How much progress have we made?

W ith the New Year upon us, it is useful to look backward while we look ahead. Unfortunately, you hear it asked, even by many of longevity’s proponents: “Where are the benefits of life extension that were predicted?”

Perhaps the biggest mistake contributing to this pessimism is the idea that solving the aging problem will be done via a “magic bullet.” This means that a single solution that will usher in a society in which the option of living as long as you want will be delivered to your doorstep one bright morning.

Such an idea is embraced by Russian scientist Vladimir Skulachev, chief of the Bioenergetics Department of Moscow State University, who claims to have cracked the anti-aging code through the power of antioxidants, specifically mito­chondria-targeted plastoquinone derivatives such as SkQ1.1,2 While the idea is logical as a tactic, the strategy is likely to be waylaid, because even if aging resides in the mitochondria (Denham Harman’s idea), there are many types of damage and SkQ1 is unlikely to address them all. In fact, papers have already been published on the limits of SkQ1.3 Furthermore, SkQ1 does not appear to disarm the hydroxyl radical, the most virulent of all reactive oxygen species.

More to the point is the idea that before life extension arrives, we must have healthspan extension, because unless you reach the point where you can secure each successive foothold while scaling the cliff, you will never reach its top. In other words, only a program that reduces and delays the likely causes of death—such as heart disease; cancer; chronic lower respiratory diseases; stroke (cerebrovascular diseases); Alzheimer’s disease; diabetes; influenza and pneumonia; nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis; and so on—will enable you to reach the top (i.e., achieve true life extension).

The good news, looking forward, is that significant inroads have been made to reduce the risk of all of these diseases in the last few years, and there is evidence that this will continue. As an example of a major “reducer,” if you implement hydrogen therapy, you are apt to make substantial advances on all of the disease fronts—because it disarms the dangerous hydroxyl radical—and as a result you continue to scale the cliff. There are many other methods explicated in the pages of Life Enhancement. Hang on!


  1. Skulachev VP. Mitochondria-targeted antioxidants as promising drugs for treatment of age-related brain diseases. J Alzheimers Dis 2012;28(2):283-9.
  2. Anisimov VN, Bakeeva LE, et al. Mitochondria-targeted plastoquinone derivatives as tools to interrupt execution of the aging program. SkQ1 prolongs lifespan and prevents development of traits of senescence. Biochemistry (Mosc) 2008 Dec;73(12):1329-42.
  3. Yang Y, Karakhanova S, Soltek S, Werner J, Philippov PP, Bazhin AV. In vivo immunoregulatory properties of the novel mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1. Mol Immunol 2012 Aug;52(1):19-29.

To: Proponents of Life Enhancement
Re: Expanding the Vision & Mission

We’ve been invited to go global! We’re reaching out to our biggest supporters to gain their insights and feedback because we know our readers and loyal product users have extremely valuable opinions.

If you’re a visionary, practical thinker, or strategist—we invite you to contact us. You may want to be part of our new informal advisory group, particularly if you have skills or background in business or strategic thinking. Let’s explore if you can advise us or assist us as this project develops.

For more information, send an Email to us at: globalbg@earthlink.net­.

Thank you!

Will Block

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