For quite some time now I have been telling you that aging is a disease. A disease can be treated and, in some cases, cured. Of course, in our tradition that means drugs and drugs have side effects.
The famously anti-supplement, anti- alternative medicine journal drug company mouth piece known as JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association released their most recent issue with not one but 3 major articles/editorials on combatting aging. They even used the word “Healthspan” which you may recall from the days of The Immortality Edge Book.
At first, I was excited. Here was a journal that controls the thoughts, practice and prescribing behaviors of most doctors writing about a topic they have never mentioned and I have been writing about for literally decades.
In the spirit of “the more people that know, the more likely we’ll succeed” I read the articles.
I was soon disappointed.
The word “Telomere” was not mentioned once nor was the word “mitochondria” -2 key targets for anti-aging therapies. The Journal was uncharacteristically optimistic about metformin and rapamycin-like drugs all of which have side effects. As a matter of fact, the first is a mitochondrial uncoupling agent which while useful in diabetes has nowhere near been proven in cancer and aging. As matter of fact there is serious doubt cast on its anti-aging properties. Ironically some of the big hitters in the anti-aging field who are not doctors or scientists have made it their darling and somehow this has permeated the major literature.
The second is an antibiotic/immunosuppressant that is being off label used to inhibit the TOR pathway after years of languishing in the back waters of traditional medicine. While I laud the off-label approach and the dosage adjustment, in the words of Len Hayflick, all they are doing is finding the maximum natural life span of the organism.
Telomere intervention has been shown to extend that life span past normal limits.
So why did it not get any press.
Simple: there are no drug therapies for telomeres, only supplements.
Big Pharma makes no money so the research grants go elsewhere. Why not just take 2 old drugs, add a sugar or some other moiety and call it a new drug for aging. Call that class of drugs “Senolytics” and bingo you have a Big Pharma entry into aging.
Now all they need to do is create a test and an ICD code for aging and senescence and Big Pharma owns anti-aging medicine.
Because I am old enough to remember a time in medicine before statin drugs, Big Pharma’s biggest money maker ever, I can tell you honestly checking cholesterol was not all that routine. All that changed when statins came out. We even had ridiculous statements like, “We should have statins in the water”.
These were the same people who said. “Vitamins just give you expensive urine.”
And there is a more recent issue. Back in the late 90’s I started doing male and female hormone replacement. I was especially vilified for using testosterone in men.
I predicted Big Pharma would find a way to capitalize on this and lo and behold 4 years later the infamous, “Is its low T?” commercials came out.
I even had one of the local urologists, who told me I should have my license revoked for treating men with Testosterone because I was sure to cause an epidemic of Prostate Cancer, tell me a few years later I should have my T levels checked as a routine.
How quickly they forget.
But I haven’t. This is not mere jumping on the bandwagon by Big Pharma and their mouth pieces, I guarantee you it’s a bid to garner all the potential wealth they are missing from the anti-aging audience by making it “official”. Then EVERYBODY can buy the drugs.
After all no one wants to get old before their time so everyone will want it. And because Big Pharma can skillfully manipulate data and find end points that will change (even if they don’t change morbidity or mortality!) the drugs will be prescribed like water.
Don’t be surprised if you see those age-related ICD codes coming out allowing doctors to bill for age related diseases. All that is missing is finalizing the drugs they are developing and then picking a test.
On a final note lest you doubt the ulterior motive, the same JAMA issue contained an article citing the “known potential dangers of supplements”. All of them were theoretical and few if any case histories were noted.
Conveniently missing was the 17-29 Billion dollars a year attributed to medicine mistakes (not total medical errors, just medicine related screw ups).
Highlighted were the worthless deliberately designed to fail fish oil studies published in JAMA and NEJM this year. Conveniently lacking was the relationship of Vascepa, a slightly modified form of EPA which showed a 25% reduction in Cardiovascular mortality when added to statins. But remember if its not a drug it can’t work and we’ll make sure we under dose with the supplement so it can’t possible work.
By the way the dose of Vascepa was 4 grams a day.
Sorry but this whole thing smells like something I have seen heard and smelled before. At its core is money. Eventually Big Pharma and banks will make sure you have nothing left to give your children. IN addition, they will be on a leash because of loans and debt.
You may find it easy and comforting to play along with them, after all they are the “authority” in this country.
But if you don’t and want to live healthier and longer without a drug I would Take Care of Your Telomeres!
This is how I take care of mine!
PS I am not stating, implying, suggesting, intuiting or in any way proposing that anything I make will lengthen your Healthspan or your Life Span. But I still have the personal freedom to take what I take and do what I do for these things.
Do the research and the rest is up to you!