Dealer: Psssssstttt. I’ve got a new, secret anti-aging gift here for you.

Mary : Really ? Good quality ? With Adult or Pre-Natal Stem Cells ?

Dealer: Pre- Pre-Natal. Guaranteed to grow your Telomeres. Fueled by cellular hypodermination. Repairing. Rejuvenating. Re-cleansing. You’ll be a Telomere donor after this stuff.

Mary: Dear Lord, I could outlive my children.

Dealer: I’m not sure, unless you get some for them too.

Mary: And how much is it ?

Dealer: I can get you in on the ground floor with multiple down streams.
And this first delivery…well it’s free.

Recently a friend invited me to attend a little party as there were individuals who would might be very interested to hear about my new book, Design Your Age. As we walked into this beautiful large home in Austin, Texas we could see women encircling the dining room table. A special “ageless” crème was being applied to their faces. The women were asking each other, “Does this side of my face look better? What about here ?”

Get in on the ground floor.
“Oh God” I thought to myself. “It’s a multi-level marketing sales party.” But then I became fascinated to see the anti-aging pitch. Everyone was asked to the living room and watch a special DVD presentation. On screen a woman roughly in her late 30’s in tailored workout gear delivered a passionate speech to the viewing audience. To paraphrase. “You’re getting older. You might no longer be the trophy and your husband might get another trophy. And if he has been playing a little loose with your joint investments here’s a good way for you to stay young and make a stronger independent income. The dialogue was scripted to mine anxieties of the women in the room while offering a miraculous, yet common sense solution.

The Tease.
The camera began to reveal the immortalizing wonder
products. CGI film techniques were employed to make them magically appear. Filling the room was an emotionally driven sound track and voice over with a litany of superlatives that would make Steve Jobs break out in the biggest smile. Lots of RE’s…..Repairing. Restructuring. Revitalizing. Restorative.

But wait there’s more.
Just then through the front door walked in the host, a fit fellow, roughly around the age of 40. Well polished appearance in a light blue dress jacket. A charismatic ringmaster who went on to underscore the claims. “This is very rare, but I know a lady who makes a million dollars a year.” But the one claim that stopped me dead was .. “Yes this is the only product proven to grow Telomeres and strengthen the Telomere strand.” I was interested in this claim because one of the key engines in aging deals with the age of a cell and its ability to divide is related to structures – telomeres – found at the ends of chromosomes. He further described the patented product as a discovery by a renown age scientist. And the ringmaster’s assistant chimed in by saying most of the products in the room were now been sort of endorsed by Kim Kardashian. “And Kim’s no longer doing botox.” The murmur of “hmmm….oooohhhh” went across the room. Later I discovered the renown age scientist was a very popular plastic surgeon in New Jersey.

All the guests had the best intentions. The seductive suggestion of immortal beauty or the return of it, the flowing wine, the different beautifully packaged supplements, crèmes, lotions, and pills were powerful persuaders. But the claims! I could hear the little man Hervé Villechaize from the Fantasy Island TV show screaming in my thoughts. “The Claims. The Claims”. My friend and I found our way to the front door.

The Claims
“Bunk em. Having longer Telomeres does not mean better health.
And this product does not grow Telomeres.” This was the consensus from some of my age scientists friends actively engaged in true age research. I had gotten my email response the next morning after the party. In the area of Telomeres there are studies indicating that some Telomeres and their mechanics may indeed attract certain types of Cancer. ( 2. R.T. Calado et al., “Telomere diseases,” N Engl J Med, 361:2353-65, 2009.)

Magical Language
“Cellular senescence. Pre-Natal Stem Cells. Telomeres. Autophagy cleaning. Life Extension. Gene expression. New words are streaming out of scientific journals, biology classrooms and the nightly news reports. Each are being carefully cherry picked, massaged and wholly manipulated for audiences. In my trade of advertising they are also called “weasel words”. You don’t exactly tell the truth, you sort of weasel the language to make it seem absolutely true.

Hands Slapped
Who’s the Sheriff in town to protect us from the anti-aging product slingers? The FDA has slapped warnings on companies such as Avon and Lancôme. As recent as this year, a warning went out on StriVectin a product sold in Nordstrom and Bloomingdales who makes pricey anti-aging potions. Their claim its Potent Wrinkle Reducing Treatment ($99 for 1.7 oz.) was "clinically proven to change the anatomy of a wrinkle" and that its Advanced Tightening Neck Cream ($95 for 1.7 oz.) could "restore the elastin fiber architecture… improving resistance to gravity." We all need new verifiable proof.

Where’s the Truth ?
So how do you know what’s true and what’s crap science? Turn to the research of scientists at Age Research institutes. They are the tried and true revolutionaries hard at work at unlocking the challenges of aging. First to truly end the disastrous diseases of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Cancer, Diabetes and others that pop up as we reach older age. Getting your information from age institutes is where to find the real gold, the real answers. Check out first AFAR.org. The American Federation of Age Research. Many age research institutes offer up healthy regimes for you to follow, which from time to time I will post here. Be wise, be wary the age hucksters out there. The last quote I remember from ringmaster was not about science but how ‘aging products’ were estimated to generate 191 billion dollars by 2019. The one thing that Anti-Aging Hucksters will make look younger are your pants pockets when they are empty and turned inside out.

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