Sunday, April 1, 2012

Announcing The Formation of The Longevity Club: Help Set The Club's Goals

The inevitability of dying has caused man to search for alternatives, remedies, magical cures, etc. for a long time. Almost 500 years ago, Juan Pounce de Leon, the Spanish explorer, came to Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth. In 1934, Carl Rehnborg, the founder of Nutrilite, created and sold the first vitamin supplement after realizing that no one would consume them when he gave them away for free. Last year, nearly $100 billion worth of dietary supplements were sold in the United States. It is reported that over 50% of the population takes dietary supplements in one form or another. Some even take dozens. All this consumption flies in the face of the absence of a single human study that shows life extension or increased longevity (in the absence of deficiency) from consuming such products.

The reason for this should be obvious. We have been conditioned over the past several decades to believe modern science, either by coding the entire human genome, discovering telomeres,  inventing nanotechnology, etc. has pierced the veil of the mystery of life extension and anti-aging. I wish it were true.  The facts unfortunately show that we still are stupefied as to what it will take to extend life beyond one's genetic programming. We have barely a clue as to the possibility of stopping or reversing aging. In fact, all the recent claims of success may be accomplishing the opposite. Recent studies strongly suggest that bio-identical hormones and dietary supplements may be shortening, not lengthening lives.

Yes, we have powerful weapons now against life-threatening infections and we have learned how to avoid many of the common diseases and traumas that caused the average life expectancy to previously only reach the mid-40s. The question, however, is are the type of people who didn't die from these formerly ubiquitous diseases actually living longer? It appears that despite so many medical breakthroughs and innovations, hardly.

The reasons are myriad and include that modern conveniences have significantly increased sedentary living. Exercise routines, when even performed, have replaced active lifestyles. Processed foods and dietary supplements have widely replaced proper eating. 24 hour a day, immediate access to everyone and everything has actually increased our level of stress and anxiety, while decreasing our sleep. Time and again, we choose surgery and prescription drugs over prevention.

I'm not saying that everything was wonderful hundreds and thousands of years ago or that everyone ate well for centuries. That was often not the case.  Nor am I saying that scientists have not made some incredible discoveries that save lives. They have.

I am, however, stating what most of us already know. Something is wrong. Given what we now know and the sophisticated tools at our disposal, many chronic diseases should not be growing in numbers; rather, they should be disappearing. We should not be getting heavier as a population.  We should not be increasingly dependent on anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and sleeping pills. We should not be consuming ever growing qualities of dietary supplements to make up for our otherwise poor lifestyle choices.  But we are.

We, as in all of us, have to do something about it. We need to join together to find comfort, support, and guidance to buck the trend. We have to realize that this over-reliance on technology will not end well for us as either individuals or members of society.

Therefore, after much consideration, I propose the forming of The Longevity Club whose purpose is for all concerned people to bond together to help each other confront and reverse some of the disease trends we face. Our collective efforts can change our lives, our communities, and perhaps millions of other lives as well. We must try to find out if we can succeed.

Are you in? If yes, please write me at steven.charlap.md@mdprevent.net and tell me what you think The Longevity Club should try to accomplish in its first year.

2 comments:

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