Is there an antiaging medicine?

Robert N. Butler, Michael Fossel, S. Mitchell Harman, Christopher B. Heward, S. Jay Olshansky, Thomas T. Perls, David J. Rothman, Sheila M. Rothman, Huber R. Warner, Michael D. West, Woodring E. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


In spite of considerable hype to the contrary, there is no convincing evidence that currently existing so-called "antiaging" remedies promoted by a variety of companies and other organizations can slow aging or increase longevity in humans. Nevertheless, a variety of experiments with laboratory animals indicate that aging rates and life expectancy can be altered. Research going back to the 1930s has shown that caloric restriction (also called dietary restriction) extends life expectancy by 30-40% in experimental animals, presumably at least partially by delaying the occurrence of age-dependent diseases. Mutations that decrease production of insulin growth factor I in laboratory mammals, and those that decrease insulin-like signaling in nematodes and fruit flies, have increased life expectancy as well. Other general strategies that appear promising include interventions that reduce oxidative stress and/or increase resistance to stress; hormone and cell replacement therapies may also have value in dealing with specific age-related pathologies. This article reports the findings of a consensus workshop that discussed what is known about existing and future interventions to slow, stop, or reverse aging in animals, and how these might be applied to humans through future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B333-B338
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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