An Interesting Presentation on Aging Research

There are a number of people, researchers and advocates, in the longevity science community who have a good understanding of present research and knowledge, but who then build on that understanding to assemble what look to me to be completely the wrong conclusions about how best to proceed towards extending healthy life spans. The fellow who writes Anti-Aging Firewalls is one such individual. He is very much in favor of dietary supplements and other presently available means of metabolic alteration to impact aging, which seems to me to be a huge waste of time and effort. It is massively complex, the data is always ambiguous, and nothing in this area can be demonstrated to approach calorie restriction and exercise in terms of benefits delivered.

Note that neither calorie restriction nor exercise, despite the proven benefits for human health, will reliably let you live to age 90. Three quarters of each new aging cohort will be dead by that point and that includes a majority of those who led exemplary lifestyles. So no, tinkering with supplements is not the path to the future of longevity. Instead all that wasted effort should be focused on supporting and expanding work like that carried out by the SENS Research Foundation: building the rejuvenation technologies that don't presently exist, and which could offer the ability to reliably live in good health to age 90 and beyond. Too many people spend their time in the futile search for something that works now, when they only thing that will do any good is to work on making the treatments that will work tomorrow.

So all that said, here are a pair of presentations where the first is really quite good, being an opinionated view of aging research and its prospects, and the second is not, being a dive into largely pointless approaches that can do little for long-term health even in the best of outcomes.

Aging is multilayered. TheĀ aging of a living organism is both a manifestation and a result of complex changes in composition, structure and function across all levels of biological organization from molecular pathways, cell components and cells, to organs and tissues, to whole-body systems. Yet it is rarely studied that way: almost all research investigations have been carried out at a specific single level of organization and often in isolation with a relatively narrow focus. Research is reductionist and highly focused. This is the methodology and culture that dominates biological and biomedical research across the entire spectrum of research activities internationally. This traditional strategy has unquestionably led to significant progress and remarkable insights. But a more integrated approach is needed if we are ever to have a fully developed, fundamental understanding of aging and longevity and their relationship to health.

So, how does science speak with regard to aging? With many tongues. Important findings about aging can come from cancer research, Alzheimer's disease research, genetics and epigenetics research, studies of animals and plants, population health studies, and aging research studies. They can come from just about everywhere in the life sciences. They can be inconsistent, pushing different viewpoints. The contributing scientists mostly do excellent work. But they don't always talk with each other. It is a Tower of Babel! Understanding aging takes us into just about every area of human biology and medicine. The field is incredibly broad and deep and consists of many disparate areas of studies. Most scientists are only partially aware of what other scientists producing related results are doing, and can be unaware that others have solved part of the problem that they are addressing. So, what is presented here is my own story of what is known about aging.



I just created a new thread over at Next Big Future about the progress of the fundraiser. If we want more people to see it and possibly donate, we only need presently 3 upvotes to be in third place (or near the top) of the posts. If half of the people reading this voted up my post, this would be easily achieved. You can find it at and search for the newest thread.

Posted by: Morpheus at November 17th, 2014 8:04 PM

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