The newest supplement to catch the fancy of folks who refuse to get old is astaxanthin, an antioxidant found in algae. Astaxanthin (pronounced as-ta-ZAN-thin) is the compound that gives salmon and flamingos their pink hue. Proponents claim that in people, it has the power to reduce inflammation and oxidative damage to cells, which in turn preserves the eyes, skin, joints and central nervous system.
Posts Tagged ‘aging’
BellaOnline has posted a four-part review and interview about Selling the Fountain of Youth. Here’s an excerpt:
Q: As a journalist, you have witnessed the apparent shift from trusting only medical professionals (the men and women in white lab coats who look like serious researchers) to placing implicit trust in celebrities. What do you think accounts for this?
“Celebrity endorsement is hardly anything new in our society and has been used for many products. However, the anti-aging industry understands the power of marketing. Problems arise when the line is blurred between who are the ‘experts’ and people are confused.” Images speak volumes and often a well-crafted infomercial or television appearance grabs our attention in ways a medical journal article cannot.
Celebrities are persuasive and for aging Boomers, it is difficult to resist the ‘proof’ offered by a living and breathing personality. Weintraub stresses the danger lies when people latch blindly onto aggressive treatment options. These options may work for one individual, but have not been scientifically proven for widespread or long term use.
Everyone knows that exercise is good for their health and longevity, but so few of us are willing to get off our butts and actually do it. According to a 2009 Roper poll, only one in four Americans can manage to squeeze in a half-hour of exercise five times a week. This despite the mountain of data proving that exercise extends lives. A study by the Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, for example, found that men who became fit decreased their risk of dying of any disease by a remarkable 44 percent.
On Jan. 13, I met David Dworkin, a Julliard-trained musician who has invented a wonderfully innovative solution to exercise phobia. Read more here.
The January/February issue of the University of Pennsylvania’s alumni magazine, the Gazette, features an October conference that was held at the college in October. The event, called “New Aging: International Conference on Aging and Architecture,” brought together a range of experts in the field of aging. I was invited there to talk about Selling the Fountain of Youth, and I was quoted in the Gazette story as someone who rejects the idea that getting old is a disease.
As the story points out, what made this conference different was that it wasn’t just about architecture. Rather it was meant to get people thinking about aging in all its dimensions. Among the other speakers: Sylvana Joseph, who co-authored a humor book about sex and aging, and Aubrey de Grey, a world-renowned scientist who believes science should bring an end to aging.
In 1990, a scientist at the Medical College of Wisconsin named Daniel Rudman published a study that gave birth to the modern anti-aging movement. Rudman’s paper, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that 12 men who were given injections of human growth hormone (HGH) lost 14 percent of their body fat and increased their lean body mass — including muscle — by 9 percent. HGH, which is mostly used to help short children grow, became the go-to drug for perfectly healthy, aging people who were in search of the fountain of youth.
Now, one of Rudman’s closest friends is throwing cold water on the theory that HGH should be embraced as an anti-aging elixir. Read more here.
It’s been a year of scandals and breakthroughs in the world of anti-aging medicine, as I documented in a slide show for Huffington Post.
This cartoon says it all when it comes to fending off the aging process. Forgo the hormones and steroids. Eat right and exercise. You’ll be sure to stay young!
On December 13, researchers at the University of California at San Francisco said they had identified a derivative of thalidomide that seems to rejuvenate the immune systems of aging people. When they tested the drug in small doses on cell cultures taken from 13 patients, it stimulated the production of proteins called “cytokines.” That may, in turn, reduce the age-related inflammation that causes overall health to deteriorate.
The reason this matters is that SRT501 had been one of the most closely watched molecules in the Big Pharma pipeline ever since 2008, when GlaxoSmithKline snapped it up in a $720 million acquisition of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals — the company that first suggested resveratrol might be useful for treating age-related diseases.
For most of the past century, the financial-services industry has used actuarial tables to design life-insurance policies, pensions, and other products based on predictions of human lifespan. These “life tables” rely on historical death rates to predict the future longevity of broadly defined population groups. But human life expectancy has increased dramatically—from 47 years in 1900 to 77 today in the United States, with similar surges around the world, leading to skyrocking pension and healthcare costs. What’s more, sizable variations in longevity have emerged among different subgroups. Thus the financial-services industry no longer considers life tables adequate, as they leave too much room for companies to lose money.
A growing number of corporations and governments are turning to an emerging group of lifespan modelers. These experts are studying the living in an attempt to predict who will make it well into old age—and who won’t.