Why Do 0nly 20%–30% of People Want to Live Longer (Desire Longevity)?
Because their perception of being old (around or beyond the life expectancies given by the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is associated with age-related diseases, loss of functions, and increased dependency (one person said, “I don’t want someone to wipe my ass or clothe me one day in a nursing home when I cannot do it myself.”).
Add to that the suffering from loss of mobility, dementia, cancer, stroke, heart attack, aches and pains from osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis fractures of the hips from slip and falls, then death. They see their grandparents in the state they are in, and they have decided they DON’T want to be that “old.” Of course, they don’t know that their grandparents are in this position because their grandparents did NOT take steps to reverse their biological age and maintain their youth, both in bodily functions and brain functions.
Seeing Alzheimer-like dementia is one of the biggest fears of our generation because they see how these “old people” lose all their life savings due to abuse, theft, and mistreatment (in nursing homes) by medical staff.
What do the other 70%–80% want?
They prefer dying at the U.S. Life Expectancy of 78 (for males) or 88 (for females) but staying physically and mentally fit.
Our generation wants youth, functionality, and health span to be maintained to the last minute, like the 100-year-old flying seagull and the hole-digging sea turtle (both species are as good, if not better, than their young counterparts at flying, finding fish, or finding better places to lay eggs and procreate). These examples of animals were cited by Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, professor of biochemistry at the University of California San Francisco, the discoverer of the “Def-2 longevity gene.”
Most of them are annoyed by a lot of misleading “anti-aging” ads that target the facial look rather than the functions of the body and brain.
In fact, “anti-aging” is a misnomer. Aging, in fact, is good. I like being “old” because I have never had so much experience, education, and knowledge than NOW in the practice of my beloved specialty of medicine. I like what the world offers me NOW a lot more than what it offered me when I was 20, like the iPhone. I can find out how to go anyplace with my iPhone; I can know about any subject or drug in less than one minute with my iPhone; I can find the best restaurant, the best beach, the best bar or night club to dance, or all the movies playing around me anywhere in the world with my iPhone.
I don’t want to be young like I was when I was 20. I like being 65. I have more joy in life NOW than when I was 20. I didn’t even have the money to date a girl when I was 20. But all of this “fun” depends on me having the function of the brain and physical ability to participate in what the world has to offer me.
I don’t like to go to a restaurant if I have acid reflux, incontinence, and low back pain from a surgery. I don’t like to go to a beach if I have a dementia. I cannot go to a night club or dance club if I have a stroke, heart attack, or severe arthritis of my joints. I don’t like to go to a movie if I am deaf from aging. The Google Map has nothing to offer me if I cannot drive because of a hemiplegia from a stroke.
If you don’t like the term “Anti-Aging Medicine,” what term do you like your specialty to be called?
I like the term “Longevity Medicine” because “Longevity is our goal,” and Medicine is the science that brings the “functionality” and “youth” you need to make longevity meaningful.
What is “fragility ” in aging?
Aging is controlled 20% by our genes. But there is 80% that you can control when it comes to “fragility” – the opposite of “functionality,” “health span,” and “youth.”
The leading cause of death according to Dr. Oz, of all people, is not heart disease, diabetes, or stroke; it is fragility. I agree a 100% with that.
For example, if you were to put me in a hospital bed for three weeks, at the end of the three weeks, I would be very weak. I would have lost a lot of my muscle strength; I would have gotten some osteoporosis; I would have lost some ability in balancing and walking; I would essentially have aged ten years or perhaps even more. Had I NOT gone through those three weeks of bed confinement, I would be so much more functional, healthy, and youthful. That is “fragility.” If I had a genetically identical twin, there would be a big difference in our health, functionality, and youthfulness. Those two twins with identical genes would have ended up being two totally different people, just because of three weeks of confinement to a hospital bed.
We can avoid that fragility.
When someone says, “I am seventy-five years old now, and that is why I have many medical problems,” I say to that person, “No, it was probably your poor lifestyle, poor nutrition, and lack of due diligence (such as checking your hormones) and maintenance care for your body over the last thirty to forty years that got you the poor health you have now.”
You know that you and I at the age of 50, for example, can get an episode of pneumonia, and everyone expects us to get through it. But if an average 80-year-old man or woman gets pneumonia, we guess that he or she may just die from that. Why? It is because that 80-year-old is more fragile. That fragility is what we can choose NOT to have at 80. If you are 80 and your functionality and youth are like those of a 50-year-old, that pneumonia is NOT going to do you in!
Another example is falling. If you and I are in our 50s and have a fall, people would expect us to get up and move on. But for an 80-year-old man or woman, we would expect a fracture of some sort, usually a hip fracture. Hip fractures usually come from osteoporosis, which is a fragility that can be totally prevented. Not all 80-year-olds fall and suffer a hip fracture. What is the reason for those who fall and don’t suffer a hip fracture? They don’t have fragility.
Can that fragility in aging be prevented? Yes.
How? Prevention comes from maintaining health, functionality, and youth through optimal supplementation of hormones, proper nutrition, and regular exercise.
What does our generation need to know about healthy aging and longevity?
They need to know that science and medicine today CAN maintain our functionality and health span till the age we are expected to die – the average life expectancies of a U.S. male and female as given by the CDC. They need to know that if they maintain their functionality and health span till 78 or 88, they may be surprised to see that longevity comes automatically, just as it does to the seagulls and the turtles.
What recent scientific experiments or evidence do we have that support your position that functionality and health span can be extended?
In her TED (technology, entertainment, design) talk, Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, discoverer of the DEF-2 longevity gene, stated that the DEF-2 gene accomplished its longevity in the animals that have that gene (or humans in this case) through a “hormonal” system.
That is, the gene let more hormones come into the cells and cell nuclei of those lucky animals.
What we need to know is that we do not have to rely on the existence of this lucky gene in us to get the hormones into our cells; we simply have to flood our bodies with optimal levels of all hormones that decline with age. It is a much simpler and smarter way to achieve “youth” like that of the seagulls and the sea turtles.
In addition, we have to make sure we also supply the body with the necessary EXTRA nutrients that are needed to regenerate and maintain a “young” you, versus an “old and aging” you. If you want a car to run longer than its intended life span, you have to give more maintenance to the car. More oil changes, if you will. In our case, that “maintenance” is the EXTRA nutrients you have to take in if you want your youth and functionality to last longer than your genetic predisposition would allow.
What type of exercise is good for the aging adult?
If someone has no time to go to the gym, my prescription for exercise to maintain function and youth is simply 10–20 minutes of strength training three times a week, at home or in the office, with weights or using your own body as weight. Studies have shown that aerobic exercises DO NOT improve function or youth.