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No Truth to the Fountain of Youth – Scientific American


In light of the recent movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, scientists S. Jay Olshansky, Leonard Hayflick and Bruce A. Carnes debunk anti-aging products and myths by reposting their original June 2002 essay, No Truth to the Fountain of Youth. in the December 2008 issue of Scientific American. In their essay, they define aging and explain the biological processes behind aging. In their Position Statement on Human Aging, they state that “Scientists are unwittingly contributing to the proliferation of these pseudoscientific antiaging products by failing to participate in the public dialogue about the genuine science of aging research.” Expensive and ineffective “Anti-aging” products sell because charlatans know how to placate to the whims and fantasies of an age, aging and youth obsessed public.

There is no reliable evidence that suggests that a single anti-aging product on the market works. Yet people’s ignorance and lack of skepticism allow charlatans to continue to sell anti-aging products and make false claims about how they work. Not only do they not work, but may actually be harmful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate products such as dietary supplements which means they do not undergo clinical testing like approved medications.

It is important to realize that quality of life is how we live instead of worrying about how long we live. Enjoy life and live well.