Recently, a patient emailed an article to Dr. Glaros about one drug company’s quest for an “anti-aging” pill, remarking that it probably belongs in the “Too-Good-to-Be-True Department.”
Dr. Glaros’ reply? “It probably does.”
Since the earliest days of recorded history, humans have dreamt of being able to stop or reverse aging. Tales of a “fountain of youth” date back to the 5th century BCE. Fictional places like Shangri La and factual places like the region in the Caucasus inhabited by the Abkhasia (or Ikaria, Greece, for that matter, home of Dr. Glaros’ ancestors) intrigue and enchant us with their promise of long, vibrant life.
According to the Bible, immortality was our original state of being. Disease and death came only after the Fall.
Wouldn’t we all love to live in Eden once again? Or at least have a much longer stay on this Earth, with more time to spend with loved ones, pursuing our dreams, enjoying the beauty and wonder of this amazing place?
In fact, on the whole, humans are living much longer than our ancestors could have dreamed possible. At the beginning of the last century, the average life expectancy from birth – worldwide – was just 31 years. Today, it’s just over 67. In developed nations like the US, it’s even higher, largely due to improvements in sanitation and infection control.
But interestingly, the US ranks last among such nations. No doubt, this is at least in part due to the usual culprits: nutrient-poor processed food diets, lack of exercise, insufficient rest and sleep, high stress and the like. Some research suggests that social and economic factors may play a role, too. Relatively lax regulation of chemical toxins and overuse of pharmaceuticals become additional sources of physical, mental and spiritual stress on individuals.
Such factors also help explain – at least in part – the explosion in chronic disease that we’ve seen through recent decades. The kicker is that we now also live long enough to develop diseases that our forebears scarcely knew. And where it used to be that each generation could expect to be healthier than the previous, that “truth” no longer holds.
And it raises an interesting question: Is it that we really want to live longer or that we want to live healthy, active lives as long as possible? Who would really want to live longer if it meant being so sick, you couldn’t do all the things you normally do that give your life meaning, that make it worth living?
Too often, we see how conventional, profit-driven medicine ends up contributing to poor health or even early death. More than 100,000 Americans die each year from taking pharmaceutical drugs exactly as prescribed. Anywhere from 210,000 to 440,000 die each year from medical error. At minimum, conventional therapies for chronic conditions interfere with a body’s innate capacity to self-regulate and heal.
The establishment has medicalized so many normal human conditions already and turned symptoms into “health problems” for which they have drugs to make them disappear (though, importantly, not the underlying condition they are symptoms of). Now they begin to look at aging itself as a disease?
As one doctor bluntly put it after looking at the evidence on statins, “Giving unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment to people is bad medical practice.”
So how much faith should one put in pills like the one discussed in the article sent to Dr. Glaros? Here’s what he told the patient.
I fear that its fate may be that of Lipitor, which the article so cavalierly notes reduces cholesterol and prevents heart disease. This month, according to conventional thinking, eggs have been put back on the good-boy list, and some are even saying that reducing cholesterol levels does not appear to reduce cardiac and circulatory diseases. Hal Huggins taught me that 30 years ago, and Weston Price taught it 30 years before that.
On the other hand, I have been advised to use Resveratrol by a couple of holistic practitioners, and I did it as readily as liposomal vitamin C. What does an open-minded, scared-to-literal-death-of-Big-Pharma kind of guy do?
I watch the way-smarter-than-me folks who are closer to this than I.
I exercise every week using interval training on a power-plate. I avoid all sweeteners except occasional local honey. I take a big handful of supplements twice a day. I eat 90% organically. I avoid all vaccinations and support that choice for all those who I love and care about. I get more and more range of motion with less pain through weekly trigger point massages. I’m getting 7 hours of great sleep almost every night and trying to get enough water daily (half my weight in ounces, in 6 ounce increments through the day). And oh, yeah – through God’s grace, I am blessed with a wonderful, annually expanding family and get to work on the best patients in the world every week.