Friday, April 21, 2006

Longevity and Life Extension: Getting the Jump on Aging Before SENS

Many of you are familiar with Aubrey de Grey and his SENS approach to life extension and longevity. For the intermediate term, de Grey's approach offers a lot of promise in the fight against aging.

In the short term, we need something more immediate. Ray Kurzweil has written a book on aging, discussing the several dozen supplements he takes daily. Most people do not need that much, but some might need more. A recent Barron's article took a stab at the subject, but journalists have trouble getting to the meat of a topic.

This brief posting will deal with the basics of life extension now, rather than longevity in the next fifty years. Several postings in Al Fin have dealt with this topic, and there is no need to repeat them. This is just the basics. People below the age of 40 should ignore the hormone section. Each person should selectively choose agents based upon his own circumstances. Inform yourself in basic biology. Consult professionals before taking prescription medicines or extremely high doses of any agent. DHEA and androgens can potentially accelerate the development and spread of prostate cancer, so be sure and be screened appropriately if you are in the susceptible age group of males.

1. Hormones: DHEA, HGH, androgens, estrogens, thymosins, melatonin, and thyroid.
2. Antioxidants: Vitamins A,C,E, Lipoic Acid, Selenium, NAC, CoQ10, polyphenols, other phyto-antioxidants.
3. Antiglycation agents: Aminoguanidine, Carnosine, pyridoxamine, benfotiamine, ALT 711.
4. Brain Boosters: Ginkgo, PS, bacopa, DMAE, neurotransmitter precursors, hydergine, vinpocetine, Huperzine, etc.
5. Calorie restriction mimetics such as resveratrol, quercetin, etc.
6. General: TMG, Curcumin, carnitine, B complex, etc.
5. Immune Boosters: Wide variety of herbals and complex carbohydrate derivatives of plants and microorganisms, plus a lot of laughter.
6. Physical exercise and prudent eating, plus elimination of clearly bad habits and institution of good lifestyle habits.
7. Mental and emotional training. Practise sentic cycles and other forms of meditation. Read books on mind and memory training, and practise exercises.

If you are too old to wait for SENS, but rebel against the need to practise self-discipline, simply get old as you are doing. Otherwise, consult the longevity links posted on the side-bar of the Al Fin main page. Learn what you can, and start practising what you can. The important thing is to take a systematic approach. If you pop a lot of pills, but smoke like a stack, drink like a fish, exercise less than a minute a week, and sleep only two or three hours a night, you may not be taking a balanced approach to the subject.

In a later post, I will go into more detail on some of the particular agents and approaches outlined above. In the meantime, feel free to utilise the source materials that are provided. Aging and life extension are hot topics these days. I wonder why?

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