It’s human nature to want more for less, but unfortunately when it comes to health and wellness, that’s not often possible. For the best chance to live a long, healthy life, we’re told to maintain a balanced diet, exercise and keep stress at bay. Easier said than done, so wouldn’t it be nice if there was a pill that could achieve those same results? A new study is claiming that ibuprofen may be the key to longevity.
In a series of experiments, worms and flies were given doses of the popular painkiller “similar to those taken daily by millions of people to treat headaches, muscle pain, sprains and flu.” The medication extended the life of the worms and flies by around 15 percent, or the equivalent of 12 years of human life. Researchers involved in the study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, are still looking to explain the results, but the theory is that it has something to do with the painkiller stopping cells from taking up tryptophan, a compound found in eggs, chocolate and turkey.
Before you start self-medicating, we spoke with Betty Edmond, M.D., who cautioned that “while this is very interesting research regarding the impact of a common household drug, ibuprofen, on yeast, worms and flies, there is an obvious difference in the physiology of these life forms compared with humans. Significant study is needed to extend their conclusions to our species.”
It should also be noted that ibuprofen has a long list of possible side effects. So while this research has received a considerable amount of media attention, it’s best, for now, to stick to the tried-and-true method of diet, relaxation and exercise.