Sometimes it’s fun to be me – at least on occasion. One of the most enjoyable things is when people ask me about the “latest” article or study on aging. Sometimes it’s a press release, sometimes it’s a blog, sometimes it’s a new text.
Now I am a busy person, and I am guessing you are too. So, the first rule of expertise is knowing where to focus your energy and your time. I have said so many times that time is your most valuable resource. This is why I have dedicated a huge chunk of my adult life pursuing extended life span and health span.
Part of my job is to save you time by leveraging my expertise in this field. And a big part of this separating the wheat from the chaff.
Trust me there is a lot of chaff.
Even people who are decorated scientists are producing a ton of chaff under the “publish or perish” mantra. I understand why they do it but it is both scary and embarrassing.
It’s scary because it is at best over blown, and at worst just plain dangerous and wrong! Worse is what I call the chain reaction of toxicity! In biologic terms this occurs when free radicals attack a molecule, damage it and then move on to the next and the next and so on and so forth until they finally burn out.
You can see how this would accelerate aging.
But if you just read that..
You may be wondering what that has to do with the internet. Well, you’ve heard me mention internet factoids. Once they get started by an expert they get picked up and move on down the chain of non-experts until they are all over the internet. Worse, they often stay there for years and resurface over and over again even after they’ve been disproved.
Want some examples?
- Telomerase causes cancer
- Fish oil increases the risk of prostate cancer
- Resveratrol is a life extension drug
All wrong, all disproven and all still around!
Even more interesting is the degree to which non medical people are weighing in as experts on aging.
I just saw a guy who has a PhD in Mathematics and has a blog on aging. Imagine my surprise when I discovered he just wrote and published a book on aging.
Now maybe it’s me but how does mathematics qualify you as an expert on human aging? How many lives have you saved? How many sick people did you heal?
One of the things I love about my life now is my colleagues are experienced in both academics and health care.
I need to remind you that experience counts. In most cases it counts more than book knowledge. In human health it ALWAYS counts more than book knowledge.
Lately I have seen
An anti-fish oil campaign burgeoning in the academic press. Fish oil doesn’t work, but eating fish does. Sorry, that has not been my experience. I have met no one who eats enough fish to reverse the inflammation in their body. I Have however come across several people who got mercury toxic trying.
My experience has taught me that Omega 3 is the single most important supplement for the support of healthy aging.
Once you’ve mastered that habit you can move on to taking care of your telomeres.
Do that and you are ahead of the game no matter what the internet experts tell you! Remember they are like blind men describing an elephant!