Far from a drop of lanolin
Why are skin care at the center of longevity research? I suppose that a cell is a cell, and if you can decipher the code of a human cell, it's only a matter of time to solve the puzzle with different cell types – and the skin is without a doubt the most visible cell that everyone of us has. . And it is our faces in particular that we often judge ourselves and on the other hand, and we are in turn scrutinized closely, and opinions are often rendered in a split second. Our faces often show the most visible signs of aging. For many, in modern society, age is by nature "bad" and ideal, young or seemingly young. That's why every year, billions of dollars are spent by consumers on all sorts of treatments to reduce wrinkles, fend off the effects of gravity and make time go back. And, with so much money to spend on the consumer, many manufacturers are eager to find the next step in Father Time's arrest – and at least retain it until the next stagecoach arrives, where we can encourage him to move on before he has too much damage. can be done.
The whole question explained – In a pair of laces
Some time ago, a friend gave me a simple analogy that puts this whole question in perspective. Science may not win a Nobel Prize, but it has given me the moment ah-ha needed.
The double helix of the DNA strand – our most basic foundation of life – is held at each end by elements that act in the same way as the hard plastic jaws on the tips of the laces – preventing the DNA from forming. Undo, and the individual Chromosomes spread on the ground, as if throwing a string of pearls in a marble staircase. These things are called telomeres.
Somewhere is programmed in these tiny telomeres all the basis on the shelf life of the DNA – and by deduction, these are the keys to the life of the body. Somewhere written in the telomere is an excellent musical score but, like all musical scores, a double bar somewhere indicates the end; but is it a minuet or a Wagnerian epic? But it is certain that when the time comes and the telomeres whistle all the time, the strand of DNA will tear and die – and the circle of life will begin again. Telomeres determine how often our skin cells are replaced; why a puppy and a child born on the same date can age in exactly the same way, but the puppy has become geriatric before puberty.
The telomeres, my friend explained, sometimes pass from time to time (this must have a very specific scientific meaning). This happens in particular by forgetting to program their release and erasure, and by clinging, thus allowing the cells thus affected to multiply again and again without dying. In fact, when this happens often, they become very difficult to kill and for all practical purposes, once the telomeres do this, the cell – and the cells that it spreads – are actually immortal.
This condition has a name we all know. Cancer.
But, if we could somehow persuade the telomeres of cancer to behave normally – would not that be the miracle cure for cancer? And the other side of this equation – if the telomeres of healthy cells could be persuaded to act like they do in cancer – is this the recipe for a healthy cell that does not die? Does the cure for cancer and immortality only hold on to this thread?
Whatever your point of view, the reality is that some of the best researchers in the world are working on this specific issue and some would say it's only a decade or two before it's a guess or science fiction but a reality to grasp. to face. The changes that would occur in society even if life expectancy increased by 10 or 20 years are enormous, but we should all think that it is a distinct possibility.
From the lanolin of a generation ago to what I know fit in my hand, an anti-aging treatment for skin care is more than a revolution – and I have no doubt that in a few years, I will say that this cream will not only slow down the aging process and reduce the visible signs of aging, giving the face younger appearance – but it will actually be younger.
But before that, let's see how all this commitment to prolong life and fight against aging has begun. Mankind has always struggled for longevity and meditated on immortality – but the last 50 years have been marked by spectacular advances in achieving this goal.
The idea of prolonging life has been in the minds of humanity for millennia. There are references to finding ways to prolong life from the epic of Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh was reputed to be the fifth king of the Uruk kingdom, Iraq from today, around 2500 BC. According to the list of Sumerian kings, he reigned for 126 years. The Torah or the Old Testament reports that Methuselah lived more than 900 years, with a life span measured in seemingly banal centuries before the time of Noah.
Throughout the development of scientific thought from the Reformation, researchers have sought to solve this enigma and these efforts continue today at the forefront of scientific progress.
As the secrets of our existence are revealed in great detail, we begin to understand what makes us pass from tiny babies to adults. We now know, for example, that cellular functions slow down with the aging of the body and that the production of certain substances necessary for the regeneration of the body decreases or ceases completely.
The skin, for example, needs two substances to maintain strength and firmness.
The production of these substances, namely collagen (strength, tightness) and elastin (suppleness) decreases with age. Decreased production and other factors, including the threat of free radicals, age the skin and make it wrinkled. Free radicals are essentially incomplete oxygen molecules causing destructive chain reactions within cells.
The same kind of thing happens in every cell, every tissue and organ around the human body. For example, people develop lion wrinkles, crow's feet and wrinkles. Nutrients are no longer easily absorbed and the vital functions of cells, hormones and other substances are produced at a slower pace, resulting in aging of the body.
A brief history of the Life Extension movement
Science has been looking for ways to slow this process for centuries. The formation of life extension movements, however, did not really begin until about 1970.
During this year, Denham Harman, the initiator of the so-called "theory of free radicals of aging", decided that an organization dedicated to researching and sharing information among scientists working in biogerontology (the field of science interesting to biological aspects) involved in the aging process) was needed. The American Aging Association was created.
In 1976, two futurologists, Philip Gordon and Joel Kurtzman, wrote a book on research to extend the lifespan of human life. This popular volume was titled "No More Dying." The conquest of aging and the extension of human life & # 39 ;.
Kurtzman was then invited to address the House Select Committee (HSC) of Aging Florida, chaired by Claude Pepper, American politician and spokesperson for the elderly. The purpose of this presentation was to discuss the impact on social security of extending life.
In 1980, Saul Kent, an eminent campaigner in the field of life extension, published the book 'The Life Extension Revolution & # 39; and founded the nutraceutical firm ("nutrition" and "pharmaceutical", ie, a nutritional supplement) known as the "Life Extension Foundation".
The foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes dietary supplements and publishes the Life Extension Magazine. Kent was later involved in work related to cryogenics. He was imprisoned during this work for a dispute at one point, although the charges were dropped at a later stage.
In 1982, Sandy Shaw, an American health writer and her co-author, Durk Pearson, further popularized the term "life extension" with the bestseller "Life Extension: A Practical Science Approach".
Roy Walford, a gerontologist and life extension specialist, has published "Maximum Lifespan", another popular book on the subject. Richard Weindruch, his student, and himself followed in 1988 with a summary of the research they had conducted on their ability to prolong rodents' lives through caloric restriction. The title of this book is "Delay of Aging and Diseases by Food Restriction".
Although this ability to prolong life with caloric restriction has been known since the 1930s, when gerontologist, biochemist and nutritionist Clive McCay conducted research on the subject, it is the work of Walford and Weinbruch that provided a scientific basis. solid to McCay's conclusions.
Walford's scientific work was motivated by a personal interest in prolonging life. He practiced caloric restriction as part of his life and died at the age of 80. The cause of his death was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive motor neuron disease.
"A4M", the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, was founded in 1992 to create an anti-aging medical specialty distinct from geriatrics. This allowed scientists and physicians interested in this scientific field to organize lectures and discuss the latest developments.
The sci.life-extension, a group Usenet, was created by Brian M. Delaney, author, philosopher and translator born in California. This represented an important development in the life extension movement. This allowed, for example, the creation of the company CR (Calorie Restriction).
A more recent development is the proposal of Dr. A. de Gray, a biogerontologist at the University of Cambridge. This proposal suggested that damage to cells, macromolecules, organs and tissues could be repaired using advanced biotechnology. This is evident in hair restoration products, for example.
More than books
Although it seems that most of the work on life extension has been done only by writing books or by founding some form of companies or organizations, the reality is that these books have been written in response to or on very specific and detailed scientific bases. research that has yielded positive results.
They are no longer works of hope, but dedicated scientists who have spent their lives discovering facts about aging and trying to find ways to slow down or even reverse the process.
Many advances have been made and, in many ways, we are already able to extend life to some extent. The average lifespan of a human being is already far greater than it was thanks to advances made in the medical, pharmaceutical and nutritional fields through research and development.
Work continues and scientists around the world are constantly conducting research, comparing results, discussing options and making progress on our behalf.
Driving forces behind the development of the life extension movement
What factors are driving this movement into ever greater efforts to find solutions to Life's expansion? The answer to this question actually includes a whole series of factors.
Expectations have increased
As the baby boomer generation (born between 1946-1964) enters the retirement age, the expectations of this group are radically different from those of previous generations. They have higher expectations and want to fully enjoy their life as retirees and as long as possible. This expectation covers not only the duration of life, but also the quality of life. It is not a passive demand, but an active and energetic demand in many cases.
Advances in pharmacology have led to a wide selection of drugs that allow people to live longer and more fully developed over the past two decades. The work is still ongoing and many other drugs are being developed daily.
Traditional treatments for erectile dysfunction, including Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, are one of the classic examples of drugs that improve the quality of life of older people. These drugs have significantly reduced the number of deaths or serious injuries resulting from the fact that older men are retiring from bed, as well as a number of more qualitative benefits.
Progress in genetics
Some of the latest scientific research and advances in the fields of biotechnology and genetics provide hope that some of the fundamental causes of aging will be possible.
As we have previously pointed out, chromosomes containing DNA strings are essentially capped with a binding substance called telomeres. Indeed, telomeres are consumed during cell division and become shorter and shorter over time.
This was first observed by a scientist named Leonard Hayflick, and the process of limited cell division was later called Hayflick's term. Proponents of the extension of life think that lengthening telomeres by means of medication or gene therapy may ultimately extend Hayflick's limit and thereby mislead cells, and hence the body, into thinking "that he is younger than he is in reality.
Developments in precision manufacturing
Advances in nanotechnology, miniaturization, computer chips and robotics also promise hopeful life-prolonging solutions.
In the 1970s, a popular TV series featured Lee Majors in the role of "the man at six million dollars"? Science fiction then. Today, it is a scientific fact. Millions of people now go through life with artificial joints of the ankle, knee and hip and healthy feet. A generation ago, the mass production of this type of technology was a distant dream.
The same applies to many individuals with artificial limbs. Artificial legs were once raw wooden gear, able to maintain the balance of a person. The artificial limbs of today are almost fully functional.
The blessings of medical progress
Who would have thought, 50 years ago, that it would be possible to get around a coronary artery, or even completely replace a heart? Yet hundreds of thousands or even millions of people enjoy their lives after undergoing this type of operation – few of them would be alive half a century ago.
Millions of people are no longer forced to wear glasses because of the availability of laser surgery. It was also science fiction a few years ago. Today, it is advertised alongside shampoo in magazines and on television.
In other words, science is evolving rapidly to not only extend life, but also improve the quality of those extra years.
Is it science, science fiction or madness?
What should the average person think? It is almost as difficult to answer this question as finding solutions to a prolonged life. Even among scientists, opinions are divided. Some people think that prolonging the quality of life is as possible as prolonging life in general.
Others reject this idea as unscientific nonsense. This is often simply based on the fear of anything "new" disrupting the status quo of established limits. Fortunately, the real scientists continue to search, because if every scientist had decided that some of the advances already made in the medical, pharmaceutical and technological fields could not be possible, we would all die at age 30.
So where are we?
There is no doubt that many charlatans are trying to quickly take advantage of people's desire to keep their youth. Even today, many products sold by the millions are essentially ineffective. They often have fantastic names and contain the most confusing ingredients to make them look scientific and justify their cost.
But the facts are there, as many advances are being made and research suggests the potential to find the key to keeping youth alive longer, the scientific community is still warning the public that many of the products being sold today they are unreliable.
"While dietary supplements can help keep a body healthy – which can often be achieved by simply adopting a healthier lifestyle and diet – there is no definitive and undeniable evidence that slow down aging as such.
The same goes for many hormonal treatments. Although they may have a short-term effect, it's not yet scientifically proven that they will work long-term. The fear that it does not work is based on the fact that taking hormones, a good example, is the hormonal treatment of acne, will ultimately slow down the production of these hormones by the body.
In addition, many treatments may have potential (and yet unknown) side effects in the long term, which may affect the health of the user. This includes the fear that such hormone treatments increase the risk of cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses.
Other ideas, such as the calorie restriction method, work for rodents. In fact, studies in rats fed a 30-50% restricted diet showed that their lifespan was almost doubled.
Similar primate studies have also shown a tendency to extend life to some extent and prevent a list of age-related diseases. There are still no studies on humans, although some are currently living on a low calorie diet. However, to know if this will prolong their life, one must wait and see.
The theory is that by reducing caloric intake, the body's metabolism is slowed down, slowing down the aging process. Nutritionists say that there is a certain amount of calories that a body of a certain size and weight needs to have to stay healthy. Reducing this amount by 50% is not a good idea in the long run.
Time will tell, as they say, but how are we going to make a difference? If a person lives up to age 80, is it because she follows this diet or would she have lived up to that age anyway?
Where will it lead?
Many believe that it is realistic to expect and hope for significant progress in longevity over the next two decades. This group generally thinks that the answer will ultimately be in the areas of genetics and biotechnology. It is too early to make accurate forecasts, but the research to date is promising and, as mentioned earlier, some of the results of this research are already being used in some treatments to improve the lives of patients.
At present, it is difficult to slow global aging as little as possible. Some products indicate that they will help maintain overall health / longevity, but the first commercial products under development are skin care products. Given the size of this market, it is likely weather vane longevity treatments.
Science or snake oil?
It will be difficult to distinguish them for many years. Charlatans are likely to move because it is difficult to refute many theories easily. Just as difficult will be the positive proof of those who have an ethical perspective on the path of a real breakthrough, because products based on valid research and using a technology or ingredients that will have a real effect promise immediate results. Anyone looking to improve their youthful appearance, etc., will have to keep in mind. None of these products can work miracles. Even the best of them will take time and will be used regularly to achieve the desired effect.
The bottom line is that, as things stand, we can be certain that some elements are ineffective, even harmful; some are promising and others are beginning to push the limits to be able to demonstrate results, even modestly at the moment.
In the meantime, it is wise to look for products with the utmost care and not be fooled by weird and wonderful ingredients or fantastic promises of instant youth. Regeneration will take time – let's face it, it took a lifetime to get to this point, it will never be possible to go back in time.
Skin Care and Life Extension Movement
One wonders how all this, and in particular the life extension movement as such, could have to do with skin care, health and beauty products. The fact is that most life extension research leads to new approaches to skin care as a by-product.
A better understanding of how genetics and cellular processes affect aging and skin condition allows these research and development teams to study different compounds, their compatibility with human cells and their genetic makeup.
Many compounds found in nature are not only compatible with human skin, but in reality, skin cells have natural receptors for these compounds. Life Extension research having discovered these receptors, skin care developers can now use this knowledge and create the formulas for their products in order to achieve maximum effect.
The use of nanotechnology is another byproduct of research on the extension of skin life. The use of nanotechnology, or more precisely nanoparticles, has had a considerable impact on how nutrients and other components of skin care products are delivered to skin cells. In some ways, nanotechnology has already revolutionized skin care. It is now possible to use active ingredients previously difficult to administer effectively on the skin, while enhancing the effectiveness of the old proven ingredients. Some ingredients used in cosmetics for hundreds, even thousands of years, by some cultures can now be used even more effectively to improve the condition of the skin and maintain a healthy, youthful appearance.
Even the moisturizing effects of skincare products can be improved with technology. For this purpose, nanosomes are used. Nanosomes are small, pocket-shaped particles that melt or disintegrate on contact with the skin. By doing so, the moisturizing effect is accelerated, helping the skin faster and more effectively.
Nanotechnology plays a key role not only in slowing down skin aging, but it would actively contribute to the repair and healing of skin cells and tissues.
Stem cell research is another breakthrough in life extension research that is starting to make itself felt in skincare products. Stem cells are elements of life, plant, animal and human. Stem cells have two properties that other cells do not have. These properties are the ability to grow in any cell type and the ability to divide almost indefinitely. The use of plant stem cell extracts in skin care will likely become one of the next "big things" in the industry. And get ready for debate when human stem cells are offered as part of an anti-aging regime for skin care, as this will inevitably happen!
One thing we can be sure of is that science will continue to look for answers to the question of life extension, and that companies will stimulate the commercialization of discoveries. But if that leads us to a utopian future or potentially to a minefield of conflict as we discuss who will use and who will benefit from these new divine powers. In the meantime, at the practical level in the areas of skin care, health and beauty, we are hopeful and hope to see products that not only promise results but produce them.