FRANCE: ANTI-AGEING DRUG DISCOVERY

FRANCE: ANTI-AGEING DRUG DISCOVERY

English/Nat

We may hate to admit it, but we’re getting older all the time – and the problem is we feel it.

Whilst eternal youth is still nothing more than a fantasy, recent clinical tests by the University of California show it may be possible to postpone some of the unpleasant effects of ageing.

APTV interviewed Emile-Etienne Baulieu, the inventor of the French abortion pill, who is responsible for isolating the all-important chemical D-H-E-A.

Research is underway which may just ensure that as we get older our lives could be made a little bit easier.

Dehydroepiandrosterone, better known as D-H-E-A, is naturally secreted by the adrenal glands.

It appears in the bloodstream around the age of seven and after peaking in the mid- twenties, it declines over time. By the time you’re 70, you’ll probably only have one tenth of the amount you had at 25.

Research by the University of California at San Diego demonstrated that small doses in the form of a pill produced a general feeling of well-being when taken for six months.

D-H-E-A was discovered by the French scientist Emile-Etienne Baulieu, the world- renowned inventor of the R-U-486 abortion pill.

He isolated it over 30 years ago whilst researching oestrogen and testosterone: D-H-E- A forms a key component of these sex hormones.

It will not make you live longer, but will postpone some effects of ageing such as fatigue and weakness.

Baulieu says it is not a miracle cure, but is cautiously optimistic about the preliminary test results.

SOUNDBITE:
“Since it has been observed that giving DHEA to other normal ageing people, many times their joint pains – aches – were erased we thought it value (valuable) to test that systematically. And naturally this is in a department of rheumatology that it’s easier because people are well tested and classified.”
SUPER CAPTION: Emile-Etienne Baulieu, Scientist

SOUNDBITE:
“What we are doing is compensating one of the components which decay with age and trying to see whether if we put them back up – upper – it’s good for health, attitude – quality of life, as you say.”
SUPER CAPTION: Emile-Etienne Baulieu, Scientist

Baulieu is also hopeful that it can benefit people with Aids

Whilst it does not kill the virus, Baulieu claims that research shows that as Aids progresses there is a correlation between a fall in D-H-E-A and C-D-4 cells.

C-D-4 cells are the white blood cells of the immune system which is one of the types of human cell which H-I-V infects.

SOUNDBITE:
“Now, the people who are working on Aids have observed, in the Netherlands as well as in the USA, that there is a correlation between lowering the of levels of DHEA in the blood and lowering of the CD4 cells – which, as you know, are decreasing when Aids is progressing, unfortunately. So there is a correlation which justifies that we have one programme of administration of DHEA to Aids patients and this study is conducted at the (unknown) in Paris.”
SUPER CAPTION: Emile-Etienne Baulieu, Scientist

Baulieu warns against overstating the benefits of D-H-E-A.

He says that another two or three years of clinical tests are needed before the public can hold the key to their future in the palm of a hand.

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