Programmed Aging Theory Info  Anti-Aging Medicine


See: Recent Developments in Anti-Aging Medicine.


An anti-aging pharmaceutical agent or treatment regimen can be defined as one that simultaneously beneficially affects two or more major manifestations of aging such as cancer and heart disease.


There is some human clinical evidence that a very few agents such as aspirin and statins do benefit heart health and also reduce incidence of some forms of cancer. Some other agents such as resveratrol show promise in animal experiments.


Since aging is a universal affliction, it has for centuries been an obvious subject for scams and quacks. Many highly hyped remedies such as human growth hormone have no clinically demonstrated beneficial anti-aging effect and may have severe adverse side-effects.


Modern medicine is increasingly specialized and therefore somewhat oriented against the idea that a single agent or regimen can affect multiple diverse manifestations such as cancer and heart disease, which appear to involve very different disease mechanisms. Many physicians consider aging an unavoidable, unalterable property of living things. Most of the contrary evidence comes from non-human sources.


Non-programmed theories of aging generally suggest that aging is the result of many unrelated factors -- thus suggesting that it is unlikely that a single agent could be found that beneficially affects multiple symptoms. Some non-programmed theorists think that anti-aging medicine is "a theoretical impossibility." Other researchers following non-programmed theories are examining ways of counteracting damage mechanisms such as oxidation and are more optimistic that significant anti-aging agents will eventually be developed.


Programmed theories of aging suggest that multiple aging manifestations are mediated by a common program or life span regulation mechanism. This suggests that agents that affect the common program or mechanism are possible and that a single agent could well affect multiple diverse manifestations. Evolved biological mechanisms typically involve hormones, signaling, and genes, Researchers following programmed aging theories are investigating this path.


The foregoing illustrates the massive difference in approach between programmed and non-programmed theories and highlights the importance of resolving the programmed/non-programmed issue.

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