Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fountain of youth?

So anyone care to guess how old this man is? Really, take a guess.
This physician, named Jeffrey Life is 69 years old! Do you call this fit or
obsessed with youth?

Dr. Life is the chief medical officer at
Cenegenics Medical Institute, a clinic in Las Vegas that specializes in "age management." In order to achieve a body like this, Dr. Life and patients like him have changed their diets drastically, exercised more, injected themselves daily with low dose human growth hormone and have given themselves weekly testosterone injections.

And for what? Well, they say it isn't about appearance but to live a longer, healthier life. And the expense of this "hormone therapy" is more than $1,000/month!

The proponents of this anti-ageing theory--good nutrition, supplements,, and
balance of hormone
s, say that this allows them to stay biologically younger. They claim that their cholesterol, lipids, libido, energy level, immune system, and memory all improve by this regimen.

However, this hormone therapy is not without its critics. Some physicians feel that there is a risk of diabetes and cancer while others feel quite the opposite. In recent years,
HGH has been studied in various capacities. (pubmed)


This whole obsession with youth isn't really that new. There is cosmetic surgery which has steadily increased in years with nearly 11 million performed in 2006. Breast augmentation topped the list, followed by nose jobs, and
liposuction. Teen
bariatric surgery has also tripled in recent years, according to this article. Though age is still controversial, there have been teenagers as young as 12 who underwent the procedure.

Then, there is the Calorie Restriction Society, individuals who feel that by reducing their calories, they will live longer and be healthier. This too has its controversies, though there have been a few animal studies demonstrating calorie restriction with longer life. It's still uncertain in humans, but this group is willing to be those guinea pigs despite the fact that one of their gurus still died at around 79 years of age which is not an astonishing feat. By the way, I recently saw a recipe book for living like a
Cronie, that's their term. The book's recipe had like no real food in it--just mostly veggies seasoned in a variety of ways with occasional meat thrown in.

So where does this put us? Really obsessed and spending so much money! Where and when does it end? We are only teaching our youth that we need to be beautiful, thin, and young-looking at any cost.

Question: What's your opinion about the process of aging? Should we be trying to manipulate ourselves to
eternalize youth? Would you subject yourself to hormone therapy at the possibility of staying youthful?

Other article:
HGH and youth


Gaining Back My Life said...

Life is hard enough; I don't want to live a day longer than I am meant to. That being said, I have to say I was pretty happy when my wrinkles disappeared on my forehead following surgery for my facial lacerations.

Unfortunately, turns out it had more to do with the swelling so I'm back to my normal self. And that's ok with me - I think wrinkles are the memories of a life well spent. Bring them on!

Kara said...

There's really an organization called the Calorie Restriction Society?! That's insane!

It really is so sad how focused our society is on outward appearance. There is so much pressure to look younger and more beautiful.

Have you read Eating Under The Light Of The Moon? I tihnk you'd like it.

Tiptoe said...

GBML, I agree with you. I think there is something really wonderful about the natural process, wrinkles and all. Why do we really want to mess with it?

Kara, yep, there really is a Calorie Restriction Society. I've read various articles on CRS and don't buy into it. It's kind of funny, because when I was very into the throes of na ED, I could justify their living--gasp, because it was like how I was living with the ED.

One of the ironic things to me is that many of these people there look the opposite of beautiful and healthy. To me, CRs, like an ED, still ages you.

Yes, I've read Eating in the Light of the Moon several years ago. It is a great book!

Charlynn said...

I really don't see what's wrong with letting nature take its course. I guess I'm a skeptic when it comes to methods like this that promise a longer life; why fight the inevitable? What if you're wasting your time on all of this junk that, in the end, doesn't work nearly as well as you think it does? Isn't it more important that you life a fulfilling life for whatever amount of time you have?

I say this, of course, at the age of 27. I'm not facing my own mortality at this point. Ask me again at 65 and see if I'm begging the aging gods to let me live another 20 years...or not. :)

Tiptoe said...

Charlynn, I agree with you. There really is a reason for nature, and if nature wanted us to live for eternity, well, it would have let us.

Many of these types of treatments are very sketchy. No one really knows the long terms effects either. Heck, you could be seriously damaging your health.

Unfortunately, I know this won't be the last thing to be marketed out there.

Lola Snow said...

I'm not exactly thrilled by having the face of a 40 year old at just 28, but I'm with eshoe, i've earned my wrinkles. It's messed up, respect for your elders has gone to the dogs, and society only seems to value that which no one ever really has in the first place. If we could all just get photoshop installed in our retinas, then maybe that would solve the problem :)

Lola x

Gaining Back My Life said...

"If we could all just get photoshop installed in our retinas, then maybe that would solve the problem :)"

OMG, Lola you crack me up!

Tiptoe said...

Lola, so witty! Funniest comment of the day.

isabella mori said...

well, whatever turns the good doctor's cranks. i certainly don't find it very attractive.

eating healthy, exercising, taking a few vitamins, spending time outside and having a relaxation/meditation regime are wonderful and important - and i'm not interested in going beyond that.

what's so great about being young anyway? do YOU want to be a teenager again? i'm gaining wisdom, love and compassion as i'm getting older, and i get to be part of nature's seasons.

plastic flowers look young forever, too ...

Gaining Back My Life said...

brilliant point, isabella.

Tiptoe said...

Isabella, several of my older friends have told me how much they love aging. I think there is a lot of wisdom that is gained and just gives a very different perspective on life.