"Anti-aging" is an oxymoron

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004 Jun;59(6):B573-8. doi: 10.1093/gerona/59.6.b573.


No intervention will slow, stop, or reverse the aging process in humans. Whether anti-aging medicine is, or is not, a legitimate science is completely dependent upon the definition of key terms that define the finitude of life: longevity determination, aging, and age-associated diseases. Only intervention in the latter by humans has been shown to affect life expectancy. When it becomes possible to slow, stop, or reverse the aging process in the simpler molecules that compose inanimate objects, such as machines, then that prospect may become tenable for the complex molecules that compose life forms. Most of the resources available under the rubric "aging research" are not used for that purpose at all, thus making the likelihood of intervention in the process even more remote. If age changes are the greatest risk factor for age-associated diseases (an almost universal belief), then why is the study of aging virtually neglected?

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Geriatrics
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Longevity / physiology