X-Message-Number: 11938
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 00:49:31 EDT
Subject: Barry Sears & Anti-Aging

THE ANTI-AGING ZONE is a recent book by Barry Sears, Ph.D., who has written 
previous somewhat similar books, although I had not previously heard of them. 
They seem to have been very successful commercially even though much of the 
writing is beyond the probable patience or background of the layman. (This is 
an interesting trend. Sears himself says that his books are probably matched 
only by Stephen Hawking's A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME for high readership with 
low understanding.)

I don't know Sears' background, and a very short effort to find out on the 
Web failed. The book jacket mentions his Ph.D., but not in what or from 
where. It does say he holds twelve U.S. patents in drug delivery and hormonal 
control technology.

His main line seems to be that caloric restriction is the only life span 
extender proven over many years and several species, including primates as 
well as rodents--BUT he knows why it works, and spells this out, and says his 
dietary regimen will produce the same benefits without the semi-starvation. 

The general idea is that life span extension (which I infer should really be 
called prevention of the life span reduction produced by "normal" habits) 
depends on a balance of nutrients, not too much and not too little of each, 
along with moderate exercise as a second factor and meditation (spelled out) 
as a third factor. 

He thinks the balance of nutrients should apply to each meal and snack, not 
just to the day as a whole. He pays particular attention to a special class 
of hormones, the eicosanoids, which are made in the cells and not in special 

On a quick glance-through, he  talks a good game, and there are plenty of 
literature references. Still, many questions suggested themselves, and some 
of his statements seemed dubious or poorly supported to me. 

Ruminating again on the general problem of information overload and dearth of 
timely and reliable interpretation, it seems at first unsolvable. To provide 
competent overviews of contemporary research, one would presumably need 
training and intellect equal to those of the researchers. Impossible, right? 
Nobody so qualified would be content to just review other people's work or be 
a journalist, but would be in his own research program, right? On second 
thought, maybe not. One possibility is in the elder statesmen, who might be 
tired of the rat race but willing to review. Another possibility is just in a 
different temperament, a different life style. But as far as I know, we still 
don't have such a resource.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=11938