Louis is a 27-year-old assembly line worker in Three Rivers, Michigan. He has no health problems and rarely sees a doctor. But for a man in his heyday, Louis thinks a lot about tricking death. He researched online strategies and even switched to herbal diet after hearing from a YouTube channel called Vegan Gains that veganism could extend his life. Louis believes the diet would cost him a few more years, but he feels the need to continue to seek new ways to prolong his life. "I want to live as healthy as possible for as long as possible," he says. "And if we have therapies and practices that extend our healthy lifespan today, I think we must follow those therapies and practices."
Charles is your average middle-aged bourgeois family man. He lives in a suburb of Atlanta, works in marketing at 9 to 5, does Brazilian Jujitsu and spends weekends watching his kid in wrestling tournaments. Except that Charles has hung up: He worries that he has the feeling of withering, that he has grown old, that he is thinning his hair, losing a step and forgetting the name of his friend's wife. Charles is the guy who works in anti-aging Internet forums and takes a handful of dietary supplements. "A few years ago, when my grandfather had cancer, I saw him die," he says. Charles learned about alternative ways his grandfather might try to extend his life, but his grandfather did not try. Soon after, Charles (who did not ask for his real name) received some news that caused him to get into hyperdrive. "I did this genetic test," he says. "I found out I had a risk for Alzheimer's." This risk increases with increasing age of your body.
Van is a 72-year-old who led the distribution of medical devices in Boston until he retired and moved to Spain. He used to run eight kilometers and lift weights three times a week. But in the late '60s, all the wellness stuff did not work so well. "I got really tired in the afternoon," says Van, who did not want to give his name. "I would be too tired to go to dinner at night, and I also got high blood pressure, I felt the effects of aging." His attempts to trigger a kettlebell were halfhearted, and his walks through the neighborhood slowed down felt the sun go down over the life of his beloved vitality and that he was approaching a bleak and inevitable bed-ridden demise.
Each of these men found a solution to his concerns about aging at about the same place and time something in Reddit threads and longevity blogs about something people on the other end of the keyboard said could help them live better for longer, it would make Louis healthier now as he grew older and all his friends saw their bodies fade, reducing Charles' risk of Alzheimer's and boys ten years younger into BJJ It would get Van's training going again and drop his blood markers to someone half his age. It had the potential to be stronger than diet and exercise. But it also had the potential to cause some problems.
It was a curious substance found on a 1
Rapamycin was not exactly kind and it was not something Louis, Charles or Van could pick up at CVS. In high doses, rapamycin suppresses your immune system. The FDA approved it for people who had undergone an organ transplant to prevent their body rejecting the donated organ. The stuff could expose you to the risk of side effects. Approximately 5 percent of patients in clinical trials have experienced them so badly that they had to stop the medication. The FDA stamped rapamycin with a "black box" warning, which is the most extreme for drugs that are associated with "serious or life-threatening risks" – risks such as infections, pneumonia and cancer.
However, the forums had links to legitimate research and caused a stir in the ranks of influential biohackers such as Tim Ferriss and doctors such as Dr. Peter Attia, in which MIT researchers and doctors from the University of Chicago in their podcasts were talking about the potential age of the drug – bending benefits. Doctors generally do not prescribe rapamycin openly to ensure a long life. Van was lucky and found someone who did. But Louis and Charles, like many people who want something today, have looked around the internet.
We talked to many men like Louis, Charles and Van about this story. They are between 27 and 76 years old, and their opinions on the drug range from "probably helpful, but no better than physical activity" to "slightly the most important drug that humanity has ever discovered, and should be included in the upcoming presidential election the central theme of his cycle. "They are craftsmen, academics, doctors, entrepreneurs and everything in between. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of these men who are quietly experimenting with rapamycin across the country. And if these people are right, they could be like the lucky rodents in research, walking around with improved brain health, heart health, and vitality, while the rest of us indulge in mortality. Or they could kill themselves slowly. It is too early to say.
The Secret of Aging
Scientists still do not know what actually causes aging. Maybe it's because your cells are not dividing anymore, that your telomeres are shortening, that you are depleting your stem cells, or that your DNA is damaged and can not repair itself, or a combination of all these processes. Or maybe it's not one of them. All we can do to live longer and better right now is to treat the symptoms of aging. So that's what the anti-aging community has been trying to do.
It's a story of Whack-a-Huckster. In the 1800s, treatments were patent drugs such as Clark Stanley's Snake Oil Liniment and Hamlins Wizard Oil. In the 1920s, anti-aging physicians charged $ 750 to $ 2,000 for life-prolonging gland transplants. In the late '30s, medical professionals intervened to curb these quack treatments. In the 90s, the boomers brought back the quack. This generation reached middle age and grew up in the turbulent 1960s, ready to question the establishment – in this case the medical establishment – and turn to self-help. The Boomers began popping questionable OTC supplements and getting injections of HGH in hopes of extra life. In 2002, when the market for anti-aging drugs reached $ 43 billion, a panel of 51 scientists in the field published a statement in Scientific American that deciphered the burgeoning anti-aging drug business. Nobody really cared. Only five years later, the market should reach $ 64 billion.