This is the best news since dark chocolate was found to be good for our health.
A drug derived from bacteria in the soil on Easter Island was found to substantially increase the life span of mice. The drug called rapamycin has already been approved by the FDA to help prevent organ rejection in transplant patients and it’s being tested on certain types of cancers.
Now the University of Washington’s Dog Aging Project is accepting applications for pet dogs to participate in research to see if rapamycin works as well in dogs and it does in mice.
The speculation is that it could extend the lives of small dogs up to four years and large dogs up to three. They would be active, healthy years if the dogs react the way the mice did, but it’s important to keep in mind that we don’t know yet. There could be unpleasant side effects.
After a three to six month trial period the dogs will be monitored to measure any improvements in the health and aging process, specifically heart function, activity level, weight, immune system and mental processing.
This is not a drug that people should be taking to extend their lives. Rapamycin has a host of side effects in humans that did not affect rodents.
But if the results are successful on dogs, it’s possible the benefits might extend to cats and other species.