Anti-aging medicine and research: a realm of conflict and profound societal implications

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004 Jun;59(6):B523-33. doi: 10.1093/gerona/59.6.b523.


Biogerontologists have recently launched a war of words on anti-aging medicine. They seek to discredit what they judge to be fraudulent and harmful products and therapies, and to distinguish their own research from what they regard as the pseudoscience of anti-aging injections, special mineral waters, and other services and products. Yet, many of these biogerontologists are themselves trying to develop interventions that will actually slow or arrest the fundamental processes of human aging and substantially extend average life expectancy and maximum life span. Achievement of these biogerontological goals would drastically alter the nature of individual and collective life, radically transforming virtually every social institution and norm. Biogerontologists who are engaged in anti-aging research need to undertake more active leadership in helping the public to understand their goals, to deliberately consider the implications of their fulfillment, and to begin thinking about ways to shape those ramifications in constructive fashions.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Geriatrics / history*
  • Geriatrics / trends
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Longevity / physiology
  • Research / history
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Social Control, Informal*
  • United States