Antiaging Research Priorities [was Re: Major Criticisms of

Nelson Navarro nelsonn at
Fri Sep 18 20:19:02 EST 1998

Excelife wrote:
> In article <3602D65A.75FF at>, nelsonn at says...
> >
> >
> >I'm only a layman, so please excuse my naivety, but it sounds to me like
> >the fundamental question in this debate might be stated as follows:
> >
> >If a person alive today is 120 yrs. old, is it because their
> >environment, lifestyle, genetic heritage, etc., has allowed them to
> >simply avoid the causes of death that normally limit life span, or is it
> >actually due to a slower rate of aging, which would, from my neophyte
> >perspective, simply delay the usual causes of death?
> >
> >If a 120 yr. old person alive today is really 120 yrs. old (according to
> >some generally agreed upon set of aging biomarkers), then, everything
> >else being equal, CR, if it had been applied over a significant portion
> >of this persons life span, would have slowed down the aging process, and
> >120 yrs. may have become 160 yrs., right?
> >
> >Regards,
> >Nelson Navarro
> You have described the question correctly.  But depending on who responds you
> will get different answers.
> I personally believe that CR may allow more people to live up to their
> maximum life span of around 120 years but it does little to alter the
> underlying genetic cause of aging and no one will live much beyond that
> figure without some other intervention.

What you're actually saying, then, is that anyone alive today at 120
yrs. of age, must have got there strictly by way of a lifetime of severe
calorie restriction; is that correct?

Also, what do you mean by "underlying genetic cause of aging"?
In a broad sense, this can mean anything from positive death programming
to a situation where the rate of normal wear and tear slightly exceeds
the body's innate ability to make repairs.

In aging research, just like any other scientific endeavor, doesn't it
makes perfect sense to go after the low hanging fruit first? Especially
since it appears that, in this case, discovering the mechanism
underlying CR might shed light on the more fundamental processes at
work, and might generate lots of money for further research.

Nelson Navarro

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