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With great pleasure, I present this Q and A session with Dr. Marios Kyriazis, medical doctor, gerontologist and one of the world’s leading experts on human longevity. Often described as “a creative and controversial thinker who is changing the future of medicine”, Dr. Kyriazis played a major role in launching the concept of anti-aging medicine worldwide.
Dr. Kyriazis wrote popular books on life extension such as The Anti-Aging Plan, Stay Young Longer, Anti-Aging Medicines and many other books and articles on the topic. He founded prominent organizations such as the British Longevity Society and the ELPIS Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans, a scientific research organisation studying ways to eliminate aging. Dr. Kyriazis has been proposed for nomination for the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2017, based on his recent work.
Welcome, Dr. Kyriazis.
Dr. Kyriazis, you state, to paraphrase a little, that “There should be a way to transition to the domain where indefinite lifespans are the norm”. When do you feel indefinite human life spans will be the norm? How far have we come towards this goal? What does the future hold for the next 10 to 20 years?
The total elimination of ageing is possible in the next several decades (not centuries) but this is only with regards to some sections of humanity. Not all humanity will benefit- only those who take active part in the process. It is not an item-based therapy, such as a pill that someone will discover and make it available to people. This way of thinking is appropriate for alchemists, quacks or scientifically unsophisticated people. In the next 10 or 20 years we will experience a dramatic increase in digital and other technology which means that our role within this ecosystem will change. When we interact with technology our biology changes. See here for details: www.indispensablesoma.info
When we reach the point where human lifespans are indefinite, what sort of regular treatments would a healthy person undergo to maintain their health and vigour far longer than today’s conventional lifespan?
Ageing is not a simple disease that needs to be treated with a physical intervention so that to make it go away. If we are talking about eliminating the process of ageing, ie. living a life without any age-related degeneration (and the age-related mortality tends to zero) then we need to think along different, more complex lines. For example, see how our reactions change when we merge with technology, when our ecosystem is not what it used to be any longer but it is an amalgam of just humans and machines.
Projects such as Google Calico, SENS and similar, are reductionist, medically and scientifically unsophisticated concepts that are suitable for publicity rather than true elimination of ageing.
You state that leading a “stressful, irregular and constantly stimulating lifestyle” may contribute to living longer. This contradicts the popular notion that we should avoid stress. How can stress and change help us live a longer and healthier life?
Here I am talking about positive stress, the notion of hormesis. A positive challenge is a slight disturbance to the system which entices the organism to act, so that to overcome the stressfull stimulation. By doing so, there is activation of repair mechanisms which then repair age-related damage too. See my latest book: Challenging Aging: The Anti-senescence Effects of Hormesis, Environmental Enrichment, and Information Exposure http://ebooks.benthamscience.com/book/9781681083353/chapter/145146/
Dr. Kyriazis, you introduced carnosine to the public as an anti-aging supplement. How does carnosine prolong youthfulness? What other supplements can we use to prolong our youthfulness?
This is a well known dipeptide, but when I suggested its antiageing benefits it was a fairly unknown molecule. It helps as an antioxidant, antiglycator, heavy metal chelator and apoptotic modulator. However, it does not act to eliminate ageing itself. It may help to lessen some of the consequences of ageing. As I said above, achieving an indefinite lifespan where there would be no ageing, will not depends on rejuvenation biotechnologies such as pills or interventions.
What steps would you advise a healthy middle aged person to take to maximize their chances of a longer and healthier life?
My current advice is not the usual ‘eat healthy, take supplements etc. My advice is to live a life of change, avoidance of routine, brain stimulation and ‘living at the outer edge of your comfort zone’. Always set new goals that are challenging but doable. It is a life of brain stimulation rather than body exercises and nutrition. Embrace technology and stay socially connected. Some details of this are given in my blog here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140711125114-59182278-online-anonymity-privacy-and-longevity