Regular ibuprofen that anyone can buy over the counter has been show to extend the life span of a variety of species by as much as 15 percent and maintained the health of the organisms. Dr. Michael Polymenis, an AgriLife Research biochemist at Texas A&M, and Dr. Brian Kennedy, the president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California, are the first to prove a long-term improvement in life span from ibuprofen.
The longevity producing properties of ibuprofen were seen in yeast, worms, and flies. Each species was given a daily dose of ibuprofen that is the equivalent of what a human being would take per the directions on the medication. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and can produce ulcers in a limited number of people.
The researchers found that ibuprofen interferes with the uptake of the amino acid tryptophan in every cell of the organisms tested. Tryptophan is essential for human cellular function. The exact reason why ibuprofen extends life is not yet known.
The researchers published the results as proof of the concept that has been substantiated by three years of experimentation. Ibuprofen does extend life by 15 percent on average and maintains health throughout the extended period of life. The final objective is to apply the discovery to humans. The researchers think that they can in time produce similar extension of life span in people with the added bonus of high levels of health and vitality. The bonus is a dramatic reduction in medical care costs for older people