Can Human Aging Stop? A Radical New Theory Says "Yes"
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December 07, 2010

Can Human Aging Stop? A Radical New Theory Says "Yes"

Banner Evolutionary biologist Michael Rose, at University of California, Irvine, says he has discovered a natural path to achieve “biological immortality” without the use of anti-aging drugs and stem cell treatments. Humans eventually achieve a period of non-aging, Rose suggests, just as several other multicellular living forms do, such as a creosote bush growing in the Mojave desert that has lived for longer than 10,000 years and the Galapagos tortise.

“The fact that such a diversity of eukaryotic  organisms  -all life forms except bacteria- can have indefinite lifespan shows you that there is precisely nothing about eukaryotic cell or molecular biology that requires an aging process,” Rose said, countering the view that aging is an inevitability, caused primarily by an accumulation of molecular damage and decline in physical function.

“It’s one you can start this evening,” the author of Evolutionary Biology of Aging shared in a recent talk at Humanity+ @ Caltech in Los Angeles. “It comes at no cost, you don’t have to buy anything, and, in fact, it might save you money.”

The term “biologically immortality” in gerontology is the point in which the exponential increase in mortality rates of a species population appears to level off, producing a sudden late-life plateau, which happens when a species reaches a state where it ceases to age, or no longer experiences a further loss of physiological function, Rose said. Rose suggests humans also experience a biological immortality phase if they are able to live long enough. “You can die, but the idea here is that you are non-aging,” Rose said, “versus aging with a decline of survival likelihood under good conditions.”

Rose argues that an organism ages because the process is a byproduct forced upon us by evolution by natural selection, because across evolutionary species in eukaryotes, the genes selected generally favor survival of the young in a population, and then mortality rates begin to rise exponentially.

“This is why you are all aging,” Rose said. The forces of natural selection, in other words, allow an “aging phase” because they fade out.

He began his work on fruit flies by tricking natural selection to produce what eventually became “Methuselah flies,” by taking the eggs from fruit flies that have maintained enough of their physiological function to reproduce in old age, and repeating the process, producing selection for late-life reproduction. This delayed-reproduction lineage, Rose showed, lives up to five times longer than average.

The aging phase eventually passes, Rose explained, and survival reaches a plateau, which is when the biological immortality phase starts. The chances of dying become constant, neither increasing or decreasing, a period of no more aging.

Rose has creayed what he calls his “natural immortality plan” for humans that he hypothesizes can keep us living far beyond the old-age record of Jeanne Calment, who lived until age 122 and inspired his new plan—because before the immortality phase theory, there was no reason for why she or other supercentenarians could survive so long. Rose explained that Calment may have reached a phase where physical decline stabilized.

The unfortunate problem for humans vs fruit flies, Rose expalined, is that they have a rough and long aging phase. “We hit late-life immortality plateaus very late in life, in our nineties—in your eighties you’re still aging—and we do so in terrible condition,” he said. “But,” he added, “there are good reasons theoretically that hunter-gatherer populations are more like fruit flies which hit immortality plateaus quite early. That, in fact, they might hit their transition from aging to late-life immortality perhaps in their fifties or sixties and do so in better shape.

“When you have an earlier likelihood of death from somebody’s spear in the back or because you can’t cope with infection," Rose added, "immortal phases should start earlier. The key is not to slow the rate of aging, but go directly to the immortal phase at a lower rate of mortality, which is exactly what the fruit flies do,” he said.

Rose's prescription for humans is to adhere to a regiment of what is natural for humans, what is our best environment, which excludes an industrial lifestyle and a Western-style diet that involves sitting several hours in front of a TV or computer and munching on junk food. Instead, adopt an ancestral hunter-gatherer lifestyle and a "paleo" diet that includes only foods available before the agricultural revolution of the Neolithic, which includes lean meats, shore-based foods, fruits and vegetables. Foods types that became available after the Neolithic such as grains, dairy, and processed foods are all avoided.

But, interestingly, Rose told me, for people of Eurasian ancestry, he disagrees with the age a paleo diet should be adopted as advised by main proponents of the paleo diet, such as evolutionary nutrition researchers Loren Cordain and S. Boyd Eaton. He said that young people of Eurasian ancestry have actually adapted well to new environments brought on by the agricultural revolution.

“But at later ages,” he added, “you will lose that adaptation to a novel environment and you will revert back to a condition to which you are better conditioned to a long ancestral environment.”

He explained that after age 40, the physiology of people of Eurasian ancestry appears to return to a pre-adapted state with age to one that is better off with the same foods our pre-Neolithic ancestors ate: meat, seafood, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

“Don’t eat anything derived from a grain or grass of any type—that includes rice and corn—and don’t eat anything from the udder of a cow if you are over 35 or 40,” Rose warns. “If you are under 30 you should probably eat an Andrew Weil-style organic, agricultural diet.”



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Comments

IMHO, possibly the worst written article so far in Dailygalaxy.

Can´t work without learning to use the brain as a tool. Of course, prior to this, there is a long path of learning about this unique and immense device. It also gives a person great satisfactions; starting from the moment when one becomes conscious of the fact that mind and brain are separate entities. Basic proof of this is the fact that the mind can fool the brain into believing that some imaginary actions (such as biting a virtual wedge of lemon) are real, thus causing the corresponding physical reaction. After a series of such (by means of a duly developed system) experiences, one becomes capable of regenerating tissues, switching into moods, etc. Great, really great fun!

As regards immortality, when asked, not more than 2 out of each 100 persons may confess concrete, conditioned, interest in a long physical life. As for the motivations behind the lack of interest; for millenia, mankind has been searching for the reason of its own existence, without ever considering the fact that the human body in itself may be the answer. ???!!! If one analyzes the planetary environment and humanity, after much pondering it becomes clear that the first INTENTION for human existence is that its individuals should live out their physical lives, by using their extraordinary bodies and brains in the best manner possible for physical survival and, eventually, mental development. The second INTENTION seems to be the compliance with the inherent need that develops in many humans at some stage of their lives, to UNDERSTAND, which may only be achieved once the individuals become AWARE, and develop the capability of separating mind and brain. This circumstance opens the capability to understand the functions of the brain and, eventually (after much training) to begin using it as a tool; both in the physical and quantic areas.
It would be really interesting to hear some opinions on the above.

Simon, I'd love to comment but I don't know what you are talking about. Metaphysical gobbledeegook.

I have to disagree with Biff. This isn't exactly top-notch, but it's almost completely understandable, and thus far from "the worst written article so far" on the site.

Not that I go along with the idea of a human immortality plateau. I don't doubt that we can live longer, and stay healthy longer, than we have been, but I'm not convinced that it's within our reach to bypass the experience of aging altogether.

Still, even though it won't make us immortal, the advice Dr. Rose gives certainly can't hurt. Stay physically active, avoid junk food, eat lean meats and vegetables, and so forth can do a lot toward keeping a person healthy well into one's Golden Years.

Simon: not meaning to be harsh here, but Gapdor is right -- I think you may have to "dumb down" what you're saying so the rest of us can understand it.

So...what evidence supports this theory? I must admit I caught myself feeling motivated to try this - until - a funny question popped into my head. If the Paleo diet is so good for us, why didn't people from that era who ate like that live, well, indefinitely? Obviously life was fraught with peril and that would certainly account for a lot of premature deaths. Is there any evidence that anyone lived a long life back then? I guess just because we haven't uncovered any fossil evidence showing long life doesn't mean it didn't happen, right? It could be the next big discovery....

If this is remotely true then sieze the moment my friends. Go to this website "http://www.tasciences.com/" whereby they lengthen your telomeres, thus grinding your aging to a halt, then adopt the new diet, and bam!! you're immortal. Although, i'm not sure if you're immune to having your head cut off.

- Is there any evidence that anyone lived a long life back then? I guess just because we haven't uncovered any fossil evidence showing long life doesn't mean it didn't happen, right? -

Look no farther back than the Inuit of the North and Native Americans of the Western Plains. Biggest traditional killer was winter starvation.

Did their hunter-gatherer diets give them extended life spans? That and an active lifestyle probably kept them fitter than average Westerners into old age, but didn't seem to extend it greatly.

"Radical Theory" is right. This is completely off the wall. I kinda understand what he's saying, but even if you where to stop biological aging, a human body is still made up of organic matter, which will still decay. Brain cells will still die and need to be replaced, food will still be converted into energy (which probably helps to wear out the body) and basic organs will still have to work and work and work... until they decay beyond repair. I'm not a biologist or a doctor, but I can say for certain that the human body wears out after a while, for hundreds of different reasons.

It should be easy to check if this works by reading the statistics of modern-day people following the paleo diet, right?

who would want to live to 120 or more, if it meant eating the paleo diet?

Simon, i completely agree with what you are saing.. its basic functional understanding which people dont usually understand in the modern era because the mind is not entierley free... instead we think about which pop star is the most famous and which is the most expensive sports car or the gobledegook on tv.

in order for humans to evolve accordingly to nature, we have to explore our minds and live efficientl and not greedy..

i think simon is basically saying, "mind over matter" :)

I'm sure that the diet and lifestyle of the Neolithic human would work, because look at all those cavemen walking around in the world today!

People in the old days ate fish and meat may have lived till about 100,...I can buy that.... Well, I would say antioxidants and other things that can stop the cell damage would be key to us living over 100, plus we dont have crazy natives trying to shoot us with arrows. Let me make a astonishing suggestion that maybe some PHd...doctoral candidates start figuring out the cell damage issues. If we have cells that live longer then won't we live longer!!

Then everything will be frozen, like a snapshot of one instant, forever

Didn't the ancient egyptians live to be like 30? and the cavemen even less than that?

Modern society (because mostly of medicine) has the longest life expectency of any generation in history so far. Even with all our greed and gluttony and poor habits, we'll outlive the occupants of every society preceding us by a fairly big margin.

Bob Greenwade. It is rather simple. First of all, read it again and study the most advanced researches and experiments about the brain, that you will find in the Internet. Analyze the information objectively, bringing the information regarding your own brain (MY BRAIN? Who is asking?) Then sit down, make yourself comfortable, relax, close your eyes, inhale and exhale deeply 12 times, concentrating on what you want to understand and/or achieve. This may take you a long time if not done in accordance with a System, specifically developed to this end, which immediately shows you practical results - such as your inherent capability to regenerate tissues, etc. Achieved some awareness back in 1996, when 56 years old, having been reminded how I was taught to regenerate a kneecap, shattered in a motorbike accident at the age of 23. The topic is complex, considering the challenge represented by the immense device/sub universe, represented by the human brain. In order to organize the system, have written around 200 pages and, currently, am bogged down for lack of time, due to my business activities. In compensation, have achieved a great physical and mental condition. What I am trying to convey to you by this small comment, is that the effort to achieve a goal, such as tentatively described, is a lifetime job.

Sorry, the phrase should end as follows. "bringing the information regarding your own brain....." and its manners of administrative connection to; sight, hearing, etc., to a clear form of awareness. Then....

What seems clear to me is that mortality is an evolutionary device. In other words, it enables genetic evolution. If one of the criteria for achieving immortality is to no longer desire, be in need of, or capable of evolution then Im not convinced we have reached that point. Maybe activating one's consciousness to the degree that Simon is describing brings one to such a point - but looking around at the current general stage of development of the human race gives me the impression that we are not ready, though some individuals may be. If Simon has developed a system that anyone can follow and become able to regenerate their corporeal existence, he should consider carefully the ramifications of halting human evolution at this stage, before releasing it into the world.

Jerry. As of this date, have decided to refrain from writing about the topic.

Jerry. The following, is the last publication which I am posting under my name and alias´in the Internet or elsewhere. Its first objective is to thank you for the unique contribution of your thoughtful comment, and the following paragraph illustrates something new:

Actually, there exists a young person, motivated by my brain potential discoveries, who is working on what we call "the virtual life principle"; which should, eventually, enable individuals to shift into a state of virtual-real Quantic energy field conscious life/existence, within a world/universe created by a human ID group. It sounds somewhat mind boggling, but is less complicated than it seems. Current time-space laws do not apply in the environment, in which human "sensitive creativity impulses" are subjected to laws/controls created specifically, in order to maintain coherence. This comment is just a glimpse of what, we are certain, is to come; with the partial objective to escape the coming crisis´, due to overpopulation and planetary conditions changes.

These are real wonderful! Thanks for sharing.


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