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Antiaging Research Priorities [was Re: Major Criticisms of The Telomeric Theory

Excelife excelife at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 16 03:29:12 EST 1998

In article <35FF2E57.1917 at netcom.ca>, tmatth at netcom.ca says...
>Excelife wrote:
>> The question I raise is where would you allocate funds for aging research 
>> if you could make the decision? This is not an idle question!  Lifeline >> 
Labs. is nearing the position to be able to fund additional research into >> 
aging.  If you are aware of a specific research project or line of >> 
research into aging that holds more promise than the research into the >> 
telomeric theory we would love to see it.
>> We will be soliciting Research Grant Applications in the very near future 
>> and are open to any research that has the potential to effect human aging.
>Okay, I will give you my choice based on my current knowledge of things
>(which may change after I have had more opportunity to review and think
>about Aubrey's mitochondrial research proposals).
>Currently, calorie restriction is the only therapy which is non invasive
>and can be applied to an already living animal which has been proven to
>extend mean and maximum lifespan across many species, the latest
>appearing to be primates, although the experiment will not be complete
>for some years. The only reason why humans will not and do not use CR
>(although some do) to extend their lives and health is because of its
>impalatability (literally :-). What is needed is a major research effort
>to find out the exact mechanism by which CR extends healthy mean and
>maximum lifespan, then create the necessary drug thearpies to achieve
>"the CR effect", and make them available to humans. If this can be done,
>it should be worth billions of dollars to whoever patents those
>effecting drugs.
>Again the main reasons this is my choice are:
>1. We know calorie restriction works now to rduce and delay *every* type
>of fatal disease process (at lesst in many animal species, far more than
>we had the same data about any other method of antiaging).
>2. It is a very low tech and non-invasive "adjustment of our
>biochemistry in some manner.
>3. It is reasonable to think that we can discover its mechanism in
>4. It is reasonable to think that we can cause this same mechanism to be
>invoked by drugs instead of 'starvation'.
>While calorie restriction (or its drug induced manifestation) will by no
>means give us immortality, it will allow many of us (especially the
>older ones of us) to live long enough for higher tech, more fundamental
>interventions in the aging process (maybe telomere lengthening) to
>become available. What I am saying is the our antiaging research
>priorities should be set in a kind of boot-strap fashion: First do what
>is simplest and easiest to get us another 20-30 years. Only after that
>is complete, do you put the big money into things that have promise for
>much longer life extension, but are inherently more complex and more

Your logic is right but your reasoning is wrong.  The way to get us an 
additional 20-30 years is to attack the major causes of mortality in the U.S. 
population today.  These are heart disease, cancer, immunological failure and 
trauma.  These age related diseases, excluding trauma, would appear to be the 
logical place to start and then as you said we will have the time to look for 
a more permanent solution.

Research into calorie or dietary restriction does, however, show some promise 
in these areas.  (Now Tom, don't shut off your computer:-) But CR is related 
to the telomeric theory of aging.  Dr. Effros in, Mech Ageing Dev 1997 
Feb;93(1-3):25-33, showed how CR enhanced the elimination of non-functional T 
cells by "normalizing" apoptosis thus improving immunological functioning.  

And Koizumi A, et.al., in J Nutr 1992 Jul;122(7):1446-1453, showed that 
"Energy restriction decreased mitotic activities to approximately 30% of 
control values."  This delay in mitotic division would result in the 
maintenance of telomeric length and allow for an extended life span.

So CR would fall under the purview of research into the telomeric theory of 
aging, (More on this when I post the chapter on Related Research).

>Don't forget, that as life-extensionists, our purpose is not
>*scientific* per se. Our highest priority should not be the glitziest
>and/or most interesting and/or the most fundamental science. Instead,
>our purpose is very simply to remain alive and healthy, and *that* is
>what should set our research priorities.

On this we fully agree.  I just happen to think that the research into the 
telomeric theory of aging is the best and fastest way to achieve that desired 

Thomas Mahoney, Pres.
Lifeline Laboratories, Inc.

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