Just finished the audio version of The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution by David Stipp, and it is very exciting and thought provoking. In science-bio-journalistic style (like James Gleick in Chaos etc.), Stipp covers the science – and pseudo science – of anti-aging.
In the last 20-30 years, we’ve come to the cusp of developing medicines that can slow the effects and diseases of aging in a general and broad sense, rather than tackling individual diseases and symptoms. The compounds hold the promise to extend maximum lifespan by double-digit percentages while greatly increasing the healthy portion of that lifespan – and “compressing morbidity” toward the end of life. In other words, long, healthy lives, where we drop dead quickly near at the end. And these could be available to many of the people alive today – this is a 20-30 year window, not a century.
Stipp is an aging baby-boomer who does his research and brings a healthy dose of skepticism to the investigation and discussion. He wants to find this elixir for himself – and to address many of the ills of the world. But he is not yet convinced that the science has shown which dosages and combinations will have real (vs placebo) impact without deleterious side effects.
I personally want to live to be 120 with at least 119 of those years being healthy and active. A combination of these drugs and some bionic pieces (for my eyes) hold the promise that I might actually achieve this. Let’s hope the potable water holds out that long.
(cross-posted from my LinkedIn Reading List)