Since the beginnings of time humans have searched for a fountain of youth. This has led to many extravagant claims which have been highly profitable for their proponents. This area has become known as anti-aging medicine and has deservedly been frowned upon by the medical establishment. On the other hand, in the last decades dramatic advances in our understanding of the aging process have come from studies in worms, flies and mice. This article reviews some of these advances and places the extravagant claims of anti-aging medicine in perspective. We conclude that a balanced diet of moderate proportions and exercise remain today the only proven fountain of youth.