Special fatty acids might not just be good for you; they could even be the key to eternal life. Scientists from Retrotope, a company operating out of Los Altos, California, are developing a special fatty acid that could be used to prevent damage caused by free radicals to prevent disease and extend the lifespan of humans.
The idea is that the new fatty acid will be used to build super strong reinforced cell membranes according to Alexei Beltyukov. Free radicals tear cells apart and can cause a chain reaction of damage at the nuclear level. The special fatty acids would create a stronger bond in the cell membranes that would protect against free radical damage.
An initial study has been conducted on yeast using the fatty acids. It was found that the yeast cells with the fatty acid were 150 times less likely to be damaged by free radicals.
Human trials are set to run this summer that will attempt to slow down and reverse the damage of Friedreich’s ataxia. Friedreich’s ataxia is caused by cells being damaged at the molecular level. Participants in the trial will be given supplements similar to fish oil pills. They will also be placed on a special diet that will allow their bodies to take advantage of the new fatty acids.
Researchers hope the new fatty acid will be able to slow down or even eliminate aging. It will be very difficult to test the results on humans so trials will be done on rodents first to test for effectiveness.