As you know from your reading, GDF 11 stands for Growth Differentiation Factor 11. It's also known as Bone Morphogenetic Protein or BMP 11. This protein is encoded by the GDF 11 gene in humans.
The interest in GDF 11 is due to its ability to help rejuvenate the muscles and brains of older mice. Other studies suggest similar improvements in their hearts, fur and overall well being. In addition, increasing GDF11 in the blood of older mice allows them to run faster on a treadmill and recover better from injury. Sounds like a natural "fountain of youth."
As to taking GDF 11 orally or through injections, the original mice experiments were conducted by surgically attaching a younger mouse to an older one and having them share the same blood supply. Seems a bit extreme.
Questions yet to be answered include: Will increasing GDF 11 in the blood of elderly people work the same as in mice? And, how much GDF11 do humans need to get similar benefits as mice?
Since there have been no side effects noted in the experiments with mice, future research needs to determine whether people who live extra long lives have more GDF11 or other similar proteins in their blood. And, if they do, how to best use them.
Thanks for your questions. This will certainly be a fascinating topic to follow.
Best of Health,