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  • Limited Lifespan Or Indefinitely Long Lifespan?

    October 6, 2016: by Bill Sardi

    While more and more adults are living actively into their 8th decade of life and beyond, improvements in survival with advancing age tends to decline after age 100 years.  [Nature Oct 5, 2016] Researchers who study aging now say humanity may have reached the outer limits of longevity as the no modern human has lived beyond the age of 122 years, the apparent maximum lifespan. [Daily Mail UK Oct 5, 2016; New York Times Oct 5, 2016]

    The Bible says: “Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” [Book of Genesis 6:3]  So maybe today’s news headlines are not new at all.

    This latest pronouncement on the limits of longevity stand in opposition to biologists who maintain, at least at the cellular level, lifespan can be extended indefinitely. [Age Dec 2007]

    Most longevinarians are given a chance to live longer and healthier due to public hygiene, elimination of infectious diseases, availability of antibiotics, but doctoring and modern medicines don’t appear to be a major part of that.

    Jean Calment of France lived 122 years smoking two cigarettes, drinking port wine, use of olive oil and eating a bit of chocolate every day but not much doctoring.  Calment is quoted to say she was “competing with Methuselah,” the Biblical patriarch who lived 970 years.

    Calment’s major age-related handicaps were cataracts in both eyes and deafness.  [Positive Med]  The cataract problem has been overcome. Modern microsurgical removal of cloudy cataracts and replacement with a clear plastic lens to restore visual clarity is 95% successful in restoring vision sufficient to maintain a drivers license. [Journal Cataract Refractive Surgery May 2013]

    Restoration of light transmission to the retina also improves metabolism and normalizes secretion of adrenal hormones, evidence that the benefits of cataract removal extend beyond visual restoration. [Ophthalmologe 1990]

    The lesson gleaned from Jean Calment is that when humans subject themselves to mild biological stress, such as low-dose radiation, intermittent exposure to heat (sauna), internal production or exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas (volcano gas or garlic), food deprivation such as fasting (but not starvation), or molecules that mimic the effect of calorie restriction such as the red wine molecule resveratrol, they may prolong their lives immeasurably.  [Investigative Radiology May 1993; European Review Medical Pharmacological Sciences June 2016; Ageing Research Reviews March 2015; Biogerontology Aug 3, 2016; Proceedings National Academy Science May 2016]

    This is explained more amply in my report entitled: “How does a cigar-smoking man live 110 years?” [Resveratrol News June 26, 2014]

    When I wrote a report entitled: “Is humanity passing up the greatest ‘life force’ ever discovered, which pertained to hormesis and Nrf2, it was largely met with disbelief.  [Resveratrol Central]

    Mild biological stress increases survival of living organisms. [Biogerontology Dec 2015; Experimental Gerontology Sept 2016] Exposure to low-grade biological stress that results in unusual longevity is called hormesis. [Biochimica Biophysica Acta May 2012]

    The genetic switch that activates life-prolonging internal antioxidants (glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase SOD) is Nrf2.  Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid derived-2) is considered the master regulator of cellular antioxidants. [Oxidative Medicine Cellular Longevity 2016]

    The unusually long-lived naked (hairless) mole rat (typically lives 30 years versus less than 3 years for most other rodents) is attributed to the activation of Nrf2. [Mammalian Genome Aug 2016]

    However, the use of a multi-herbal product (Protandim) that activates Nrf2 only expanded the lifespan of laboratory mice by 7% in a recent study. [Aging Cell Oct 2016]

    Living a long but miserable life in the last decades is not the most desirable proposition.  Most people would take 120 healthy years if they were assured they would not be living the last decades of life in a debilitated over-drugged state, confined to a wheelchair, diapered and drooling at the mouth appears to be the current fate of many adults who live into their 80s and beyond.

    The real objective ought to be: “die young.” [Nature July 20, 2016]  That would be more than having a good-looking corpse in the morgue.  This would be like Moses, who for the historical record, at 120 years of age “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” [Book of Deuteronomy 34:7]  Moses fasted 40 days and nights. [Book of Exodus 34:28]

    Because humans live seven decades and beyond, we simply don’t have any insight into whether resveratrol pills will significantly extend life because it would take 7-8 decades to provide conclusive evidence of that.  However, the use of resveratrol beginning at (let’s say) age 65 or 70 would be intriguing, to see if it even reverses some aging in the brain, eyes, heart and other organs.

    Resveratrol and/or a calorie-restricted diet were administered to laboratory animals late in life with modest health benefits achieved.  But this study over-dosed the animals on resveratrol (human equivalent 3500 milligrams), which is a pro-oxidant dose, not a hormetic dose. [Experimental Gerontology Sept 2013]

    The short-term use of low-dose resveratrol combined with other small molecules (Longevinex®) was demonstrated to exert a profoundly similar epigenetic effect in laboratory mice that mimicked 82% of the effect of life-long calorie restriction in just 12-weeks. [Experimental Gerontology 2008]

    The researchers reporting on a limited or maximum lifespan of 120 years are essentially measuring the effects of diet and other health practices on longevity.  We are living in the first two decades of humans taking a daily anti-aging pill like resveratrol.   Harvard professor David Sinclair first reported the association between this red wine molecule and a known survival gene (Sirtuin1) and longevity in fruit flies in 2003.  [Nature 2003] Thousands of people then began taking resveratrol pills in an unguided fashion.

    This red wine molecule has been demonstrated to even reverse some of the biological effects of aging in humans.  [Nutrients Oct 17, 2014; Optometry Dec 2009]

    Low-dose resveratrol activates the same Nrf2 genetic switch that facilitates a ten-fold increased lifespan of hairless (naked) mole rats.  Will resveratrol pill users begin to live hundreds of years like the Biblical patriarchs?

    Selling superlongevity is a challenge.  A Pew Research study shows 64% of Americans would not want treatments that would allow them to live dramatically longer lives. In their report entitled “Living to 120 and Beyond” the Pew survey reveals about half of Americans believe long lifespan would be bad for society. Most Americans aim to live 80-100 years. [Washington Post Aug 3, 2013]  – ©2016 Bill Sardi, Resveratrol News

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