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  • Will Dietary Supplements Produce An Unprecedented Number Of Super Centenarians?

    January 5, 2014: by Bill Sardi



    “Old age is the harbor
    of all ills.” –Bion

    1. While there is a trend towards more humans in developed lands living into their 8th and 9th decades, the pursuit of healthy “Biblical patriarch” superlongevity (110 + years) has eluded mankind up till now.
    2. Very few people achieve super longevity (110+ years of life) and generally do so without the aid of medicines or other potions (68 currently listed by Gerontology Research Group).
    3. Drugs do not appear to produce super longevity, nor do most currently made dietary supplements.
    4. Food/lack of food or other environmental factors appear to be involved in super longevity, pointing to a calorie restriction model.  Food deprivation (but not starvation) can presumably extend human lifespan further than any known technology; 40-50% calorie restriction about doubles the lifespan of laboratory mammals (120+ healthy years).
    5. There is human population (epidemiologic) data showing where food shortages existed or presently exist, the percentage of centenarians increases.  Examples are World War II England (food rations); present-day Cuba (food shortages); recent-past Okinawa longevity (a longevity effect that has diminished as this poorest prefecture of Japan has improved its economy and western fast-foods are now abundant).  Also longevity is prevalent in lands where intermittent fasting is adhered to for religious reasons.  Intermittent fasting was proposed as a tactic to achieve was suggested in 1946, though its roots go as far back as the Bible.
    6. France is an exception, with a high percentage of centenarians in spite of a diet rich in calories and fats.  This paradox is attributed to their consumption of dark aged red wine.  In other words, wine negates the negative effects of a bad diet and mimics a limited calorie diet.  The removal of alcohol to produce wine solids (polyphenols) that comprise a “red wine anti-aging pill” is now widely available and waiting for public adoption.
    7. This means that superlongevity could be within reach of all humanity who live in developed countries where infectious disease does not shorten their lifespan and can be achieved with little cost.
    8. However, it is not realistic to believe humanity will limit food intake to the point of consuming about 1 meal a day.
    9. It is not the reduced calories but the limited mineral intake that accompanies consumption of less food that controls the speed of aging.
    10.  In the laboratory mineral deprivation or mineral chelation invariably reverses biological aging and controls longevity genes via epigenetics.
    11. The speed of aging appears to be largely controlled by the rate of mineral accumulation (iron, copper, calcium) following childhood growth.
    12. These food deprivation or limited mineral longevity pathways appear to work via the Nrf2 gene transcription pathway, which is also activated by a broad number of environmental stress factors as well (lack of oxygen/high altitude, low-dose radiation/radon gas, noxious food factors/garlic, resveratrol) that are mild biological threats.
    13. The broad number of Nrf2 activators (environmental, dietary) may help explain why the etiological factors that result in superlongevity have remained obscure.
    14. Prolonged fasting activates Nrf2Calorie restriction in laboratory mice activates Nrf2.
    15. Mild biological threats (food deprivation, low-dose radiation, etc.) activate Nrf2 that in turn triggers production of protective internal enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase).  The consistent application of mild biological stress, suggested over 15 years ago, in the form of a pharmaceutical or nutraceutical would be expected to prolong human life by up-regulation of internal antioxidants.
    16. The habitual use of molecular Nrf2 activators that also chelate minerals (resveratrol, quercetin, allicin in garlic) may serve as a practical way to achieve super longevity in the masses.  There are many of Nrf2 activators in herbs and spices.
    17. The current pharmacological pursuit of an anti-aging drug is elitist, unaffordable and impractical.  Even if an anti-aging drug activates Nrf2 it would likely induce unwanted side effects as a synthetic man-made molecule.
    18. Deprenyl (selegeline) is an FDA-approved drug touted as a pep pill for seniors over a decade ago that became a drug (Eldepryl) for Parkinson’s disease. Deprenyl activates two of the three key internal antioxidants (catalase, superoxide dismutase) but is largely ignored as a remedy for aging.  A physician who used Deprenyl and lived to the age of 108 is documented online.  It is unlikely physicians will comply with any patient’s request for a Deprenyl prescription to slow aging.  Deprenyl would be limited to those who could afford it.
    19. Physicians are trained to diagnose and treat disease, not detect premature aging and slow its progress.  Beyond cosmetic therapies (plastic surgery, hair implants, contact lenses) there are few if any monetary incentives for physicians to prescribe age-slowing or age-reversing regimens.
    20. Currently physicians gravitate to the most financially rewarding treatments, not necessarily the least problematic and most affordable.
    21. The idea of upending the current disease treatment paradigm where each age-related disease is treated as they occur is more profitable than any promising anti-aging potion that delays or reverses biological aging and all age-related pathologies altogether.
    22. There are political (population control), social (people not sure they want to live that long) and financial (life insurance, personal and governmental insolvency) issues that may work to covertly or overtly to thwart any bona fide anti-aging technology.
    23. Most anti-aging researchers are wasting their time producing pharmaceutical solutions to aging that would not be affordable or widely available to the masses.
    24. Unless the public decides to step forward and adopt natural inexpensive Nrf2 activators on their own, without waiting for their doctor’s approval and for insurance to pay, the promise of an anti-aging pill may never reach the applied science stage of development.  Anti-aging technologies will remain in the laboratory.
    25. Few individuals are used to making healthcare decisions on their own, which limits the number of people who may elect to begin a regimen that will activate Nrf2 to produce superlongevity.
    26. Naïve skeptics demand long-term human studies be performed before public adoption of an anti-aging pill.  However, a decades-long study would be impractical and cost billions of dollars.
    27. Short of longevity studies, markers of aging can be measured to determine biological aging.  Three accepted markers of aging are (a) red blood cell width; (b) labile iron (iron inside living cells); (c) lipofuscin (accumulated cellular debris) tissue levels.
    28. The idea of an anti-aging pill to slow the rate of aging and improve both the quality and quantity of life has been proposed as a way of rescuing Medicare from predicted insolvency.  People are already living into their 8th and 9th decade, often in a debilitated state and at great expense to families and society.  Adding 7 more healthy years to the end of life has been proposed (the so-called longevity dividend) to solve the eldercare crisis.
    29. The problem is in finding a reliable way to not only add years to your life, but life to your years.  Researchers in Italy say: “increased longevity without quality of life is an empty prize.  Health expectancy is more important than life expectancy.”  In Italy, disability-free life expectancy at age 65 years ranges from 16.5 to 22.3 years.  Many Italians are living into their 80s without major infirmity.  But again, this is not superlongevity.
    30. Do seniors want to live longer?  A survey indicates most senior adults (9 of 10) have no desire to extend their life another two or three decades.  They are happy to live into their 90s.  Superlongevity, defined as age 110 and above, is only desired by 10% of seniors.  If this is your mindset, you can go back to playing gin rummy at the club and consider yourself too old to benefit from any such promises of a fountain of youth.  For the remaining minority, you may continue to read.
    31. Since all laboratory longevity studies involve well-fed animals who receive a nutrient fortified diet, it is important that any anti-aging pill be employed among adults who have no nutrient deficiencies.  Food fortification or dietary supplementation becomes a platform for superlongevity.
    32. The best tested commercially available Nrf2 activating anti-aging pill should be employed by superlongevity seekers.
    33. It is now possible to directly visualize accumulation of lipofuscin, a marker of aging, in the human eye rather than obtaining tissue samples (biopsy) to determine lipofuscin levels.  Since life-long longevity studies are impractical, measurement of markers of aging is considered reliable and technology already exists to measure it.  Successful use of a nutraceutical to reverse accumulation of lipofuscin in the human eye of an aged subject has already been demonstrated.

    ©2014 Bill Sardi,

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