Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cheating Death

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. --Woody Allen

As a defense mechanism against age, I've started taking the red wine extract resveratrol, which studies increasingly point to as a fountain of youth, virility, and athletic prowess in laboratory mice. (My supplement regimen should at least impress Minnie.). I owe my new-found immortality to Sirtris, the Bessemer-funded startup that's advancing its highly concentrated formulation of resveratrol through FDA trials.

Stem cell therapy is also touted for cheating death, as I was reminded today by Alan Colman (before he rushed off to the Clapton concert). Dr. Colman had made Dolly the cloned sheep--the first one ever outside Sand Hill Road. I met the former Oxford professor in Singapore, whose government (America, try to imagine this) seems to actually encourage scientific research (image left: Singapore's Biopolis). Dr. Colman's current startup develops stem cells that can turn into heart muscle for heart attack victims, or insulin-producing cells for diabetics.

If all that fails, I have another strategy for staying the same age forever: yesterday would have been my birthday, had I not skipped the date altogether by crossing the international date line. Hah!

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  1. Anonymous12:14 AM

    Where do you get your resveratrol supplement from? I interpret your post as indicating that you are getting the same type of supplements from Sirtris that they are performing FDA trials on, but it's not 100% clear to me. If so, I would be interested in knowing how to obtain these supplements.

  2. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Caloric intake reduction also works.

  3. Anonymous10:31 PM

    Great post, David. I love the dig on sand hill road.

    I suspect that once obese americans realize that their heart disease can be cured by stem cells, the religious right will change its tune about stem cells.

    In the meantime, i'll keep an eye on resveratrol & sirtris.

  4. Anonymous9:57 AM

    Caloric intake reduction is no fun. I'd rather take a pill.

  5. Happy would have been birthday!

  6. Mike,

    As a matter of fact, YES I am predisposed to listen to "the guys in white lab coats" when they are professors from Yale, MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Hopkins, and Princeton recognized with Nobel prizes, thousands of peer reveiwed publications among them, and membership in the national Academy of Sciences--one was Chairman of the US FDA Science Board and another was President Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Chairman of the Biochemistry Dept at Harvard Medical School. You go ahead and entrust your health to "science" produced by a 2d grade school teacher, her husband the script-writer, and their "laboratory scientist" whose unimpressive educational credentials turned out to be fake.

    You are simply wrong to say there is more evidence supporting Airborne, unless you include all the anecdotal data floating around, which are obviously subject to the kinds of biases that render individual, self-reported data scientifically meaningless.

    Nivi and Nathan, I'm popping the OTC pills for now (I think it's Jarrow's).


  7. Anonymous10:37 AM

    So how far away are we from seeing "thin & young" midwesterners in Las Vegas buffet lines with bottles of resveratrol in hand?

  8. Awesome post! Have you had a chance to watch 60 Minutes, Fox News, Oprah or Barbra Walters segments last weekend about it?

    Basically, it shows promise in mice. For mice, has shown major health improvements including blood sugar control. Keep in mind that 6 out of 10 major drug successes in mice - fail in humans. But the limited human trials showed promise and there are some patients that claim it helps. However, this could be the 'placebo effect,' and only empirical data under controlled experiments can tell for sure. It will take a few years for these clinical trials to conclude.

    You can get supplements of the extract right now. While it is safe, it is not guaranteed to work. Before making a decision, you should watch all the videos. Here's the a recap from all the trustworthy shows:

    I did some research and learned the following: You can only get 1-2mgs of it in a single bottle of wine. So, white, it's a good excuse to drink wine, but you really won't get much benefit. There are resveratrol supplements on the market - but many do not have the required strength and they don't work for everyone. The only way to know for sure is to try the supplements. Hope you find this interesting... its a future hope for the fountain of youth and treatments (not cures) for countless diseases.