Until Recent Years, No One Thought Old People Could Grow Young
By the Naturals Pro Staff
Professor George Church is a cell biologist at Harvard Medical School. He has published scores of scientific articles and secured many patents. He invented the method for direct genome sequencing, which led to the first genome sequence of Helicobacter pylori, a stomach bacteria.
More recently, Church has been experimenting with gene therapy in mice and dogs in an attempt to reverse aging. He has succeeded somewhat with lab mice, and he hopes to be successful with spaniels in a couple of years. His method does not add genes to the mice and dogs. Instead, he cobbles together DNA instructions onto a carrier virus that infects host cells. These DNA instructions cause the host’s genes to turn “on.”
Hormonal Triggering and Age Reversal
Theoretically, triggering genes to the “on position” will then direct hormones as messengers to aging cells. Thus, hormonal triggering repairs cellular aging and deterioration.
When asked how hormonal triggering leads to age reversal, Church replied, “Aging reversal is something that’s been proven about eight different ways in animals where you can get, you know, faster reaction times or, you know, cognitive or repair of damaged tissues” (1). He continued, stating it has been solidly verified in mice. In his lab, he has turned on multiple genes in mice that eventually resulted in improved kidney and heart function and lower levels of blood sugar.
Church believes that targeting individual diseases in dogs is a time-consuming task and possibly a mistake. Instead, he proposes that cell biology should be enhanced with hormonal triggering by turning on genes. He hypothesizes that diseases of aging may be prevented by reversing cellular aging. His promising experiments with spaniels may eventually allow him to apply what he has learned to humans. In the meantime, he speculates that an age-reversal veterinary product might be only a few years away.
The Aging Process May Be a Relic of the Past
Church asserts that his gene “turn-on” hormonal triggering could become a reliable treatment for all diseases. This means that aging could become a relic of the past, as has been the case with smallpox. However, according to the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group at UCLA, conquering all major diseases would add only about 11 years to the average human life span. This means that a more significant extension of the human life span is dependent upon why we age at the cellular level and not the elimination of individual diseases (2).
Church will not likely seek the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval because aging is a natural process and not a disease—the FDA only examines and approves of drugs and medical procedures involving diseases.
Experimental Work in Sweden
Through my research in the Department of Medical Cell Biology at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, I discovered that the life spans of mice could be dramatically extended as much as 300% by targeting hormones, antioxidants, and nutrients to their cells. My targeting triggered slower aging in mice (See Stay 40). One of my mice lived for 60 months, while others from the same colony lived an average of 20 months.
In later experiments with dogs, I extended the life span of my Afghan hound, Myra, and my Jack Russell Terrier, Algot, to 14 and 16 years, respectively. Each of Myra’s siblings and parents lived to only nine years on average. My scientific associate, April Underwood, has successfully extended the life spans of two pit bulls to 20 years. Dogs can live healthy and vibrant lives beyond 20 years when given the right nutrients and hormones.
As described above, triggering enhanced cell metabolism with hormones, peptides, and nutrients is one key to Church’s gene experiments and my experiments with mice and dogs. A second key is balancing hormones, peptides, and nutrient messengers. Too few messengers mean poor, deteriorating health and shortened life expectancy. Too many messengers throw cellular machinery out of balance, and again, health declines and life is shortened. Thus, I have committed my research to achieving balance in any given hormone, nutrient, or antiaging substance.
Interestingly, this philosophy of “not too much or too little” is part of Swedish culture. In the Swedish language, there is a word for this important concept —logom. Logom is a Viking word meaning not too much and not too little, but just the exact right amount.
For example, during the 1980s, Dr. Denham Harman, a professor at the University of Nebraska, tested and confirmed that consuming high or low doses of antioxidants does not have any effect on longevity.
A second example is found in the field of endocrinology. It is a well-documented fact that too low or too high of a dose of bioidentical hormones such as cortisol, DHEA, estradiol, testosterone, and HGH will negatively influence health and longevity. Indeed, bioidentical hormones are critical to any antiaging or longevity program because synthetic hormones, such as progestins, cause cancer (2).
The Importance of Pharmacokinetics
In addition to a logom balancing of bioidentical hormonal messengers, we need to understand pharmacokinetics—the study of the cells’ absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of hormonal messengers. That is to say, we should use only a logom quantity of hormonal messengers activating their receptor sites in cells during a specific interval of time. In the field of antiaging medicine, we often achieve this objective by using hormones or nutrients that are (1) topically applied using a transdermal gel or (2) consumed using a sustained-release tablet or capsule. A pertinent example is sustained released DHEA. A logom amount of DHEA will repair cellular machinery. However, too much or too little will not repair cellular machinery damaged by aging.
I am confident that Church is on the right path toward making aging a relic of the past. However, until his method of turning on multiple genes becomes commercially available for humans (2030?), we should try to balance our hormones and nutrients by consuming daily transdermal gels and sustained-release tablets or capsules for improved health and slowed aging.
1. 60 Minute journalist Scott Pelley
2. Lippman, R. 2009, Stay 40, Outskirts Press, Denver, CO.