May 02, 2023

Can Science Really Reverse Aging? What the Future Looks Like

photo of Adam Felman

Written By

Adam Felman

photo of Cono Badalamenti, MD

Medically Reviewed By

Cono Badalamenti, MD

Lifeforce Physician

Can Science Really Reverse Aging? What the Future Looks Like

Aging always seemed like a one-way ticket to an uncomfortable place. But the pace of scientific advancements is challenging our preconceptions, and opening new doors for an extended, flourishing healthspan. One day, we may even reverse the aging process altogether. But when will that day come, and what can we do right now to live as long as possible, with our best quality of life?

The answer is complex, but a range of promising studies and trials are pushing back the boundaries of aging as we speak.

Lifeforce co-founder Peter H. Diamandis, MD, believes, “the longer we can delay our perhaps inevitable end, the closer we will be to benefiting from next-generation age-reversal technologies, which will in turn add additional healthy years to our lives.” 

Below, you’ll see the innovations that lie ahead, and how to improve your healthspan starting today.

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Is It Possible to Reverse Aging? New Research

We can’t reverse aging yet. However, new developments in stem cell research, epigenetics, and cellular science are creating an exciting sneak preview of what age reversal might look like. Meanwhile, medications that are already available for specific health conditions are showing new promise as anti-aging treatments. Here’s a closer look at a few of those burgeoning breakthroughs.  


Physicians currently prescribe rapamycin to suppress the immune system following a kidney transplant. But new research shows that rapamycin can extend the lifespan of mice, potentially by slowing cellular aging.

“It's not available to everybody because most doctors are unaware or unwilling to prescribe these medicines to people who are healthy,” Dr. Diamandis shares on his blog, “but the data looks good."


Metformin is another drug, like rapamycin, that has demonstrated interesting anti-aging effects. According to some research, people with diabetes who take metformin may potentially live longer than those who don’t have diabetes. Despite the difficulty involved in running clinical trials, plans are underway for a six-year trial of metformin’s effects on aging involving 3,000 older adults who don’t have diabetes.

The Promise of Gene Therapy

Harvard Medical School genetics professor and scientist Dr. David Sinclair’s anti-aging study showed that epigenetics may be a crucial part of age reversal technology. Epigenetics is the science of gene expression — the instruction manual cells follow as they switch genes on and off. As we age, these instructions become corrupted and are less effective over time.

The team, led by Dr. Sinclair, reversed aging in the cells of mice by first categorizing how the gene instructions worked. Then, researchers deliberately disorganized this information (just like aging does), which triggered aging’s trademark effects. 

Most importantly, researchers gave the mice gene therapy to “restore the cells to factory settings” by tweaking epigenetic information. This process reversed the biomarkers of aging, and the researchers could move the cells back and forth through the aging process at will. Dr. Sinclair explained that “it’s like rebooting a malfunctioning computer.”

Reversing Skin Aging

In 2022, researchers at the UK’s Babraham Institute found a way to “reset” skin cells without deleting their original function. The cells were reset to function as fibroblasts — skin cells involved in healing.

The new cells had healthier chemical markers in their genes, making them act like cells 30 years younger. The rejuvenated cells produced more collagen and healed wounds faster than their predecessors.

Professor Wolf Reik, who headed up the research, suggested some exciting ramifications. “Eventually, we may be able to identify genes that rejuvenate without reprogramming,” he said, “and specifically target those to reduce the effects of aging.”

This research may one day lead to ways to reverse aging in other types of cells, and in the body as a whole.

NMN Supplement BenefitsNAD+ Advancements

Nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme that supports the way cells use energy. Its levels decline naturally as we age, but supplements like nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)* can replenish them. This may increase the amount of energy our cells can produce. Increasing NAD+ levels has helped mice live longer and improved the health of older animals.

Though more research is needed, studies on NAD+ show some interesting promise for improving longevity.

*Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Cell Senescence

“Senescent” cells build up in response to aging. These are byproducts of cell damage that develop due to biomarkers like low NAD+ levels, cancer genes, inflammation, and disease. 

Having a high number of senescent cells may have links to diabetes, kidney problems, and age-related lung conditions like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Removing these cells via genetic or medicinal treatments known as “senolytics” has shown promising results in several studies, though there’s a long way to go before this anti-aging treatment is safe for human use.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

A team of researchers in Tel Aviv found that treatment using a highly pressurized oxygen chamber reversed two different biomarkers of aging in 35 healthy adults.

The first biomarkers were the protective regions at the end of every chromosome in DNA, called telomeres. These get shorter during aging, but 90 days of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) made 20-38% of the participants’ telomeres longer. 

HBOT also reduced the number of senescent cells in the participants’ blood by 11-37%. “Today, telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging,” says study leader Professor Shai Efrati, “Our HBOT protocol was able to achieve this, proving that the aging process can, in fact, be reversed at the basic cellular-molecular level.”

man exercising at home Will Scientists Reverse Aging in Our Lifetime?

Dr. Noah Davidsohn, an epigeneticist whose research restored sight to blind mice, suggested on the Longevity by Design podcast that the studies on anti-aging epigenetics will use human subjects “within three to five years.” 

Even after human trials, we’ll still have a long way to go before we can reverse the aging process. Lifeforce co-founder Dr. Peter Diamandis points out that clinical trials are extremely difficult, and that “it often takes billions of dollars to complete them, and often after many failed attempts.” 

Although it takes time to test the effects of new technologies on aging, progress in this area is moving faster almost every year. 

AI and Age Reversal Technology

AI is likely to speed up anti-aging research further, and researchers have uncovered biomarkers for inflammation (c-reactive protein) and metabolism (including insulin like growth factor-1) that reliably demonstrate a cell’s biological age (rather than its chronological age). These promising developments may make it possible to reverse aging in our lifetimes using technology we can’t even imagine yet.

Can Scientists Extend Healthspan?

Though scientists can’t reverse aging yet, the global life expectancy has extended by over six years since 2000. Yet healthspan — how long people can live without disease — hasn’t kept pace. Still, several lifestyle changes you can make today can help preserve your comfort and energy levels and stave off disease.

For example, the Mediterranean diet supports the immune system and may support healthy cell aging. Testosterone replacement therapy may improve physical function, muscle mass, and bone strength by reversing low testosterone — a hallmark of aging in men. Regular exercise, socialization, healthy meals, physician check-ups, and skin care can all support a healthy aging process. 

older woman joggingNatural Ways to Improve Your Healthspan

Even if you can't live in your 20-year-old body forever, aging doesn't have to keep you from your peak. There are simple ways to feel great and function effectively at every stage of life, including eating and sleeping well, staying active, monitoring your health with regular bloodwork, and avoiding smoking.

Improve Your Diet

Some studies have suggested that calorie restriction may support healthy aging. A lower-calorie diet has been found to extend animal lifespans through effects on metabolism, inflammation, and stress. However, diet doesn’t slow the pace of aging, and the most likely benefits of calorie restriction come from its effects on healthspan.

The Mediterranean Diet may improve longevity through its effects on gut microbiome and its emphasis on fish, greens, healthy oils, and nuts. It’s not quite a “reverse aging diet,” but its impact on healthspan is promising.

Optimize Your Sleep

Maintaining a healthy sleep routine becomes more challenging as you age because of illness, irregular schedules, insomnia, and increased night-time waking. However, getting regular, high-quality sleep remains essential.

Research has shown that even a single night of sleep deprivation can trigger the expression of aging-related genes that affect how cells divide. Reduced sleep also increases inflammation markers that could signal a higher risk of chronic health problems like diabetes.

Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep at the same time every night. Maintain a relaxing bedtime routine, cut down on sleep-disrupting substances like alcohol and caffeine, and keep your bedroom free from distractions and devices.


Physical activity is crucial as you age to keep you mobile, reduce your risk of falls and chronic diseases, boost your mood, and maintain mental agility. People who stay active live longer and spend more time at peak health.

In one study on a group of 20-year-olds, three weeks of bedrest “aged” vital biomarkers like blood pressure, resting heart rate, and maximum heart rate by 20 years. Exercise soon returned these markers to their previous levels, effectively reversing metabolic aging.

Surprisingly, 30 years later, the same biomarkers had only declined by 12%. The researchers concluded that three weeks of bed rest aged the subjects more than 30 years of real-world aging.

Quit Smoking

You don’t need research to tell you not to smoke, but it can tell you why. Studies have shown that smoking can accelerate skin aging on the face, and increase aging-linked inflammatory responses throughout the body. Smoking also boosts your risk of cancer, heart disease, and lung conditions that can hamper your longevity.

Stopping smoking won’t turn back the clock or reverse aging, but it may help you age more slowly and even add ten years to your life expectancy.

Learn more in our article on Healthy Habits to Improve Your Lifespan.

Monitor Your Biomarkers

Another way to improve your healthspan is to regularly monitor your levels of key hormones and nutrients. As we age, our levels of important minerals like magnesium naturally decrease. Levels of key hormones like testosterone drop too (by about one percent each year after the age of 35) along with estrogen (which plummets in women during and after menopause). 

You can keep your energy, libido, and cognitive functions strong and spot deficiencies by monitoring your body’s response to age-related changes.

The Lifeforce Membership regularly tests more than 40 biomarkers to track your health and performance. Membership also provides quarterly clinician check-ins to explain your results, and helps you plan a regimen of nutraceuticals, lifestyle adjustments, and hormones to improve your healthspan.

Keep Your Brain Active

Engaging your mind can improve your healthspan. Practicing mentally demanding hobbies during old age is shown to improve working memory, and playing a musical instrument may enhance cognitive function.

A hobby may help you live longer, too. Studies in older adults have found significant associations between having hobbies and a lower risk of death.

Until science can reverse aging, knowing how the body ages can help you stay more healthy as you age. See The Science Behind How Your Body Ages in Your 30s, 40s, 50s, and Beyond.

woman healthy eating saladTips for Younger Skin

You might not be able to reverse skin aging right now, despite the promising research in the Babraham Institute project. But you can take several steps to reduce premature skin aging.

These include:

  • Cover up and seek shade. Even in the colder months, sun damage can age your skin before its time. Stay out of the sun when possible and wear a hat, long sleeves, and pants when it’s not.

  • Use sunscreen. If your clothing doesn’t cover all your skin, use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that provides a minimum of SPF-30 protection.

  • Avoid UV tanning. Whether on a real sun lounger or an artificial sunbed, overexposure to UV rays speeds up skin aging. Try using a self-tanning lotion instead.

  • Avoid smoking. Smoking directly contributes to wrinkles and can affect your complexion. Start reducing your exposure to cigarette smoke to slow skin aging.

  • Eat for skin health. A diet high in fruits and vegetables gives you plenty of vitamins A, C, and E, to keep your skin supple, strong, and vibrant. Fatty acids are also an essential dietary component of skin health.

  • Cleanse gently. Cleaning makeup, dirt, and pollution from your skin is an important daily ritual to reduce skin aging. However, excessive scrubbing can cause irritation that may speed up aging.

  • Apply moisturizer daily. Moisturizing can help prevent your skin from drying out, helping it look and feel healthier.

NMN SupplementsSupplements That Reverse Aging? Fact and Fiction

The bad news is that with today’s technology, no supplement can reverse aging. The good news? There’s evidence that a few supplements can help you age more healthfully. 

These include:

  • Curcumin. This compound is found in turmeric and shows promise as an anti-aging supplement. In studies, curcumin reduced inflammation-related cell damage, possibly by mimicking the effects of calorie restriction.

  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a green tea compound that may support skin health during aging, including reducing wrinkles. It may do this by balancing the gut microbiome and decreasing senescence.

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Your body naturally makes this antioxidant that helps protect the skin. Levels decrease naturally during aging. Supplementing may help your skin repair itself and reduce aging’s effects.

  • Collagen. This protein provides strength and structure to your skin and bones, supporting elasticity and replacing dead cells. A review of 12 randomized, controlled trials found that collagen can reduce or delay skin aging.

  • NMN. The body uses NMN to make NAD+, which your body produces naturally. Levels of NAD+ halve during the aging process. By taking NMN supplements, your body can make more of this molecule and increase your cells’ fuel supply.

Consult a physician before taking supplements to support healthy aging.


Stem cell research and epigenetics show exciting promise as anti-aging technologies, but we’re many years from being able to reverse aging. However, a healthy diet, supplementing vital nutrients, and regular biomarker monitoring can help maximize your healthspan and youthful energy.

Tony Robbins smilingLIVE BETTER, LONGER

85% of Lifeforce members report improved quality of life within their first three months.

Optimize your health and longevity with the Lifeforce Diagnostic blood test plus Membership. We’ll measure 40+ biomarkers that drive your mental and physical health, then get you on the path to optimized health.

  • Quarterly biomarker testing

  • Expert clinical support

  • 1-on-1 health coaching

  • Members-only hormone optimization

This article was medically reviewed by: 

Cono Badalamenti, MD, MHSA, ABFM Diplomate, American Board of Family Medicine, ABLM Diplomate, American Board of Lifestyle Medicine

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