An anti-ageing pill that could help us live up to a decade longer has moved a step closer with the discovery of a key component of the ageing process. Protein molecules – known as GSK-3 – are responsible for shortening our natural lives, according to a new study which suggests that life could be prolonged by effectively switching them off.

Experiments with fruit flies – which also have the GSK-3 protein – found that the molecule could be inhibited by low-level lithium use, which extended their lives by 16 per cent. This has raised hopes that lithium – or more likely another, similar drug with fewer side-effects –could eventually be turned into a tablet to prolong human life. READ MORE