and the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.

The scientists were surprised to find so quickly that one agent showed promise: NDGA, a compound derived from creosote bushes. These common North American desert shrubs have been traditionally used by Native Americans as healing remedies.

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