According to scientists, a common treatment for diabetes could allow adults to live well into their 120s.
Scientists will conduct the first trials on metformin in 2016 in the hope that it may prevent illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
Researchers have already carried out tests on animals which show it remarkably extends their lives.
Now the American regulator, Food and Drug Administration, has given the all clear for the same trials in humans.
If the trials are successful, it could mean that, for example, a human in their 70s could have the same biological ages as a healthy person in their 50s.
Professor Gordon Lithgow, leader of the study, of the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing in California stated that if you are targeting an ageing process and you decelerate ageing then you also decelerate all the diseases and pathology of ageing.
He added that he has been doing ageing research for 25 years and the thought that they would be discussing clinical trials in humans for an anti-ageing drug would have been though impossible.
Researchers believe that metformin could contain the key to anti-ageing because it boosts the amount of oxygen molecules released into a cell.
This seems to increase their strength and ability to stay alive for a longer period of time.
The drug is generally taken as a daily pill, but also comes in sachets which dissolve in water.
Metformin was tested by Belgian researchers on a species of round worm and they discovered that the roundworm aged more slowly and stayed healthier for longer.
Academics at Cardiff University last year uncovered anecdotal proof that patients given metformin for diabetes lived longer.
This was regardless of the fact that those with diabetes generally have shorter life spans due to the fact that they are more susceptible to kidney damage, strokes and heart attacks.
The trial, known as TAME (Targeting Ageing with Metformin) is due to commence in the US next winter.
Scientists from various organizations and universities are raising funds and trying to recruit 3,000 adults aged between 70 and 80 who are at risk of or who have dementia, heart disease or cancer.
According to the Office for National Statistics, life expectancy for a girl born today in Britain is 82.8 years and 78.8 years for a boy.
However, figures have risen remarkably in recent decades and a third of babies will live to at least 100. All cells have a DNA blueprint which could maintain correct functioning of the body forever, meaning ageing is not inevitable.
But billions of cell divisions occur over a lifetime, and the more divisions occur, the harder it becomes for cells to repair damage.