X-Message-Number: 12377
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: about drugs prolonging lifespan
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 10:53:44 +1000 (EST)

To Brian M Delaney and others:

Yes, at one time I did say that work on CR seemed to be restricted to
verifying that it did indeed prolong lifespans.

However times change, and I would not say that now. And by now there
have been several experiments aimed at working out the reasons why CR
has the effect it does. A recent one by Weindruch et al in SCIENCE stands
out here.

Finally, you have produced a good list. You do omit several earlier
experiments, on panthothenic acid, pyridoxine (both vitamins), cysteine,
procaine (this experiment was done by Anna Arslan AFTER all the US doctors 
poured scorn on her experiments with people) and finally various antioxidants 
such as BHT, and for that matter Vitamin E. 

DMAE does have POSITIVE experiments, too, by Richard Hochschild. They 
were done on dimethylaminoethyl ACETAMINOBENZOATE. Several others using
other chemical combinations of DMAE were successful, to various degrees.
A negative experiment with other chemical combinations with DMAE becomes
all the more interesting because of these. 

You also included several substances which I am working on for an Update
of my book, too (though there are some which look very hard to get in 
practice, and I may only mention them). Epithalamin is particularly 
interesting theoretically because Pierpaoli believes that melatonin 
(also from the pineal gland) has its effects not because of antioxidant 
effect but for deeper reasons. Epithalamin suggests that we look much more 
closely at the pineal gland (the experiments specifically took care to 
remove melatonin from the solutions used). Unfortunately epithalamin looks 
very hard to get in practice. Several others you mention, such as
PBN, also look hard to get. There is also a recent successful experiment 
on an extract of Ginkgo. (This was originally pointed out by Doug

My interest in antioxidants comes because there are many many antioxidants, 
most of which have NOT been tested for their effect on longevity. Given that 
some of these may prove much better than those now tested, they deserve 
testing. BHT does prolong lifespan, however, and some people have taken
it for prolonged periods (Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw among them). 

As those who have my book (A GUIDE TO ANTIAGING DRUGS) will know, it does
more than simply list drugs which prolong lifespan in animals. I try to
look at reported side effects in human beings, possible conflicts with 
other drugs you might be taking, what is known about dosage, and other
issues which anyone seriously thinking of taking them should consider. 
That is why Updates about a given drug don't appear immediately after I 
learn of an experiment showing an increase in lifespan. My search of
papers about ginkgo, for instance, revealed at least one possibly (but
rarely) fatal side effect, with suggestions about who might be
susceptible to it.

In any case, thanks for publishing your list. For many people CR is just
too hard, not just for reasons of Will but also in practice (for
instance, when invited out to dinner, it can be hard to refuse or insist 
on a specially designed meal --- and some such invitations can be very 
important indeed). Moreover, increased longevity due to a drug may be
easier to find the causes of than that due to CR.

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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