Ibuprofen May Improve Longevity

Ibuprofen May Improve LongevityIbuprofen May Improve Longevity

Regular doses of a common over-the-counter painkiller may lead to a longer, healthier life, researchers have found.

In a study published in the journal Public Library of Science-Genetics, researchers treated baker’s yeast, worms and flies with ibuprofen and saw that the treatment added about 15 percent more to the species’ lives. The treatment dose was comparable to the recommended human dose, and the results equated to another dozen or so human years of healthy living, reports Fox News.  

“We first used baker’s yeast, which is an established aging model, and noticed that the yeast treated with ibuprofen lived longer,” researcher Dr. Michael Polymenis, an AgriLife Research biochemist in College Station, said in a news release. “Then we tried the same process with worms and flies, and saw the same extended lifespan. Plus, these organisms not only lived longer but also appeared healthy.”

The three-year project showed that ibuprofen interferes with yeast cell’s ability to pick up tryptophan — an amino acid found in every cell of every organism and that is essential for humans, who get it from protein sources. Researchers aren’t sure why the ibuprofen worked, but noted that it’s worth further exploration.

 Safe Drugs

“This study was a proof to show that common, relatively safe drugs in humans can extend the lifespan of very diverse organisms. Therefore, it should be possible to find others like ibuprofen with even better ability to extend lifespan, with the aim of adding healthy years of life in people,” Polymenis, who is also a professor in the biochemistry and biophysics department at Texas A&M University, said in the news release.

Ibuprofen was created in England in the early 1960s and first made available by prescription before becoming available over-the-counter in the 1980s. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is used to relieve pain, help with fever and reduce inflammation.

Lead study author Chong He, a postdoctoral fellow at Buck Institute, said Ibuprofen is something that people have been taking for years, and “no one actually knew that it can have some benefits for longevity and health span.”

However, consumers should keep in mind that, while widely-used, ibuprofen can have side effects and isn’t for everyone, Josie Znidarsic, integrative medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. There is a risk for gastrointestinal issues, such as bleeding ulcers, as well as cardiovascular side effects such as increased clotting, heart attack and stroke.