Fountain of youth pill 'is just two years away from shop shelves'
By Claire Bates
Last updated at 11:01 AM on 24th September 2010
Professor Skulachev, 69, has spent 40 years trying to create the elixir of youth
It may sound like science fiction but researchers believe they have
discovered the 'Holy Grail' – an anti-ageing pill that will add
decades to our lives.
Furthermore its creator Professor Vladimir Skulachev said it should be
available to the public within two years
The Russian scientist from Moscow State University, said the drug
works by halting the damaging effects that oxygen can have on the
This would stave off dangerous age-related illnesses thereby adding
years to our lives.
The dream of eternal life has been woven into numerous myths over
thousands of years. According to legend, the Holy Grail – a cup that
was supposedly used by Jesus at the Last Supper – would give
immortality to whoever drank from it.
But while many may dismiss the 69-year-old's claims as outlandish, his
findings have been backed up by the international scientific community
including Nobel prize winner Dr Gunter Blobel.
Dr Blobel from Rockefeller University said: 'It has been shown that
oxidative damage is huge. But we do not have an anti-oxidant of the
type that Professor Skulachev has developed.
'He is clearly the world's best bio-chemist and bio-energetic scientist.'
The cells in our bodies need oxygen to exchange energy but oxygen can
also cause cells to die if it takes on active and poisonous forms.
Natural anti-oxidants have been found to help slow this fatal process
but are not strong enough to have a lasting impact.
Professor Skulachev said: 'Ninety-nine per cent of the time oxygen
turns into harmless water, but there's that one percent that turns
into a super-oxide that later turns into very poisonous elements.
'So the task was to find an anti-oxidant that stops that process.'
Professor Skulachev said he has created innovative anti-oxidants
nicknamed 'Skulachev's ions' after 40 years of hard work.
They neutralise the dangerous form of oxygen inside the cells and have
been designed to travel to within a few nanometers of the position
where they will have most impact in the cell.
Healthy old age: An anti-oxidant treatment will now be tested on volunteers
The professor said the most difficult part of the process has been
trying to prevent any side effects.
However, he said thousands of people have registered to take part in
human trials and that the treatment will be available after around two
more years of clinical testing.
In previous work the professor received acclaim for showing how
special anti-oxidants could double the average lifespan of mice and
keep them healthier for longer.
He has also created synthesised eye drops that restored sight to a
group of blind horses, dogs and rabbits.
Professor Skulachev even used himself as a human guinea-pig and
removed a cataract from one of his eyes.
Biologist Maksim Skulachav, son of Professor Vladimir Skulachav said:
'Finally, we hope that we will manage to convince people that a single
pill treats many threats of ageing. So, it must be doing something
with the ageing itself.
'Then, if authorities will accept this logic, maybe we could somehow
market it as anti-ageing drug.'