The Fountain of Youth and Other Anti-Aging Myths

In St. Augustine, Florida, you can visit Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park for an admission charge of $18.00. There, you can drink a sample of the miraculous water. You might even feel a bit younger… but only if you believe and are suggestible. Of historical interest, maybe, but not of therapeutic value.

SeroVital: Dubious Anti-Aging Claims

SeroVital is marketed as an anti-aging remedy that works by raising human growth hormone (HGH) levels naturally with amino acids. The research consists of one preliminary study that measured HGH levels. There is no clinical evidence that it is effective for anything. How Lucas Cranach imagined the Fountain of Youth in 1546. Today some people

Hydrogen Water Is Not “the New Nutrient;” Health Claims Are Hype, Not Science.

A new fad, drinking hydrogen water, claims to provide all kinds of health benefits. The scientific evidence isn’t there. Hydrogen is an element, not a medicine Hydrogen water? Good grief! There are already two atoms of hydrogen in every molecule of water (H2O). They are not talking about that; they mean molecular hydrogen, the gas

Aloe Vera

I had heard of aloe vera. I’ve seen it grown in flowerpots in the home and broken open to apply its juices to irritated or injured skin. I’ve encountered it many times in crossword puzzles. I know a woman who has taken it orally. But recently it seems to have developed miraculous new properties. I’ve

Vital Stem: Affordable Stem Cell Treatments for Everyone? Anti-Aging Breakthrough?

Vital Stem is a dietary supplement mixture that supposedly reverses the changes of normal aging by increasing the body’s production of stem cells. We can’t know if it works, because it hasn’t been tested. Is Vital Stem a Miracle Anti-Aging Remedy? Evidence is lacking. Stem cell treatments are very promising. Bone marrow transplants are already

Anti-Aging Claims: The Fountain of Youth is Still Only a Legend

The Spanish explorer Ponce de León wasn’t really looking for the Fountain of Youth when he trekked through Florida. That’s only a legend that wasn’t attached to his name until after his death. The idea of anti-aging remedies dates back to at least 3500 BCE, and the hope is alive and well today. Who wouldn’t

Product B: Here We Go Again

“Telomeres shorten each time a cell divides. In most cells, the telomeres eventually reach a critical length when the cells stop proliferating and become senescent. But, in certain cells, like sperm and egg cells, the enzyme telomerase restores telomeres to the ends of chromosomes. This telomere lengthening insures that the cells can continue to safely

Antioxidants? It’s a Bit More Complicated

I am getting very annoyed with antioxidants. Like Pavlov’s dogs, I’m becoming conditioned to flinch when I hear the word “antioxidant” because it is so often followed by oversimplifications, distortions, and partial truths. The hype is everywhere, in magazines, on the Internet, on the radio, in books, in stores. Antioxidants promise to prevent heart disease, cancer,

Testosterone: Not an Anti-Aging Panacea

On the car radio, I have several times happened upon “infomercial” programs touting the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy for men, broadcast by doctors who specialize in prescribing the drugs. They have lots of wonderful stories about men who feel younger, happier, and more vigorous because of their macho remedies. It’s a tribute to the

Life Extension: Science or Pipe Dream?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to prolong our lives and to keep us healthy right up to the end? Ponce de León never found that Fountain of Youth, but science is still looking. What are the chances science will succeed? How’s it doing so far? In his new book The

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