Friday, April 5, 2013

What if we could stay young forever?


I have spent the past few months compiling a series of reports looking at the latest science and thinking in our quest to live longer, healthier lives.  The BBC's What if...? series has been looking at how we will all live in the future - from cars to technology and global politics. I was curious to explore the human body of the 21st century. Will living to 130, without suffering from major diseases, in our latter years, become a reality?   This is what I came up with. 

What if...we could stay young forever?
TV documentary - available now for UK viewers via BBC iPlayer

BBC World Service Documentary: Discovery 
What if we could stay young forever? Part 1 Part 2 Part 3


"I want to live to be 100"
The science of a long life: 
If we are lucky, we will grow old. Most of us have grey hair, wrinkles, frailty, loss of memory and degenerative diseases to look forward to - if we do not have them already. It is not all bad news. With aging, we can acquire wisdom and often become more emotionally stable and at ease with life. But the downsides seem to far outweigh the perks. or do they? Full story on the BBC website

Dr Jeffry Life
Testosterone: Can it make you live longer?
Dr Jeffry Life, a Las Vegas-based age management doctor, is 74. He has the body of a man half his age. In fact he has a level of muscular definition that many men never achieve. Life believes that the right kind of exercise and nutrition are important - but correcting hormone deficiencies are the key to his success. "I got my blood checked and I found that I was profoundly deficient in testosterone," he says.
Full story on the BBC Website

Can you use your brain to 'change your age'?
Is mental infirmity an inevitable consequence of getting old? Or could we enjoy a more clear-headed old age? In California it's common to see advertisements promoting brain training or brain workouts which claim to help reverse the effects of aging. Full story on the BBC Website

Rachel Cosgrove
Can an intense workout help you live longer?
Are you a jogger or a weight lifter? Do you run marathons or take part in triathlons. When it comes to breaking a sweat, each to their own. But what kind of exercise is best if you want to live longer? Short bursts of activity, such as sprinting or pedaling all-out on an exercise bike for as little as 30 seconds, may result in the body getting rid of fat in the blood faster than exercising at moderate intensity, such as taking a brisk walk.
Full story on the BBC Website

Can extreme calorie counting make you live longer? 
What if we could feel more alive and more alert by just eating smaller meals? Extreme calorie restriction may hold the secret to the a longer live. According to some scientists, living to 120 and beyond could be possible - but is it worth a life of hunger and food deprivation?  
Full story on the BBC Website

Smartphone ECG monitor

Digital Medicine: Machines for living
Prevention not cure has always been good health advice but the trick has been to diagnose early enough. Now a range of medical technologies for use both inside and outside the body may give prevention the upper hand and close the gap between diagnosis and cure. Sensors, such as heart monitors or other implanted devices, can send data via smart phones to hospitals and health professionals to help them spot problems before they occur. But in the future this growing area of medicine may go from the edge to the centre of medicine and have an impact on human longevity.
Full story on the BBC Website


Every year, the number of elderly people increases in both developed and developing countries, thanks to modern medicine's genius for pushing back the frontiers of death. But is longevity necessarily a good thing?   Full story on the BBC Website

Susan Jacoby, the author of Never Say Die," offers an alternative view of human longevity: "In the US it's almost taken for granted that longevity is a good thing," she says.  "A lot of this irrational belief that there are things that you can do to buy insurance against getting older and diseased has to do with our real dislike, in America, of growing older." Jacoby, who is 67, argues against the "lifestyle garbage" and "supplement garbage" that she says the age-management business is promoting.