The Progress Of Effective Anti-Aging Drugs And Therapies
The Silver Tsunami, also known as the “grey hoard” and “rising tide,” is fast approaching. By 2050, over 20% of the US, over 40 million people, will be 65 or older. This means that there will be an increased demand for regenerative, biotech solutions to minor and major health conditions. Luckily, science has been in a deep state of preparation for decades.
As the Facebook age withers, we can sense the gentle wind of anti-aging beginning to spin into a tornado. What began as a whisper is now a robust chorus. The anti-aging banners include Longevity, Life-extension, Geroscience, AgeTech, AI Longevity, Longevity Finance, Government Aging Management, Aging Biomarkers, Biotech, Biomedicine, Preventative Holistic Medicine, Age-personalization health care, Mortality statistics, and Healthspan science.
Collectively, these pursuits form a burgeoning $20 trillion-dollar industry. The Global Longevity Market will be the most massive, most explosive, and most complex industry in human history. While prevention had taken a backseat for many decades, it’s now the industry’s most funded pursuit.
If you had read this article ten years ago, you would have thought it was science fiction. It’s not. Get ready for a revolution in health, self-care, and DNA enhancement. While lists of potent anti-aging cocktails have been in development for 20 years, some of them are proving to be nearly miraculous, at least when administered to cute little mice.
“I’m gonna live forever. I’m gonna learn how to fly, high!”
— Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore, “Fame”
The thrust of the work in this category is aimed at flipping the bit on our regenerative genes and systems. At age seven, we lose the ability to regrow a severed fingertip. Scientists in the anti-aging field say that we can reboot the genes that give us this ability. Some say that we’ll eventually be able to grow, not only fingers, but eyes, legs, kidneys, livers, and skin within a relatively short period.
At age 165, we might not be forced to endure wrinkles, broken hips, and wheelchairs. Many of us will have the choice to thrive as tech-enhanced bio-organisms, each of us housing hosts of regenerated sets of tissue and organs.
What is Epigenetics?
Epigenetics is the study of the changes that occur within living organisms as a result of DNA enhancements, those that do not involve alterations to the DNA (nucleotide) sequence.
The Epigenetic process estimates our age according to 353 markers on our DNA. These change-markers denote gene activity and how genes express themselves over time. They might stem from external factors, environmental conditions, or within the normal developmental processes occurring throughout your DNA. Epigenetic changes can cause our biological ages to exceed or trail behind our chronological ages. These changes can also be sustained through cell divisions and last for many generations.
One of the pathways to Epigenetic change is to reduce the number of damaged, inactive, or zombie cells. These cells are known as senescent-cells. This category of science is called Synolytics.
Critical Anti-Aging Studies and Pursuits
It is reasonable to assume that Baby Boomers can expect scientific advancements during their lifetimes that could allow them to live far longer than their parents, potentially twice as long. Venture capital firms are raising money for over 100 biotech firms focused on longevity.
Here are some of the advances, studies, and pursuits aimed at biotech, age-related degenerative diseases, and increasing the average age of death.
- In January 2019, fourteen people with the fatal lung disease Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis chose to take a cocktail of leukemia drug Dasatinib and the supplement Quercetin for three weeks. The results were incredible. This unique combination of drugs improved the volunteers’ ability to stand and walk.
- Pluripotent stem cells, generated directly from adult cells, are being tested by a long list of companies. It’s already been proven that stem cells help to renew and manufacture young cells and tissue. The hope is that these cells will also assist in the regeneration of organs. This remarkable category of research and scientific advancement will improve the healing processes and potentially create miracles for hundreds of thousands of people.
- The first human use of telomerase genes was reported in 2015. This therapy involves transferring the telomerase gene into the cells of our bodies to help us regenerate after injuries, and give us the ability to repair ourselves upon life-threatening illnesses and the effects of aging. The goal behind this therapy is to extend life, reduce cancer risk, and improve overall health.
“I believe you do not deserve words like anti-wrinkle and anti-aging. Your experience as a woman is much too rich to be rewritten in favor of artificial youthfulness.”
― Ashley Asti, “Dear Sisters: Your Nature is to Bloom”
Anti-Aging Drugs and Supplements
There are many products and therapies in the market today that show promise in the category of anti-aging. While most of the human studies either non-existent or inconclusive, there is undoubtedly enough traction with all of these supplements and therapies to give us all hope.
- Quercetin (QUER): an antioxidant found in many fruits, vegetables, and grains, has been used to prevent diabetes, cataracts, hay fever, peptic ulcers, schizophrenia, inflammation, asthma, gout, viral infections, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Rapamycin: Also known as Sirolimus, is an immunosuppressive drug that can prevent organ rejection (especially kidneys), help regulate cell growth and metabolism, and treat a rare lung disease called lymphangioleiomyomatosis.
- Metformin: Metformin is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels while also increasing the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. It is also known to be powerful anti-aging medicine. Some say that it has helped them to reduce their weight.
- NAD+: Also known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, NAD+ is a unique formulation of crystalline nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene. It supports cellular health by activating sirtuins, a protein that regulates cellular processes. According to its makers at Elysium, NAD+ plays a major role in creating ATP, the human cells’ chemical source of energy.
FDA Approval Down The Road
There are many emerging players in the anti-aging space. It’s quite possible that 20 companies were launched and funded in the time it took to write and post this article. The world is clearly abuzz when it comes to this topic. While many anti-aging companies are operating in stealth, or have paused their pursuits to test further, here are a few of the power players in this remarkable category:
- Liver regeneration: a therapy that could replace a patient’s diseased liver without having to wait for death to provide living organs. One donated organ could treat dozens of patients simultaneously. The implication here is that a person with diabetes could grow a new pancreas and lymph nodes with limited cost. LyGenesis, Inc is developing this unique procedure
- iTR™ 1547: a tissue regeneration program that seeks to unlock cellular immortality and regenerate physical capacity, including regrowing a lung or limb. AgeX, a subsidiary of BioTime, is currently building this.
- PureStem®: This is a cell therapy aimed at cell derivation and manufacturing, created by AgeX.
- UniverCyte™: This is an immune tolerance platform created by AgeX. Other AgeX products in the FDA pipeline include AGEX-VASC1 and AGEX-BAT1.
- CYNC-101, PNK-CD16VP, and pExo: Celularity’s anticipated drug-line will hopefully regenerate damaged tissue, produce whole organs, and augment immunity.
- Knee Arthritis Drug: The company Samumed is producing a drug aimed at regenerating knees to reduce the effects of arthritis.
- RTB101: an exciting entry into the biotech scene that appears to be promising for the prevention of a variety of chronic health problems, dementia, and human fragility. The drug seeks to heal respiratory-infections, provide immune-bolstering value, treat urinary tract infections, and prevent Parkinson’s disease. The drug’s creator is Boston-based RestoreBio, headed by the chief medical officer and co-founder, Joan Maddick. RTB101 is on track for FDA approval by the end of 2021.
- UBX101: a senolytic drug (kills senescent or zombie cells) that are being created and continually tested by Unity Biotechnology of San Francisco, CA.
- hTERT: a gene therapy that promises to cure Alzheimer’s disease, critical limb ischemia, and related aging conditions. It’s being developed by Libella Gene Therapeutics (LGT).
- NMN: Also known as nicotinamide mono-nucleotide, a chemical that revitalizes mitochondria (energy/power generators inside our cells). A 2018 study reported that mice experienced improved blood vessel growth, boosted stamina, and physical endurance. The medical team includes David Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, who is also a co-director at Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging.
- There are many more drugs and therapies in the works. Many of these stealth products are being developed in secret so the makers can protect their intellectual property through to FDA approval. Others are hoping to protect their brands and products from overexposure in the marketplace, in the case of failure.
“There’s a lady who’s sure, all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”— Led Zeppelin
Wait, Before You Take Any Pills…
It’s tempting to hop on a plane and relinquish life-as-you-know-it and move next door to the hottest anti-aging startup. While not advisable, it might be your dream to become an award-winning guinea pig. But before you sell your home and quit your job, you might try these equally effective modalities and supplements to reduce the effects of aging and reinvigorate your effervescence.
Helpful Anti-Aging Modalities
- Calorie restriction
- Intermittent fasting
- Exercise (to an extent)
- Emotional intimacy and Friendship
- Releasing emotions through crying and laughter
- Sacred ceremonies and healing rituals
- Being proactive
- Selfless service to others
- Cooking and eating whole foods in your own kitchen
- Fascial Stretching Therapy (FST)
- Time in Nature
- Minimizing consumption of alcohol, nicotine, and other substances
Potentially Helpful Anti-Aging Supplements
Here is a list of over-the-counter supplements that might give your body, health, mind, and heart a boost. While there are only a few scientific trials aimed at these items, many people are reporting that they have provided immeasurable benefits to their health, mobility, immune systems, vitality, and age-related conditions.
Before consuming any of these products, please consult your doctor or a nutritional expert.
- Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
- Bach Flower Remedies
- N.E.T. Remedies
- Zinc or Zinc with Copper
- Coenzyme Q10 and Ubiquinol
- Vitamin C
- Collagen Peptides
- Collagen Protein
- Nicotinamide riboside
- Pyrroloquinoline quinone, or PQQ
- Vitamins A, D, and K
- Apigenin and Celery Juice
- Resveratrol and Pterostilbene
- Fish Oil and Krill Oil
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
— Franz Kafka
As we enter this fast-paced age focused on longevity, it’s essential to realize that we are spirits having physical experiences. We have far more potential than we realize, and our capacities for change and rejuvenation are endless. Each of us can connect with our bodies and help them heal.
Additionally, we are connected to the eternal consciousness, which gives us the ability to exponentially expand our capacities to share compassion with ourselves and other living beings. This makes each of us a super-hero.
While living beyond 120 years sounds fascinating, it might be best to focus on the expansiveness of our hearts, the preciousness of this moment, intimacy with whom we cherish the most.
I wish you love, health, and happiness in all of your pursuits!
Telomerase May Be The Secret to Anti-Aging
Dr. Bruce Lipton invites us to consider this: “contained within our bodies is what so many have studied, sought after, and dreamed about—the fountain of youth.”
What he’s talking about are telomeres; sections of DNA found at the end of each chromosome that can offer us insight into how we can “create a long-lived biology,” filled with wellness and meaning.
Telomeres And The Genetics of Aging
The science of genetics was formed in large part because of the human need to grapple with a limited lifespan. Central to this discussion is the role telomeres play in understanding the genetic coding of our aging. Telomeres have two essential functions:
- To allow DNA to be replicated without losing genetic information
- To prevent the double helix of DNA from unraveling
The process of DNA replication involves a shortening of our chromosomes from their original version, reducing the length of the original DNA molecule. This process invariably leads to aging, depression, and disease.
The role of the telomere is to extend that replication time by adding a piece of DNA at the end of the strand that doesn’t code for anything and acts as a mechanism to prevent the degradation, or unwinding, of the double helix structure.
Lipton uses the analogy of shoelaces to bring the concept of telomeres to life. At the end of shoelaces are little plastic caps known as “aglets,” which make the process of lacing shoes simple and fluid, while holding the strands of the shoelace material together. And the same concept can be applied to the telomeres at the ends of our chromosomes.
While the role telomeres play in retaining the integrity of a DNA strand is important, Lipton stresses they have an even more important function—telomeres form an extension of the DNA that allows for replication without affecting the gene programs, allowing for an extended amount of divisions before running out; the implication of this on our longevity is profound.
For many years, it was believed the lifespan of an organism was directly proportional to how many times a cell can divide before losing the telomere extensions and cutting into the DNA program.
Leonard Hayflick, a scientist in the 1960s calculated that a human could live approximately 90 years before telomeres were lost. However, in 1984, research scientist Elizabeth Blackburn made a truly life-changing and life-extending revelation with the discovery of the enzyme telomerase, which extends telomere length. Her discovery made an exciting impact on our understanding of the human lifespan.
But as interesting as Dr. Blackburn’s discovery was, the enzyme’s ability to be activated or inhibited is dependent upon a number of external factors. The inhibition of telomerase can be caused by improper nutrition, childhood abuse and neglect, domestic violence, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as a lack of self-love, love from others, and life purpose—factors that can all have a negative impact on our lifespan.