'Elixir of Life' Discovered
Cocktail of amino acids extended mouse lifespans 12%
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2010 4:58 AM CDT
Updated Oct 6, 2010 6:50 AM CDT
This mouse can expect to live 12% longer if he can get hold of some of that "elixir."   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Italian researchers say they've found an "elixir of life" that helped mice live longer and may do the same for humans. The cocktail of amino acids—found in a protein powder favored by bodybuilders—extended the lifespan of middle-aged mice by 12%, the Telegraph reports. Mice who drank water containing the amino acids also had improved fitness and co-ordination, as well as stronger muscles.

The researchers believe that if people were to take a supplement containing the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine daily starting in middle age, they could look forward to a longer and healthier life. The same combination of amino acids have been shown to extend the lifespan of yeast, and the researchers say it's time for a large-scale study of its effect on humans. (Other researchers say sperm, grapefruit hold the key to the "fountain of youth." Click here for more.)