A number of scientists look at current research trends and feel hopeful. They can envision a time when treatments based on an understanding of aging can help slow its progression and when not yet specialized (stem) cells can be coaxed to repair and rejuvenate damaged tissues, enabling people to remain vigorous longer than they would without medical assistance. Not all researchers share that optimism, though. Some assert that aging’s complexity will forever militate against the development of anti-aging therapies.
One thing is indisputable: the number of elderly people is growing worldwide, and opportunists stand ready to cash in on the burgeoning market for anti-aging products. The researchers who wrote and endorsed the position paper linked here do not necessarily agree on every word written there, but everyone realized that we had to set aside our minor differences to raise awareness of the growing scam. The public needs to know that the products sold as anti-aging remedies at longevity clinics and elsewhere have no scientifically proven efficacy and may at times be harmful. Systematic investigations into aging and its modification are in progress and could one day provide methods to slow our inevitable decline and extend health and longevity. That day, however, has not dawned yet. People might well recognize the paucity of proof but decide to try a putative anti-aging intervention anyway, thinking they have little to lose. They should think again.