Can we live to be 200 Commentary by
G. Edward Griffin
but feel and look like 21?
This doctor says Yes!
people think Dr. Ed Park is crazy. I guess that makes me crazy, too, because
I think he might be right
˗ and, if he is right, I want to be
in on it.
I met Dr. Park as a result of reading an article on the new science
of age reversal. Yes, you read that correctly. I didn't say slowing. I said
Before getting into the story, I must tell you that this report is a bit
long. That's because there are so many mind-boggling issues
that almost every statement will raise questions, and I would
rather try to answer them as we go instead of publishing
a shorter version and then having to answer questions by email forevermore.
THE QUEST FOR AGE REVERSAL
In the last twenty years, there has been a surge of research into the mechanism
of cellular aging with the intent of finding ways to reverse the process.
This seemingly impossible goal turns out to be less impossible than one might
expect when we consider that, in our bodies, there already are cells
(called stem cells) that never age.
Stem cells have the capacity, not only to replace themselves should
they become damaged, but they also are the parent cells that produce all
other cells. They can create any type of cell that needs to be repaired or
replaced, anything from skin to heart muscle to liver. In the early stages
of pregnancy, the most fundamental type of stem cells, called diploid totipotent cells, divide and subdivide to create the entire embryo. They
carry within them the entire genetic code for all cells and organs.
There is reason to believe that stem cells can live indefinitely.
In one experiment, cultures of these cells, which are nourished in
a laboratory petri dish, are still alive after seventy years with no signs
of aging. Scientists refer to these as immortal cells.
Most of our cells, although produced from stem cells, are not stem cells
themselves and, therefore, are subject to aging. When muscles, nerves,
and vital organs finally wear out, stem cells die also, not because they
have grown old, but because they are no longer nourished by the rest of the
Normal cells wear out and replace themselves, on average, about every seven
years. In the early stages of life, their replicas are nearly identical to
the originals but, with the passage of time, the replicas become less
vigorous and acquire flaws. Hair turns grey or falls out, skin becomes
wrinkled, muscles atrophy, and organs lose efficiency. It's called aging.
CHROMOSOMES, DNA, AND TELOMERES
understand why this occurs, we must know that all cells hold strands of
DNA that provide biological instructions for the
cell's function. At the tips of
small structures, like plastic caps at the ends of shoelaces, that
protect them from unraveling and fusing with
other chromosomes. These protective structures are called telomeres.
Every time a
normal cell replicates itself, the new cell is a complete copy of the old
one ˗ with one exception: The telomeres in the new cells are slightly
shorter than in the previous version. There are only so many times cells can
replace themselves before telomeres become so short they can no longer protect
the chromosomes. When that happens, chromosomes begin to deteriorate,
make imperfect copies, and eventually fail to replicate. It is as though
there is a built-in expiration date, and many have
assumed that there is nothing we can do about it. When you're out of telomeres, your time is up.
WHY DO STEM CELLS GROW TELOMERES BUT OTHER CELLS DON'T?
therefore, has been to discover what it is about stem cells that allows them
to keep their long telomeres regardless of how many times they replace
themselves. Could that process be made to happen also in normal cells and, if
so, would they, too, become immortal?
The first part of that question was answered by discoveries made in the
1980s and dramatically confirmed in 2009 when the Nobel Prize in
Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider,
and Jack Szostak for their discovery of the mechanism by which cells make
copies of themselves. (See
Nobel Prize press release here.) They demonstrated that telomere growth
is stimulated by an enzyme called Telomerase, and that the reason stem cells
preserve their telomere length indefinitely is that they produce this
enzyme, but normal cells do not.
the mechanism was understood, the next task was to put Telomerase into normal cells
to see if they, too, will re-grow telomeres and become immortal. The
challenge was how to get Telomerase into normal cells.
THE SOLUTION WAS FOUND IN NATURE
Actually, the solution was already known. In the 1990s, the research team at
Geron Corporation, under the direction of Dr. Bill Andrews, succeeded in
isolating a single molecule from the root of an herbal plant called
Atragalus Membranaceus (also known as Astragalus Propinquus) that
eliminates the need to deliver Telomerase throughout the body because it
activates normal cells to produce their own Telomerase on the spot. In other
words, it causes normal cells to mimic stem cells in this regard. Amazing! A
Telomerase activator was found in nature. (1)
PROOF OF CONCEPT
So, does it actually work according to theory? The evidence so far is
impressive. In his
book, Curing Aging,(2) doctor Andrews described the following
► In 1990, scientists at the Geron Corporation
found that adding Telomerase
to human cells "produced a line of cells that was able to
divide indefinitely... [and] did not show any signs of losing growth
control." (p. 49)
► "In 1999, researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute ...
produced mice with telomeres short enough to show many of the classic
hallmarks of human aging: graying hair, frailness, spontaneous malignancies,
and a reduced capacity for wound healing. This indicated clearly that these
classic symptoms of aging are the result of telomere shortening in humans,
and that our 'natural aging process' had its roots in short telomeres." (pp.
► "In 2000, Geron Corporation ... cultured human skin cells... so their telomeres would be as
short as those of the elderly. ... As expected, the skin showed the
hallmarks of 'old' skin, such as fragility and subepidermal blistering. It
looked, to the naked eye, like the skin of an elderly person. The team then
added the Telomerase gene to a second batch of the old skin cells. ... The telomerized skin visually resembled young skin and it also shared the same
gene expression profile as the young skin. By all available measurements,
telomerizing the skin had actually reversed the aging of the skin itself."
► "In 2003, a team at the University of Utah ... found that the mortality
rate of individuals with shorter telomeres was nearly twice as high as those
with longer telomeres, and that mortality as a result of heart disease was
over three times higher in individuals with shorter telomeres. This provided
solid evidence of a correlation between telomere shortening and death from
old age or age-related diseases in humans." (pp. 51, 52)
► In November 2010, a team of scientists at Harvard Medical School
altered the Telomerase gene in a group of mice so that telomeres became
short enough to display human-like symptoms of aging. Then they activated
the production of Telomerase within their cells. "This treatment successfully
decreased the abundance of cells with critically short telomeres in these
mice and caused a 33% increase in telomere length. More significantly, it
allowed resumption of cell proliferation and eliminated the symptoms of
degeneration across multiple organs, including the testes, spleens, and
intestines. The mice experienced a restoration of fertility, of spleen size,
of sense of smell, and of brain size and function. These were results that,
if seen in elderly humans, would constitute successful reversal of the aging
(pp. 52, 53)
LIFE EXTENSION MAGAZINE WEIGHS IN
The following summary of the Harvard study was published in the April, 2011,
edition of Life Extension Magazine:
After only 30 days, there was a reversal of
the degenerative changes in every system the researchers tested. The brains
of the treated mice, not only started growing new neurons, but began to
thicken the protective myelin sheath surrounding existing neurons. As one of
the researches was quoted, they were able to "reverse neurodegeneration."
The treated mice produced new viable sperm, their spleen atrophy and
intestinal damage were reversed, and even their sense of smell was restored
(indicating restored olfactory function in their brains). ... In humans,
this would be like restoring the health and vigor of a sickly 80-year-old to
that of a young adult!
Incidentally, there is a blood test for measuring telomere length, and it has
been shown conclusively that patients who undertake Telomerase activation
therapy, experience a significant increase in the length of their telomeres
BUT DOES IT WORK WITH HUMANS?
Very impressive, indeed, but forget petri dishes, mouse studies, and blood
tests. Does Telomerase activation extend the lifespan of humans? The answer is
that it is too soon to know for sure. It has
been theorized that users might grow one day younger for each
day of use. It could take ten years to knock off ten years from one's
biological age, and it probably will take that long to know for sure if
longer telomeres really equate to longer human lifespan.
the meantime, users report deeper sleep with vivid dreams, better energy and
stamina, elevated mood, and mental clarity. Those who have been users for
more than a few months often report improvement in skin color, reduction in
wrinkles, fading of age spots, and darkening of hair. Bear in mind, however,
that these are anecdotal reports. There have been no controlled studies so
far. In fact, there may never be any, because this comes from nature and
cannot be patented. Manufacturers will not spend millions of dollars for controlled studies when competitors can
benefit without bearing any of the cost. It may
take years before the empirical evidence will tell us for
sure if human age reversal is really happening.
CAN ONLY THE SUPER WEALTHY AFFORD THIS?
The Telomerase-activator was developed by Geron Corporation and branded as TA65.
It became available in 2005 for those with deep pockets. In the beginning, a year's supply
cost $25,000 plus travel to New York. Since then, the price has fallen
dramatically, but is still beyond the reach of most people. Currently, a
90-capsule bottle of TA65 sells for $500.
But do not despair. A chemical analysis by The American Analytical Chemistry
Laboratories in Champaign, IL, showed that more than 95% of TA65 is Cycloastragenol, which is the technical name for the
unique molecule found to be the Telomerase activator. Since then, other
producers have entered the market with what they claim is the generic form
of TA65 at lower cost.
here is where the plot thickens. At this early phase of development, there
confusion regarding the quality, purity, and even the identity of what is in these brands. The lowest Internet price is attached to a
product made in
China, and there
is some question about what really is in the bottle. Health food stores sell
various brands of Astragalus, the herb from which Cycloastagenol is taken, but that is not even close to the substance that
activates Telomerase. It is merely the ground up root. Some
products claim they contain Astragalus extracts, some as high as 25:1
concentration, but that still is not Cycloastragenol. I am told that it would take bushels of these
herbal products to produce thirty tablets of the real thing.
ENTER, DR. PARK
Which brings us back to Dr. Park. When I decided to try TA65, I searched the
Internet for a reliable source and found that, not only was he one of those
first users I mentioned previously, but he was the first medical doctor to use
Telomerase activation in his practice, so I purchased my first supply from him and, soon
thereafter, met him in person.
Ed Park, MD, is
an expert on Telomerase activation. In
1989, he graduated from Harvard University with a BA degree in Biological Anthropology. In 1993, he received his MD degree
from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a Master's
degree in Public Health also from Columbia. In 1997, he completed internship
and residency at Beth Israel Hospital, a teaching hospital of the Harvard
Medical School. He is the author of Telomere Timebombs,(3) and his private practice is located in Costa Mesa,
MY INTERVIEW WITH DR. PARK
To provide further information about this topic, we produced a video interview with Dr. Park entitled
The New Science of Age Reversal. The 40-minute DVD is sold at The
Reality Zone here, but we also made a shorter version just for this announcement.
It can be viewed for free
was delighted to learn that Dr. Park, building on what he has learned about
age reversal, has crafted his own nutriceutical, called Recharge, and that the price is
lower. Because of his knowledge in
this field, I have confidence in the quality of his product, so I decided to
tell everyone about it and add it to our online store. The price is still
quite steep but it keeps coming down and, as the user base grows,
that trend surely will continue.
WAIT AND SEE
˗ OR TAKE THE PLUNGE?
To be on the frugal and cautious side, it makes sense to wait a few years
for the price to drop further and to see if users really experience
unmistakable age reversal. However, if you are like I am, you
may decide that waiting is too expensive in terms of continued aging and
lost opportunity to beat the clock.
Will this really work? Frankly, I don't know, but the science is sound, and I think it could. For my
part, I would hate to
find out that it does but I missed the boat.
So far, there has been no way to scientifically "prove"
product reverses aging. That is because there is no way to measure a
reduction in age except by subjective observations of the symptoms of aging.
It has been conclusively demonstrated that Cycloastagenol does
promote the lengthening of telomeres, and it also has been proved that
telomere shortening is associated with aging, but it still remains to be
seen if telomere lengthening in humans actually leads to increased longevity
and, if so, to what degree.
It could take several decades before the effect is so obvious that it would
be impossible to explain in some other way. Nevertheless, anyone
considering this product has a right to know what kind of experiences our
customers are having with it. Therefore, we will publish unsolicited
testimonials, pro and con, and leave it up to you to evaluate their
significance. The first of these testimonials arrived just a few days ago:
am 70 years old. I have been taking this product (1 to 2 capsules per
day) for only a short time and already notice positive results, most
notably, increased flexibility in my spine. Also, I now find that
I am able to focus better and I complete short-term tasks without
forgetting or drifting off to something else.
The product seems to be bearing fruit."
~~ 2016 April12 from Ken W.
(1) Shortly thereafter, Noel Patton, an investor in Geron Corporation,
purchased the rights for Telomerase Activation (for the purpose of life
extension) from Geron and founded T.A. Sciences to bring this breakthrough
to market. Geron then dropped research on anti-aging and turned to the
possible use of Telomerase Activation as an anti-cancer agent. At that
point, Dr. Andrews left Geron to form Sierra Sciences and continue work on
(2) Bill Andrews, PhD, Curing Aging (Reno, Nevada, Sierra Sciences:
(3) Ed Park, MD, Telomere Timebombs; Defusing the Terror of Aging
(Costa Mesa, California, Telomere Timebombs Publishing: 2013)
FREE BONUS WITH
A free DVD of
The New Science of Age
Reversal, the full interview of Dr. Park by G. Edward Griffin, will
be sent to those who select the auto-ship option.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the recommended
At this early stage of development, no
one knows what the optimum level would be in humans. The label
conservatively recommends one capsule daily, preferably at bedtime, along
with a fatty bedtime snack or after a fatty evening meal. Cellular
regeneration is more active during sleep, and fats improve absorption. Some
users report taking up to four capsules daily. We are not aware of any
negative effects at any dosage level.
Dr. Park hopes to overcome this barrier eventually but, at present,
there is a legal issue regarding what he can put on the label. He now
personally takes Recharge instead of TA65, and so do I. At
present, the label provides the following
The cancer question was a theoretical concern in the beginning, because one
of the characteristics of cancer cells is that they produce Telomerase, and
it was theorized that anything that activates the production of Telomerase
might, thereby, cause normal cells to become cancer. Now that the product
has been used for over a decade, that speculation has been disproved.
There are no reports of cancer occurring or being aggravated by Cycloastragenol. In fact, just the opposite has been the case. Cancers
have gone into remission after taking
Cycloastragenol. Studies have shown that those with longer telomeres are
much less likely to develop cancer than those with short telomeres, and some
researchers now are viewing telomerase activators, not only as agents for age reversal
but also for cancer therapy. The following references on this topic are
Curing Aging, by Bill Andrews, Ph.D., pp. 58-63.
Telomere Timebombs, by Ed Park, M.D., pp. 78, 164.
Is there any toxicity associated with Cycloastragenol?
Since products found in nature cannot be patented, there is no motivation
for companies to spend the millions of dollars required to conduct
FDA-approved tests for toxicity, because their competitors then could ride
on the back of their research without contributing to its cost. So, there
have been no definitive tests that deal with this question. However, after
more than ten years of actual use by thousands of individuals, many of whom
are in the medical profession, there have been no reports of toxicity or any
other negative side effects. The worst complaint I have seen after scouring
the literature is that, in some cases, people occasionally wake up in the middle of the
night, fully alert, ready to start the day, but then have no trouble going
back to sleep again. That's it. Cycloastagenol appears to be about as
non-toxic as anything can be. Nevertheless, it is reasonable not to
exceed recommended dosage levels and to be alert to negative reactions,
including those related to allergies.
What are the ingredients
Because the manufacturers of TA65 were the first to use
Telomerase activation, they have taken
the stance that this gives them an exclusive right to use those words.
Dr. Park has informed us he is concerned about legal action if he says that Recharge contains
Cycloastragenol or that it works as a Telomerase activator. Nevertheless, laboratory
tests confirm that the primary ingredient is, indeed, Cycloastragenol, which is the same
as in TA65. The Recharge label refers to this as Astragalus propinquus extract.
Technically, that is correct, but Cycloastragenol is a very small (and very
expensive) component of Astragalus propinquus extract. Usually, the word
refers only to a distillate of the source material (the root of the
Astragalus plant) which is nowhere near the high potency of pure
Astragalus propinquus extract,
Rhodiola rosea, 15 mg.
Ocimum tenuiflorum, 25 mg.
Polygonum multiflorum, 50 mg.
Other ingredients: Methylcellulose, silica,
Is there any reason for young people to take a Telomerase activator?
There are two reasons for taking a telomerase activator. The one that has
received the most publicity is to achieve age reversal. Those under the age
of thirty or thirty-five may not be motivated by that
purpose. The other reason is to increase resistance to chronic and
communicable diseases. There is a proven correlation between telomere length
and good health, even at younger ages.
Would I have to take this product for the rest of my life?
The process of telomere shortening and re-growing is a slow process. It
takes many years to age and it probably will take the same number to
un-age. Having to consume the product for the rest of one's life begs the
question of how long that life is. If you want to live for 200 years in good
health, you would be well advised to take this substance for as long
as you want the effects it brings. However, if you decide that you have had
enough of life and good health, you could simply stop taking it.
Theoretically, that would put you back on the original track of telomere
shortening and the gradual advance of old age. So the short answer is: No,
you don't have to.
Would it be dangerous to take this product for a while and then stop?
I have no idea if this process could be turned on, then off, and then on
again. Theoretically, it could, and I cannot think of any reason that doing
so would be dangerous, but only time will tell.
Is this product enough by itself for good health?
Absolutely not. Young people become ill even with long telomeres. The body
needs a wide spectrum of nutrients, micronutrients, nutritional co-factors,
and clean air and water. Even fresh fruits and vegetables may not be enough,
because most of them come from mineral-depleted soil, are soaked with
toxic pesticides, or have been genetically modified. Don't abandon high
quality supplements, exercise, and healthy lifestyle.