(FOX 11) - We all hope to live long and prosper, but do you want to live to be 100, 120? And is that even possible?
The short answer is “we’re working on it.”
Exercising and eating right is definitely good to do, but that’s old school. In this high-tech age, it may not surprise you to learn that a lot of entrepreneurs and businesses are focusing on new ways to defy aging with biohacking.
In Silicon Valley, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Papal co-founder Peter Thiel and Alphabet CEO Larry Page have all invested millions of dollars in researching ways to lengthen life. Some examples include transfusions of young people’s blood in to older people, supplements and pills aimed at altering the makeup of a body’s cells and body scans to identify risk factors for disease -- which would then dictate lifestyle choices.
“Everybody wants to be healthier and live longer,” said Professor Valter Longo with the said USC Longevity Institute.
Longo is taking the idea of manipulating the body’s cells even further. He says studies in mice and people have shown you can alter metabolism and perhaps slow disease through what is called “fasting mimicking diets” or FMDs, which means every few months you don’t eat solid food.
Instead, you ingest nutrients in a new product line called Prolon, which Longo helped develop.
"The job of diet is to kill off damaged cells and a lot of cellular components that are damaged, and then turn on stem cells and replace damaged components with new components,” Longo said. “If you can live 10 years longer, but you can now eliminate diseases, whether it’s Alzheimer's or cancer or cardiovascular disease, that’s really the goal.”
That’s what brought 86-year-old retired engineer Len Farr to a new San Fernando Valley gym called Defy Aging Solutions. Doctors have designed cardio workouts combined with stimulation of the brain. In one exercise, you have to complete the alphabet as the letters flash randomly in front of you.
Farr said he’s noticed a difference.
“It means I'm putting off dementia,” he told FOX 11. “I'm slowing down the cognitive decline process by doing that.”
But through it all, a word of caution. Dr. Marc Darrow with the Darrow Sports and Wellness Institute, who specializes in stem cells and plasma injections as a way to promote health, says be wary of those making anti-aging claims.
“There's no such thing. There’s no real such thing. It's a term that has to do with feeling better. It’s not a term that has to do with living longer,” Darrow said.
In the meantime, the research and studies continue. There is no one “magic bullet” nor one clear cut strategy that promotes longevity – yet.