Scientists identified the role of an enzyme in muscle wasting and associated age related problems say, “a new anti-ageing drug may be five years away”. University of Birmingham researchers believe inhibiting the enzyme could hold the key to developing ways of preventing, or reversing, the adverse effects of aging.

The research is a significant step in understanding the role played by the enzyme 11beta-HSD1 in the degenerative effects of aging -including sarcopenia (age related muscle wasting). The expression of 11beta-HSD1, responsible for activating the steroid hormone cortisol, was increased in the muscles of older females. The research on 134 healthy people aging between 20 – 80 underwent the tests.

The results showed that 11beta-HSD1 in skeletal muscles is increased 2.72-fold in women of over 60 years compared to those of age 20 – 40. No difference was seen on male participants. Dr Zaki HassanSmith said “we don’t know yet why it only occur in women, but it is an interesting area to research on. We are going to look whether hormones such as estrogens could be involved”.

The Times of India

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