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Olshansky - Immortality As Hype, Nothing New


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#1 Bruce Klein

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 03:34 AM


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Chat Topic: S. Jay Olshansky - Immortality as Hype, Nothing New
Olshansky is a Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Co-author with Bruce Carnes of The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging. Olshansky joins ImmInst Chat to give a more sober view on what he considers detremental hype surrounding a cure for aging and physical immortality.

Chat Time: Sun May 22 - 8 pm Eastern (Time Zone Guide)
Chat Room: http://www.imminst.org/chat



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S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D.

Suggested Reading:

1) 'Don't fall for the cult of immortality'
By S Jay Olshansky PhD
What do the ancient purveyors of physical immortality all have in common? They are all dead


2) 51 Scientists' Position Statement on Human Aging

AUTHORS AND ENDORSERS

Authors: S. Jay Olshansky (School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago), Leonard Hayflick (University of California at San Francisco) and Bruce A. Carnes (University of Chicago/National Opinion Research Center)

Endorsers (alphabetical order): Robert Arking, Allen Bailey, Andrzej Bartke, Vladislav V. Bezrukov, Jacob Brody, Robert N. Butler, Alvaro Macieira-Coelho, L. Stephen Coles, David Danon, Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey, Lloyd Demetrius, Astrid Fletcher, James F. Fries, David Gershon, Roger Gosden, Carol W. Greider, S. Mitchell Harman, David Harrison, Christopher Heward, Henry R. Hirsch, Robin Holliday, Thomas E. Johnson, Tom Kirkwood, Leo S. Luckinbill, George M. Martin, Alec A. Morley, Charles Nam, Sang Chul Park, Linda Partridge, Graham Pawelec, Thomas T. Perls, Suresh Rattan, Robert Ricklefs, Ladislas (Leslie) Robert, Richard G. Rogers, Henry Rothschild, Douglas L. Schmucker, Jerry W. Shay, Monika Skalicky, Len Smith, Raj Sohal, Richard L. Sprott, Andrus Viidik, Jan Vijg, Eugenia Wang, Andrew Weil, Georg Wick and Woodring Wright.

Excerpt:

"We enthusiastically support research in genetic engineering, stem cells, geriatric medicine and therapeutic pharmaceuticals, technologies that promise to revolutionize medicine as we know it. Most biogerontologists believe that our rapidly expanding scientific knowledge holds the promise that means may eventually be discovered to slow the rate of aging. If successful, these interventions are likely to postpone age-related diseases and disorders and extend the period of healthy life. Although the degree to which such interventions might extend length of life is uncertain, we believe this is the only way another quantum leap in life expectancy is even possible. Our concern is that when proponents of antiaging medicine claim that the fountain of youth has already been discovered, it negatively affects the credibility of serious scientific research efforts on aging. Because aging is the greatest risk factor for the leading causes of death and other age-related pathologies, more attention must be paid to the study of these universal underlying processes. Successful efforts to slow the rate of aging would have dramatic health benefits for the population by far exceeding the anticipated changes in health and length of life that would result from the complete elimination of heart disease, cancer, stroke and other age-associated diseases and disorders." Quote Link

#2 Bruce Klein

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 03:39 AM

There was an interim time from when the first chat announcement was posted and when JayO confirmed the date, this first chat discussion is archived within the Full Member forum here: http://www.imminst.o...=ST&f=92&t=6026

#3 Jay the Avenger

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 11:41 AM

What do the ancient purveyors of physical immortality all have in common? They are all dead


And what is the difference between them and us? We're getting to the technological level that will allow us to do the job.

Olshansky's line of reasoning is just sad. I hope he lives to see he's wrong.

I can't imagine why anyone would think it is necessary to fight the prospect of living longer, healthier lives. Perhaps he just doesn't want to be susceptible to the idea that he might miss the boat by a few years.

On the other hand... having an opponent like him is an acknowledgement of the fact that the immortality movement should be taken seriously. So that's actually good news. ;)

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#4 sjayo

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 06:28 PM

To Jaytheavenger: What would make you or anyone else believe that I think "it is necessary to fight the prospect of living longer, healthier lives." Perhaps a careful read of the excerpt above or any manuscript I have ever written on human aging and longevity would be useful. Nothing could be further from the truth.
S. Jay Olshansky

#5 DJS

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 08:14 PM

Admittedly Jay, I use to have the same opinion of you until I made an effort to familiarize myself with your work. Obviously to us Immortalist types sometimes your 'cult of immortality' lingo can come off the wrong way if one does not realize that you are mostly digging your barbs into the current anti aging industry and the charlatanism its promotes.

I would still, however, consider you to be *conservative* or ... pessimistic (from my perspective, of course ;)) ). In this regard, I tend to agree with Aubrey in that it is okay to offer up traditional life expectancy figures based on the current state of medicine, but these estimates should always be qualified by mentioning the fact that future medical break throughs could significantly alter such estimates. When you do not do this, and instead offer up blanket statements with your colleague Dr. Hayflick, well, that ruffles my feathers somewhat. [lol]

For instance,

"The prospect of humans living forever is as unlikely today as it has always been, and discussions of such an impossible scenario have no place in the scientific discourse."

Olshansky SJ, Hayflick L, Carnes BA.  A Position Statement on Human Aging.  J Gerontol A Bio Sci Med Sci 2002; 57: B292 - B297.


Now, in the context it was written in, the term "forever" appears to be implicitly referring to the idea of "negligible senescence". I mean, obviously in a biogerontology journal it wouldn't make any sense for the piece to be referring to extrinsic mortality factors like say, getting hit by a car.

There are other examples I have read in the past also, this is just the one I could find the easiest. Sometimes I believe either you, or papers that you sign onto, forget to qualify your statements, which in turn leads to an environment of pessimism regarding the potential and promise of future biomedical break throughs.

Edited by DonSpanton, 21 April 2005 - 09:10 PM.


#6 Jay the Avenger

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 09:16 PM

To Jaytheavenger:  What would make you or anyone else believe that I think "it is necessary to fight the prospect of living longer, healthier lives."  Perhaps a careful read of the excerpt above or any manuscript I have ever written on human aging and longevity would be useful.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
S. Jay Olshansky


Hey JayO,

I must admit, I haven't taken the time to actually read anything you have ever written.

On the other hand, I feel you should choose your lingo more wisely, as DonSpanton has written right above this post. That cult-remark is poorly chosen, and it doesn't really invite anybody to take the time to do more research to your work, you know what I mean?

No hard feelings.

#7 sjayo

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 11:39 PM

No worries mate as I just learned in Australia. I'm a Cubs fan which, by definition, makes me an optimist!! Perhaps a disappointed optimist, but an optimist in any case. Having said that, I am conservative to be sure, but it's all relative to the notion of immortality. Remember, once you throw the life table out the window, anything goes (negligible senescence -- flat mortality; or no mortality for that matter). No one knows if flat mortality is even possible -- remember, we can't measure age-specific death rates in species that supposedly have negligible senescence because there aren't enough of them to generate death rates. Again, how does one model or think about the effects of future technologies (that do not yet exist) on life expectancy? I don't know how to do this. I just don't find it appropriate for scientists or anyone else for that matter to declare what the results of future research will be before the research is done -- that isn't science. Providing confidence intervals around either the timing of such advances or the hypothetical magnitude of the effect of such non-existent technologies on life expectancy, in the absence of statistics, is also straying far from the scientific method. Most of my colleagues say it isn't science at all. We can discuss all this during the chat, to which I greatly look forward. As you might imagine, I love talking about this issue -- bring it on, let's have fun.
Best,
JayO

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 04:12 AM

Hi JayO (in contrast to Jay (Fox), one of the Imminst Directors),

There's a question I have regarding "The Quest for Immortality": on page 155 of the 2001 softback edition you (and Carnes) say in relation to protecting DNA from damage,

"even if substances like those produced by the body could be developed, getting them to the site where the genetic damage occurs (inside the nucleus of the cell where DNA is located) remains an unsolved technical problem".

Could you explain this?

#9 Marc_Geddes

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 09:29 AM

For heavens sake,

Immortalism is neither hype nor science, it's a philosophy or vision of how some of us would like to live.

When ever a visionary comes along with starry eyed ideas a whole bunch of knockers spring up and start yelling; 'You can't predict that! The facts don't support it! It's not science! ' ect etec. But this is to mis-understand what the visionary is doing. Visionaries are not predicting, they're projecting or exploring the space of possibilities.

To repeat: Immortalism is neither science nor hype. It's a vision or philosophy. And in that context, it's not to be knocked.

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#10 sjayo

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 01:43 PM

Dear Marc: Thank you for this -- when presented as a philosophy or vision then I think you are right on target and for reasons that will be obvious in a moment, I'm right there with you. It is not science when presented as a prediction, and that is exactly what I am saying. Your message clarifies this for me. However, I'd be curious to know if your friends and colleagues view it the same way, for I have seen how this is presented to the public and the media, and it is not presented as a vision, but as a prediction (with confidence intervals).

To illustrate my allegiance with this vision, I'm going to show you two paragraphs from a new manuscript we have forthcoming......

"In the science fiction novel From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne used nothing more than his imagination to describe in prescient detail, space travel and a landing on the moon. In War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, this story about a Martian invasion of Earth served as inspiration for the father of modern rocket propulsion, Robert Goddard. In the science fiction television series Star Trek, producer Gene Roddenberry imagined an impressive array of futuristic mechanical contraptions including laser beams, motion sensors, and medical imaging devices. In a now famous comic strip published in 1946, cartoonist Chester Gould imagined the existence of a 2-Way radio, and now we have cell phones. Nearly all of these amazing events and devices have come into existence not just because they were the end product of engineering plans, but more importantly because someone dared to imagine, well in advance of the available science used to create them, that they could exist.

In this article we put our imaginations to work with the hope that human ingenuity can be coaxed to forge a new and more innovative path to addressing the health consequences of an aging population. Here we envisage how the inner workings of the human body might have been designed differently had a healthier and longer life been the motivating force that shaped the biology of life. We have no illusions about the fanciful nature of some of our fixes, but perhaps, just maybe, we will spark an idea, trigger a thought, or inspire someone else to think outside of the box and first imagine and then create tomorrow’s equivalent of today’s motion sensors, cell phones, rockets, and medical imaging devices. In Human by Design we go beyond the traditionally reactive approach to medicine and science, and encourage readers and fellow scientists to join us in a journey to first imagine a future of human health that is better than the present – and then work to make it so."

To Prometheus: your question addresses the discussion of WR2721 and the work of Bruce Carnes and Dave Grdina -- the three of us worked together at Argonne National Laboratory many years ago. Dave is now at the University of Chicago where I worked for 10 years. This comes from Dave who has worked to move WR2721 into clinical trials (successfully) as a substance intended to protect healthy cells when cancer cells are being targeted using radiation and chemotherapy. It may be used in the future to protect astronauts during extended space travel to Mars (who cannot be protected by shielding alone). The problem with any of these compounds is getting them TO every cell in the body, INTO every cell in the body, and then TO the right place within the cell. It is believed that WR2721 works by slowing the cell cycle, thus enabling the time period for maintenance and repair to be extended. We think WR2721 may have life-extending properties and we intend to evaluate this using the NIH/NIA protocol.
S. Jay Olshansky
[I'm going to save further discussion for the chat]

#11 John Schloendorn

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Posted 23 April 2005 - 02:43 AM

Wow, I'm looking forward to that essay.

It is not science when presented as a prediction, and that is exactly what I am saying. Your message clarifies this for me. However, I'd be curious to know if your friends and colleagues view it the same way, for I have seen how this is presented to the public and the media, and it is not presented as a vision, but as a prediction (with confidence intervals)

Personally, I completely agree with Marc's view. But publically I support prediction, solely because it can get people to share the vision and thereby help to make it real faster. Once someone shares the vision they may discover that they were kind of tricked, or they will probably not be able to make a useful contribution. This is not harmful to the vision.
It may well be that this pathway is short-sighted and does not work. But trying something still seems better than doing nothing. Although, I do know it worked for me -- what got me was largely Mike Fossel's telomerase book in the late 90s, seriously ;)) But it also seems like religions, and in the end even TV ads for washing liquid work this way.

#12 caliban

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 08:21 PM

I missed the chat and the loglady bot seems to be down, does anyone have a transcript?

also, this comment got lost (or was deleted?)

<hr>

Dear sjayo

Many thanks for taking time to answer the criticisms and concerns.
I'd like to take up the initial point, even though others have picked up on it and you have taken care to answer it quite convicingly already.

how does one model or think about the effects of future technologies


With great difficulty of course. In any projection, the first and last ought to be a question a rigid examination of likelihood, feasibility and constraining factors. Nonetheless I'm sure you would agree that theory building, modeling and projecting is not only interesting but prudent. With the proper caveats in place, anticipation of progress has (thankfully) become a feature of modern science policy and –not least– public expectations.

I just don't find it appropriate for scientists or anyone else for that matter to declare what the results of future research will be before the research is done -- that isn't science


We don't not need Popper to tell us that theory construction is of course an integral part of science. But it has been pointed out that what Aubrey and others are doing is not meant to be science in the "thumb on the pipette" fashion. It is collusion, evaluation, and projection… and a good dose of politics.

Scientist need money and they get it by selling a story… if it is a good story (because the plot makes sense AND because people happen to like the message) they will get money to make it come true. Not many people will fund stories that have already happened.

This is nothing new to you of course (and has been included for wider benefit) and I suspect that you are well aware of your own role in this: By not attacking the plot or the message of the story (SENS) but the very notion that such a story –any story– be t(s)old, you are on very safe ground.
Those who have worked on the story for a long time will emphasize with the skepticism. A former Professor of Gerontology, now retired, has impressed this onto me: "We have been telling this story for decades" he says… and now concentrates on cryonics. Even many young immortalists who have been studying "the scene" for more than five years, will be familiar with the "hope, hype, hysteria" that accompanies any "breakthrough" in aging research.

But the point is, that if the story is not told, it will never happen. It is prudent to be skeptical, but it is also very comfortable, especially if you do it from afar. What we need are people who get down to the editing work:
WHY is the story flawed?
Why don’t you like the message? Why should such a story not be told? -- That’s the role of the ethicists and the politicians.
Or alternatively, and much more useful :
Where exactly are the weak points in the plot, what fact exactly has been overlooked? --That’s the role of the scientist – that IS science.

I am glad to say that both discussions are happening in these forums.

#13 Bruce Klein

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 08:22 PM

I missed the chat and the loglady bot seems to be down, does anyone have a transcript?


Chat will be May 22. [thumb]

#14 Casanova

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 04:40 AM

Physical Immortality will always be impossible no matter what method you try to use to obtain it; magic, technology, or wishful thinking.
There is so much technological hype these days that if Barnum and Bailey were still alive they would present themseves as scientists. No doubt most of you would believe the wild, looney, claims of a modern day Barnum and Bailey PHD duo.
The kind of digital heaven that you all lust for is a pipe dream. There is a barrier up ahead for all your dreams of downloading, and uploading, your conscious minds, namely, the "Noncomputational Barrier".
Kurzweil's and Moravec's digital fantasies will all pop like hot air balloons when it is finally made clear to the pigheaeded that self-awareness and a consciousness mind are noncomputational.

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 07:36 AM

Cas:

Physical Immortality will always be impossible no matter what method you try to use to obtain it; magic, technology, or wishful thinking.


That is the goal. The means to that end begin with achieving indefinite lifespans, deaths will almost inevitably occur as long as existential risks exceed 0. Existential risks may approach 0 in time, with progress and applied effort.

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 08:46 AM

self-awareness and a consciousness mind are noncomputational



You sound very convinced. How so?

#17 DJS

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 02:38 PM

Casanova doesn't answer questions, you should know that by now Prometheus...he's one of the "proclaimers". [lol]

#18 John Schloendorn

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 02:15 PM

Sorry, when exactly is that? Can you express eastern as "GMT minus X"? I find conflicting stuff on the internet... Do you have this daylight saving thingy?

#19 Lazarus Long

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 02:20 PM

EDT is -4 hours in relation to GMT (EST is -5)

http://www.viatrip.c...itedstates.html

#20 ellis2ca

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 04:30 PM

RE: Hormones

================
Jay Olshansky wrote:

"A number of hormones, including growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, have been shown in clinical trials to improve some of the physiological changes associated with human aging.61,62 Under the careful supervision of physicians, some hormone supplements can be beneficial to the health of some people.

No hormone, however, has been proved to slow, stop or reverse aging.

Instances of negative side effects associated with some of these products have already been observed, and recent animal studies suggest that the use of growth hormone could have a life-shortening effect.63,64,65

Hormone supplements now being sold under the guise of antiaging medicine should not be used by anyone unless they are prescribed for approved medical uses. "
================

Statements such as: "Instances of negative side effects associated with some of these products have already been observed, and recent animal studies suggest that the use of growth hormone could have a life-shortening effect." cause me to dislike Mr. Olshansky's advice in general. I cannot agree with anybody who is telling the public to beware of growth hormone and testosterone (and estrogen and progesterone) because it will SHORTEN their life, or that hormone supplements "now being sold under the guise of anti aging medicine" should not be used by anybody unless they are prescribed for approved medical uses. The medical use that they are being prescribed for by the anti aging doctors are precisely to reverse or retard the aging process, and unless Mr. Olshansky has ever used them and had a bad experience with them, he should not be telling others what to do when he doesn't know what to do himself.

I can state without any hesitation that "GROWTH HORMONE AND TESTOSTERONE will slow, stop, or reverse the SIGNS OF AGING."

And, I believe, time will tell that they will be shown to also extend lifespan as well as healthspan.

If he is following his own advice, unless he has a severe growth hormone deficiency, Mr. Olshansky does not use growth hormone or testosterone himself. (If I am mistaken, please correct me.) Therefore, he cannot know as much about them as the thousands of anti aging doctors who are using them regularly, or the thousands more patients of these doctors who are using growth hormone and testosterone with excellent results.

Since I have used growth hormone every day for nearly 7 years, and testosterone on and off for about 5 years, and many other hormones regularly, I know he is mistaken. I for one am not going to stop using growth hormone or testosterone because Mr. Olshansky or Andrew Weil believe it is dangerous or ineffective or unnatural, because I trust my eyes more than I trust what I read.

I certainly do not think the use of growth hormone and testosterone, in particular, will result in the shortening of MY lifespan, or healthspan. But if it does, I will still be grateful that I used them because they have extended my healthspan at least the 7 years that I have taken growth hormone every day.

I would like to hear from Jay Olshansky which of the following hormones he has ever used himself, for what period of time, and with what results: growth hormone, testosterone, erithropoyetin, and insulin.

It is not enough to study hormones in medical books, or to study what the books or studies say, because some of the books say what Jay Olshansky and others, like Andrew Weil, another famous opponent of the use of growth hormone, say...

In my opinion, based on my personal use for many years of growth hormone and testosterone, and based on the feedback to me from thousands of doctors and patients, his comments about growth hormone and testosterone are negative and mistaken. As such, they do a disservice to the thousands of people who read them and repeat them to others.

#21 sjayo

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 04:49 PM

Dear Ellis2ca: The comments to which you refer came out of our position statement on human aging. This is the collective opinion of numerous scientists who currently work in the field of aging, including several involved in clinical trials involving GH. The clinical trials conducted so far have a consistent message -- there are certainly short-term benefits involving the use of GH, but there are most definitely a number of risks -- including among them diabetes. There is also no scientific evidence anywhere in the literature suggesting that the use of GH lengthens life, but there is suggestive evidence that it could shorten life. Testimonials do not constitute scientific evidence. It is also important to realize that the use of GH for anti-aging purposes is illegal in the United States, and physicians caught administering or distributing GH for this purpose (as well as for athletic enhancement) are subject to criminal penalties. More more will appear on this topic in the coming months.
I have never used hormones. However, I am intimately familiar with the literature on GH since my son was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency at the age of 7 and, after months of agonizing over whether to use it, decided to do so. This is one of the only three legal uses of the drug. He is now 17, 5'6" (his projected adult height without it was 4'10"), he's been off of GH for 2 years, and we monitor him like a hawk. There are elevated risks of colon cancer among adults who used GH as a child, but the risk ratios are relatively small. I discuss this topic at length in my Introduction to Epidemiology class.
We can chat more about this tonight if you wish.
S. Jay Olshansky

#22 ellis2ca

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 08:41 PM

Dear Mr. Olshansky... You admit you have never used hormones, (in plural that means "any hormone") but excuse me, you want to dictate to others that we should not use GROWTH HORMONE or TESTOSTERONE or other hormones when we are finding that they help us to be healthier... You say you are "intimately familiar with the literature" on GH, but the literature on GH is full of support for the use of growth hormone, which you seem not to agree with, as well as with articles that oppose the use of growth hormone.

You even seem to threaten physicians "caught" administering or distributing GH for this purpose with criminal penalties!!! I understand there are perhaps 14,000 medical doctors who are in the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine who might fall in this category...If you try to "catch" them, you will, and you will also fill a lot of jails with very good doctors who were helping their patients.

I understand that growth hormone is legal in the United States for adult Growth Hormone deficiency... Do you propose to send doctors to jail if they prescribe it to adults who (probably like you) are growth hormone deficient, and they SAY it is anti aging? What else is coming on this topic in the coming months? Are you seeking to prosecute doctors for prescribing growth hormone for anti aging purposes?

I will ask you tonight to tell us more about the "side effects" and "dangers" of growth hormone. I would like to know more about the cases of taking growth hormone that caused diabetes, or cancer of any kind. I am interested to understand the statistics, too... "the elevated risks of colon cancer among adults who used GH as a child, BUT THE RISK RATIOS ARE RELATIVELY SMALL" If they are "elevated but they are relatively small" they might be a statistical variation... And there are probaby other forms of cancer that are "decreased, but they are relatively small" too.

Since you will bring statistics about growth hormone and colon cancer to the chat tonight, please also bring statistics of the thousands of persons who by now have used growth hormone for several years... Tell us tonight if there has been any ELEVATION OF THE RISKS OF ANY KIND OF CANCER reported anywhere among this large group of people, ie, has there been a rise in the INCIDENCE of cancer among the thousands of persons who by now have been prescribed growth hormone for adult GH deficiency, or perhaps "illegal" anti-aging purposes?

There is only one way for you to learn the truth about growth hormone, Mr. Olshansky. I challenge you and invite you to try a physiological dose of growth hormone yourself for 60 (or 90) days, legally, under the supervision of a doctor. You are intimately acquainted with the literature about growth hormone enough to know that you will probably survive through the experience without any problem, and maybe with some benefits. After that, I wish you would join us in a chat again and tell us your experience, both good and bad. If it is bad, at least after this you will be able to speak from your own experience and not only from your intimate acquaintance with the literature.

And please be sure to bring your blood tests to the chat tonight. I suppose they will show that you do not have any growth hormone or testosterone deficiency. Bring them, it will be interesting to see the criteria of how a teacher in Epidemiology decided that he does not need and should not take growth hormone or testosterone... we'll discuss it then. (I feel confident you base your decision not to take growth hormone until now on blood tests... after all, since your son is growth hormone deficient, it may be inherited from you... so you have surely taken blood tests to discard this possibility.)

I might add... since your son is 17 years of age and was growth hormone deficient as a child, and since he has been off of growth hormone for two years, he is still growth hormone deficient right now. You would do well to give him at least a physiological dose of growth hormone every day (or several times each week) for the rest of his life, or else he will show premature signs of aging by age 25 or 30. And you don't have to monitor him like a hawk... He is probably as healthy or healthier than other kids who have not taken growth hormone.

We can also discuss your knowledge of other dangerous hormones which we should not use for anti aging purposes, such as testosterone, DHEA, and melatonin... maybe even some others....

Until tonight... Hasta la vista!

Ellis Toussier

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#23 sjayo

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 10:05 PM

Dear Ellis: The tone of your note is one that would not normally warrant a response, and I would encourage you to engage in a friendly scientific discourse as I will. However, a couple of points are worth making. First, the fact that GH is illegal for anti-aging purposes in the U.S. is unknown to most physicians, even under off-label use -- it's the law of land -- I'm not threatening anyone. Second, for those unfamiliar with GHD in children, what can happen is that the child's own mechanism for producing GH develops along with the child. Thus, once on GH for a few years, their own pituitary gland begins producing more than when they were younger. That is what happened in my son's case -- he is now producing the quantities appropriate for his age, so it appears that he will not be GHD as an adult. Thank goodness. It is possible that many people of short stature have malformed pituitary glands, and GH then works wonders to make up for what the body is not producing. Finally, with regard to feeling better on GH, I have no doubt this occurs for many. The same was also true for Pfen-Pfen and ephedra, but once these substances were evaluated using clinical trials, they were shown to do enough harm to remove them from the market. You will notice that I am quite consistent in my view of these matters, and it is a point that I drive home to my students -- it is worth thinking twice about using biologically active compounds before they have been properly evaluated for efficacy and safety using the methods of science.
S. Jay Olshansky

#24 ellis2ca

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 10:53 PM

I'm sorry to say I won't be able to make it to the Chat tonight, because I have to go to a Concert that I have been waiting for for a long time... However... I would have liked to have been there... I have used growth hormone every day for 7 years, I have had magnificent results from it, and I have received similar feedback from almost everybody that has used it, including doctors and patients. You have never used growth hormone, or other hormone, and you are opposed to using it because of the literature you say you are intimately acquainted with... I insist, the only wayyou will ever know what the growth hormone experience is like is to try it yourself. As for growth hormone causing diabetes... I say that Diabetes II is caused from many years of losing Beta cells, and cannnot be caused from taking growth hormone a few months. Diabetes II is extremely common, and appears mostly after age 50, even more after age 60... these are the same ages at which many persons start to take growth hormone for the first time, and in SOME OF THEM it is very possible that they start to take growth hormone coincidentally when diabetes first creeps up and becomes apparent in them... However, it was not caused by taking growth hormone... but it certainly does appear in the LITERATURE that you are intimately acquainted with that growth hormone might cause diabetes... it MIGHT cause falling hair, and wrinkles, and anything else that appears at this age...but it doesn't. I assure you it only is a coincidence. As for the Law of the Land, I am not a lawyer, but I have heard that if a medicine is approved by the F.D.A. for one purpose, then doctors can prescribe it for another purpose. I have not heard that it is legal to prescribe growth hormone for adult growth hormone deficiency, and illegal to prescribe it for adult wrinkles if that is what the doctor wants to prescribe it for. But, I repeat, I am not a lawyer, and the world is going pretty far out anyways, so you might be right. Fortunately, I am in Mexico. Good night, good luck, and I hope you discuss the points that I have mentioned in my above posts. If you accept to try growth hormone for 60 days, I will try to convince Serono or Eli Lilly or some other manufacturer to send it to you without charge. I know you might change your mind about it, if you try it.

Ellis Toussier

#25

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 11:37 PM

I can state without any hesitation that "GROWTH HORMONE AND TESTOSTERONE will slow, stop, or reverse the SIGNS OF AGING."


This observation may very well be true for an individual with constitutional hormone deficiency such as that of hypopituitarism. In such conditions, the lowered hormone levels may shorten lifespan and as a consequence of therapeutic administration the lifespan of the patient may be extended. Whilst I do not have them on hand, I have come across studies where hormonal supplementation for older males with lowered testosterone levels had an improvement in coronary function. What is largely being ignored by the medical commuinity is the percentage of older patients who are becoming constitutionaly hypo-hormonal and who could have genuine benefits from such supplemention even though their lowered hormone levels are viewed as a "normal" aspect of aging.

#26 sjayo

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 11:52 PM

Dear Prometheus:
It is not entirely clear what declines in GH mean in the human body. There is a long-standing belief by some that restoring GH levels to those present at younger ages will restore youth. This is the modern version of a very old theory based on the idea that aging is caused by the loss of some vital substance. However, recent evidence suggests that introducing GH into adults inhibits neurogenesis -- a finding that was just presented at a meeting I attended in Australia. The body may actually benefit in some ways from age-dependent declines in GH, especially with regard to issues associated with cancer. That fact that people experience physiological benefits associated with GH is not surprising, but all of the same benefits can be acquired for free through exercise. As for genuine adult GHD, it is extremely rare, but that is one of the legal uses of GH. Off-label use of GH for anti-aging is illegal in the U.S., in spite of people claiming the contrary. Importing it into the U.S. from Mexico or other countries is also illegal.
S. Jay Olshansky

#27 darauch

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 06:02 AM

Hi Prof. Olshansky, this is what I have inferred from my reading on life extension so far.
1) We have a good idea of what causes aging.
2) We know that if we can address these causes we can effectively eliminate aging.
3) Advanced nanotechnology will beable to address all of these causes. (At this point, people will still be mortal insofar as sufficiently powerful external forces will be able to kill them, but aging, along with other pathologies, will be avoidable, allowing for radical life extension)

In addition, advanced biotechnology (e.g., the ability to grow one's own organs) and perhaps primitive nanotech should be able to keep many people alive until the advent of advanced nanotechnology.

Which, if any, of these propositions do you disagree with and why?

-Daniel

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 07:56 AM

That fact that people experience physiological benefits associated with GH is not surprising, but all of the same benefits can be acquired for free through exercise.


Jay, I am in full agreement with you on the benefits of exercise for people/patients of all ages and dispositions, however is it not a bold statement to make that exercise induced GH secretion would be sufficient to fully replace age-related or pathology related decreases in GH production?

recent evidence suggests that introducing GH into adults inhibits neurogenesis


That's an interesting finding which is difficult to reconcile in light of the following: the relatively high amounts of GH that are being released during childhood in normal children versus children suffering from pituitary dwarfism with relatively low amounts of GH with no reported changes in neuronal development; the observation that exercise in adults induces neurogenesis in the hippocampus (1) yet also increases GH secretion (2). In any case, if the study has been published please forward the citation.

This is the modern version of a very old theory based on the idea that aging is caused by the loss of some vital substance


True, but perhaps not entirely incorrect if the diminishing vital substance is considered to be genomic stability. ;) There is a school of thought supported by some recent research findings that post-menopausal decreasing estrogen levels (will have to dig the reference up - sorry) are in fact beneficial as females age and that is why HRT has in some cases proven to be detrimental, which I think this is a reasonable view. Whilst children appear to generally develop at a similar rate for their age, most adults age with increasingly variability in rate of degeneration and pathology. Consequently my view above is counterweighed by the belief that almost every aging individual can benefit from a custom tailored hormonal supplementation program suitable for their unique requirements which is professionally monitored on a regular basis. The earlier such a program commences, the greater the opportunity to ameliorate age-related endocrinologically associated problems. Unfortunately most medical doctors are still in denial that aging is and should be treated as a disease process.

Also here are a couple of the testosterone/heart benefits references I was talking about earlier (3,4):


(1) Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2005 Mar 15;:1-12
The antidepressant effect of running is associated with increased hippocampal cell proliferation.
Bjornebekk A, Mathe AA, Brene S.

(2) Sports Med. 2005;35(4):339-361.
Hormonal Responses and Adaptations to Resistance Exercise and Training.
Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA.

(3) FASEB J. 2002 Oct;16(12):1537-49
Testosterone, cytochrome P450, and cardiac hypertrophy.
Thum T, Borlak J.

(4) Clin Infect Dis. 2003;37 Suppl 2:S142-9
Effects of testosterone administration on fat distribution, insulin sensitivity, and atherosclerosis progression.
Bhasin S.

#29 DJS

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:26 AM

ellis

I insist, the only wayyou will ever know what the growth hormone experience is like is to try it yourself.


What an absurd statement. Its well known that traditional steroids make the user feel on top of the world, like they have the strength of ten men. This doesn't however mean that steroids lack deleterious side effects. The same goes for human growth hormone. It may make you "feel good", but this is irrelevant to discussions centered around life extension. Personal testimonials are unscientific IMO and of very little value. Please try to stick to a discussion of the data and leave the rhetoric at the door.

⌛⇒ new years donation: support LE labs

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 01:04 PM

I missed the chat, again. Here's what I added after the discussion ended, albeit sloppily written.

<cosmos> I think Jay walked away from this discussion believing we were all wishful thinkers.
<cosmos> I would've liked to have seen some clarification on indefinite lifespans and immortality
<cosmos> immortality as a goal, achieving effectively indefinite lifespans as the way
<cosmos> along with reducing the risk of death from external threats
<cosmos> Jay seemed very much on "our side", just not in agreement with some of the predictions made
<cosmos> Predictions are most useful for encouraging justified enthusiasm and increased funding in the relevant fields
<cosmos> Potentially, predictions can be damaging if they're too optimistic and they don't bear out to the disappointment of the lay public, and those who fund such research
...
<cosmos> Jay asked whether people believe they will live immortally, some answered yes, at this point I would answer probably not because I think I face substantial risk of death between now and whenever indefinite lifespans are achieved
...
<cosmos> even so, I still retain the goal of immortality

I'd like to clarify that the risk of death I refer to isn't exclusive to a pre-indefinite lifespanned period. I just see a significant existential risk in the short and mid-term future, eventually diminishing as those already long-lived individuals manage to better protect their lives (their patterns) against external threats.

Btw, I liked this comment.

<JayO> Kevin et al., it's been a pleasure.  If you go to the back of my book, you'll discover what I discovered -- to live one day at a time.  That is why I spend time with my children. That is why I make time for wife and family.  That is why I exercise and try and eat right, because each day is precious, and I want each one to be healthy.

It reminded me of a memorable quote Kevin wrote.

Kevin:

Pearce, the pursuit of immortality is acknowledging the desire to live. When suffering of any kind becomes to onerous, one may begin to believe that not existing is preferable to the suffering. This is the only reason that anyone 'lets go of the line'. Trying to live one day at a time and lessen suffering, both for ourselves and those around us, without dying, is an admirable goal for one's efforts IMO. I don't try and live forever in a day... it makes me tired.






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