by Nils Osmar. October 1, 2022. Medical Disclaimer
We’re living in an amazing time, in which we have interventions such as:
- GlyNAC (Glycine plus NAC) and foods like whey, both of which restore glutathione to the levels found in young adults;
- NAD boosters like NMN and NR, and sirtuin activators such as cyanidin and fucoidan;
- AKG, in the CaAKG and AAKG forms, which have been found in animal studies to extend lifespan and compresses morbidity;
- Herbs that can boost the sex hormones and human growth hormone, restoring them to youthful levels;
- Compounds such as berberine and benfotiamine, which can lower blood sugar, shut off mTOR for a period of time and activate AMPK;
- And even pharmaceuticals such as rapamycin and metformin, which require prescriptions but are sold by companies which have doctors available to review our health histories and write those prescriptions where needed.
- Plus, we have the opportunity to explore different diets, listen to the experiences of the people following them, and experiment till we find the right one(s) for ourselves, whether we then opt to go in a vegan, ketogenic, omnivore, pescatarian, or carnivore direction.
- And we also have easy access, for the most part, to other approaches such as fasting, exercise, and heat and cold exposure, which cost nothing, or very little. According to the CDC, simply exercising has profound health benefits, both in the long and short term. Their website notes that:
Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.
None of the supplements and drugs I mentioned above are cheap; I’m currently spending over $10 a day on supplements. But I wouldn’t call the prices astronomical either. (When I started buying supplements, I stopped going to coffee shops such as Starbucks and stopped going out to dinner in restaurants, switching to pot-lucks and cooking meals for friends at home; the savings covered a big chunk of the cost.)
I’m thinking about this because many of the “better” interventions that people are waiting for and assuming are just around the bend may turn out to be much more expensive. When we read about companies or governments pouring “billions” into anti-aging research, it suggests that the dividends of that research won’t be free or cheap to the public. Companies will be looking for compounds such as insulin which they can make people dependent on, with an eye on keep raising the prices once we’re ‘hooked’. Future anti-aging approaches will likely be much pricier than what we have now. But it may be a long while till we have anything that’s demonstrably better.
It puzzles me that there are people who know about AKG or GlyNAC or rapamycin and aren’t taking any of them. Not that anyone has any obligation to take any particular supplement, but I’m puzzled by the tendency in some place in the anti-aging community to ignore the ones we have and wait for “something better.”
Or – one of my favorite odd comments – “GlyNAC only extends lifespan in lab animals 23%; what good is that? It should be at least 50% to make it worth it.” (As if an extra 20 or 25 years of healthy life has no value.)
I’ve even read comments here and there online from people saying they’re waiting for treatments that are “proven to extend lifespan in people.” They have a point of course that something working in animals doesn’t necessarily mean it till work in people. But they’re overlooking the fact that it would take more than a human lifespan to prove that something extends life in people.
And if a compound has similar effects in human beings (to animals) in all other respects, it seems reasonable to me to believe it could extend lifespan in us too.
Others are of course welcome to wait 110 years or so for definitive proof to come in; we all have to follow our own judgement. I wish them well. But I won’t be waiting. For those in their 20s, it may well make sense to wait. For me, as I approach my 70th birthday, there’s not a lot of motivation to wait
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