GDF11 is an endogenous (meaning it’s natural and you have it in you) signalling molecule whose main mechanism of action is stem cell DNA repair.  Most of aging is likely caused by the atrophy of your stem cell populations due to declining GDF11 levels and it is believed this is natural selection’s way of programming lifespan.  Fortunately, adding exogenous GDF11 can generally repair enough of senescent stem cells to reverse aging phenotypes in animal studies.

A fascinating fact about GDF11 is that its structure is conserved across all vertebrate species e.g., cat, mouse and human GDF11 are all exactly the same, suggesting how important GDF11 is to biological life.

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