Hydrogen sulfide may prove 'natural' anti-ageing agent


Move over botox, a natural body compound may be the next anti-ageing agent!

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) supplements could become a potent natural agent to prevent and alleviate the symptoms of ageing and age-related diseases, researchers claim.

The Chinese study explores the compound's plethora of potential anti-ageing pathways.

"H2S has been gaining increasing attention as an important endogenous signalling molecule because of its significant effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems," researchers said in journal Molecular and Cellular Biology.

The evidence is mounting, they note, that hydrogen sulfide slows ageing by inhibiting free-radical reactions, by activating SIRT1, an enzyme believed to be a regulator of lifespan, and probably through its interactions with a gene, klotho, which appears to have its own market basket of anti-ageing activity.

"Data available so far strongly suggest that H2S may become the next potent agent for preventing and ameliorating the symptoms of ageing and age-associated diseases," said said Zhi-Sheng Jiang, of the University of South China.

Researchers say people may take H2S via food, or as an anti-ageing supplement.

Hydrogen sulfide is produced within the human body, and has a variety of important physiological effects. For example, it relaxes the vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells, which is important to maintaining clean arteries as one ages, said Jiang in a statement.

It functions as an antioxidant. And it inhibits expression of pro-inflammatory factors, all of which "imply an important role in ageing and age-associated diseases," according to the study.

For example, mice lacking CSE, the gene for an enzyme involved in producing H2S, manifest extensive, premature arteriosclerosis, an inevitable consequence of ageing, says Jiang.

The gene, klotho, which appears to be up-regulated by hydrogen sulfide, is thought to extend lifespan via a number of different pathways, some of which promote production of endogenous antioxidants, according to the report.

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