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Natural Ingredients Versus Drugs For Anti-Aging

NOVOS Core contains natural ingredients to slow down aging.

Some people, however, believe that pharmaceutical drugs are more powerful to slow down the aging process. It is a misunderstanding that pharmaceutical drugs are always better than natural ingredients.

In fact, did you know that many of humanity’s most successful pharma drugs have been derived from nature?

Drugs from nature

For example, aspirin, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug, is derived from substances found in willow bark. 

Metformin, a much-used anti-diabetes drug that lowers blood sugar levels is based on molecules found in a specific flower, called goat’s rue, also known as the French lilac (Galega officinalis). Preliminary studies show that metformin could slow down aging. Scientists are currently further researching whether metformin can actually extend lifespan in humans, through a six-year, $75 million study known as TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin).

Lithium is often hailed as the most successful psychiatric drug. As a mood stabilizer, lithium is used to treat psychological disorders like bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disorder). Lithium is a mineral that seeps from rock into water, including drinking water; practically all species, including humans, have evolved with it. Interestingly, in areas where there is much more lithium in the drinking water, suicide rates and mortality rates are lower (R,R,R). Studies also show that lithium can slow down neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease (R,R,R), and that it can extend lifespan (R,R).

Rapamycin, one of the most promising  prescription drugs that extends lifespan in multiple species, including primates (and by extension, possibly humans) (R), has been found in a specific bacteria (Streptomyces hygroscopicus) that lives in the ground on the remote and desolate Eastern Islands, also called Rapa Nui, from which the molecule derives its name.

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Nature’s medicine cabinet

It’s fascinating to see that many drugs that could slow down aging, like metformin, rapamycin, and lithium are derived from nature.

But these molecules are not the only ones for which nature was the first inspiration. Many other well-known drugs are derived from nature. Opioids are strong painkillers, like morphine and codeine, which are derived from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Penicillin, the first antibiotic, was not made by a human, but by a mould known as Penicillium chrysogenum.

Galantamine is a natural alkaloid to treat Alzheimer’s disease. It is one of the very few drugs approved to treat Alzheimer’s.  

Given nature provided so many clues and inspiration for novel drug discovery, currently, scientists are looking everywhere in nature to discover new drugs. They are examining poison from snakes and scorpions to find molecules that could work as pain killers, are looking into coral reefs to find novel anti-cancer drugs and into the earth to find entirely new antibiotics.

Why pharma companies avoid nature-found ingredients

We at NOVOS are very interested in natural substances to slow down aging. The reason is that, often contrary to drugs, much more research has been done into natural substances by independent scientists who don’t have the same financial incentives as pharmaceutical companies when they test their drugs.

Also, there are many very interesting natural ingredients out there that can have a powerful impact on aging or aging-related diseases, but are not used because they cannot be patented. We at NOVOS believe that these molecules deserve much more attention, despite their inability to be patented, and are focused on making them readily available for all to benefit from.

As it turns out, nature is the biggest, most innovative chemist and pharmaceutical inventor that has ever existed, and has served as an inspiration for many very successful, impactful drugs. There are many natural ingredients that can have a wide range of  positive effects on our health, and deserve much more merit and interest than they currently receive.

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