The Life Extension RevolutionJune 2005
By Matt Sizing
Published by Bantam Books in association with the Life Extension Foundation and due to arrive in bookstores nationwide this May, The Life Extension Revolution distills 25 years of advanced disease-prevention and anti-aging science.
In this new book, anti-aging physician Philip Lee Miller, MD, teams with respected health author Monica Reinagel to offer a comprehensive guide to the “new science of growing older without aging.”
The Life Extension Revolution contains hundreds of invaluable insights into the modern science of achieving optimal health while avoiding cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other increasingly common diseases of aging. This wealth of information, along with the book’s step-by-step recommendations for developing and implementing your own customized anti-aging program, will appeal to millions of increasingly health-conscious Americans who are interested in leading longer, richer, and more productive lives.
With The Life Extension Revolution, Dr. Miller and his colleagues at the Life Extension Foundation hope to introduce the life extension philosophy and practice of optimal health and longevity to a new audience of millions around the world.
Like most doctors, Dr. Philip Lee Miller did not begin his medical career intending to practice anti-aging medicine. But after years of treating sick and dying patients in the emergency room, he was burned out and ready for a change. A conference for the newly formed American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine would change the course of Dr. Miller’s professional career for good:
“Here was a group of outspoken doctors and scientists who were no longer willing to accept the conventional approach to medicine but had a much different vision—one in which common diseases are obsolete, eighty-year-olds are fit and healthy, and the outer limit of human life span is measured in centuries rather than decades. It was—and still is—a radical vision, but one that is fueled by stunning recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of aging, right down to the molecular level.”
It was there that Dr. Miller first encountered the Life Extension Foundation, a group of researchers and advocates for anti-aging and life extension medicine. Life Extension was formed in 1980 to radically challenge the prevailing conventional wisdom, a calcified medical establishment, profiteering pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and other leaden government bureaucracies. The Foundation’s ammunition in this fight: fresh, provocative, yet scientifically based ideas about how health, nutrition, and lifestyle choices can redefine the limits of the healthy human life span.
Ahead of the Curve
Life Extension rapidly established a reputation for identifying important yet overlooked medical research from around the world, and advocating controversial positions years before they were discovered and accepted by conventional medicine. In the 1980s, for example, Life Extension was virtually alone in advocating the importance of lowering homocysteine levels to reduce heart attack and stroke risk, the value of aspirin therapy in avoiding heart attacks, and the benefits of little-known nutrients like coenzyme Q10 and lycopene in preventing chronic diseases and even slowing the growth of cancer.
“Science has repeatedly ratified the many controversial positions [Life Extension] has advanced,” notes Dr. Miller. “Over the years, the Foundation’s careful, rigorous, and responsible approach has made it well regarded by even the most conventional of physicians.”
From the beginning, Life Extension’s mission has included advocating for the right of patients and doctors to access the best information and most novel lifesaving disease treatments available. The Foundation has challenged the FDA and powerful drug companies in the US Congress and the nation’s courts on behalf of Americans’ right to import lower-cost prescription drugs from abroad. And Life Extension has and continues to fund cutting-edge research on disease and aging through its nonprofit Foundation. “The Life Extension Foundation not only provides its members with the latest health-promoting research, but also donates millions of dollars each year to world-class scientists conducting such research,” notes Saul Kent, a Director of the Life Extension Foundation.
Today, the Life Extension Foundation is the largest and most successful organization of its kind in the world. Life Extension counts among its members world-renowned anti-aging scientists, medical researchers, and physicians, along with more than 100,000 people from all walks of life—all united by a common desire to live longer lives in optimal health.
Through the Foundation’s exhaustively researched disease treatment and prevention protocols, the monthly Life Extension magazine, email newsletters and bulletins, an extensive and constantly updated website, and other resources, Life Extension members have unparalleled access to continuously updated, groundbreaking research on preventing disease and optimizing health.
Launching The Life Extension Revolution
With The Life Extension Revolution, the Foundation and New York-based Bantam Books have joined to bring the life extension philosophy and lifestyle to a new, broad-based audience.
According to Saul Kent, Life Extension was contacted by Bantam executives “who were interested in publishing a new book about the best ways to maintain health and extend longevity, a book that also contains the cutting-edge research that will lead to revolutionary breakthroughs in the future.” As discussions onthe proposed book advanced, Life Extension began looking for an author—ideally, a physician already active in the practice of anti-aging medicine. The search quickly led to Dr. Miller.
“After speaking with Dr. Miller, it became clear his philosophy of anti-aging medicine was a good fit with the approach and program of the Life Extension Foundation,” says Kent. Bantam Vice-President Toni Burbank, who acquired and helped bring the book from concept to reality, recalls an early meeting with Dr. Miller: “We were impressed with Dr. Miller’s knowledge, the way he talked about his patients, and his genuine conviction about the importance of this medical approach.” Veteran health writer Monica Reinagel was recruited to assist with the book.
Combining Science and Practice
In addition to sharing the latest anti-aging research, The Life Extension Revolution draws on Dr. Miller’s own experience and unique practice of anti-aging medicine to offer advanced therapies and protocols that will enable millions of people to fashion their own individualized anti-aging and disease-prevention programs. According to Burbank, the book’s combination of cutting-edge research and sound, practical advice makes The Life Extension Revolution unlike any other health book on the market.
“Most ‘live longer’ books on the market tell you to stop smoking, eat your veggies, stay mentally active, exercise regularly, and wear your seatbelt,” explains Burbank. “All good advice, but people know all this already. The Life Extension Revolution goes way beyond that, to address aging at the cellular level.” Among the things Burbank finds particularly notable about the book is its comprehensive discussion of male and female hormone replacement, “which explains the various issues people are concerned about more clearly than any other text I’ve seen.”
Life Extension’s Kent agrees that the book’s combination of anti-aging science and real-life medical practice makes it unique. “The Life Extension Revolution presents groundbreaking research and therapies for preventing and reversing aging, along with recommendations that are backed by studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals,” says Kent. “Yet it also illuminates this science with simple, real-life case studies written by a doctor who has been practicing anti-aging medicine for years.”
Indeed, the book charts the progress of a number of patients from Dr. Miller’s practice. Despite their varying backgrounds, medical concerns, and health goals, these individuals all come to experience the life-transforming power of developing and actively practicing an anti-aging lifestyle.
“Dr. Miller told us most of his patients are middle-aged, highly productive people who feel they are losing their zest for life and are troubled by early-warning health signs like high cholesterol,” says Burbank. “The treatments he describes in the book put those patients back on track, so they can enjoy peak performance indefinitely. I think that’s the major promise this book offers.”
And that is exactly the promise laid out by Dr. Miller in the book’s introduction. “Your customized anti-aging and life extension program will give you a more youthful, energetic, and disease-proof body and mind,” he writes. “More importantly, it will help to ensure that you’ll be there to take full advantage of all that the ever-expanding future holds.”
A New Role for Medicine
The night-and-day difference between how conventional and anti-aging medical practitioners approach the problem of aging can be simply put: “Whereas the focus of conventional medicine is on the diagnosis and treatment of disease, the goal of anti-aging medicine is to promote optimal health and wellness throughout every phase of the human life span.”
To this end, anti-aging medicine is built on four principles. It is:
Here the book introduces the concepts of cellular “programming,” biochemistry, environmental influences, heredity, and lifestyle factors. Each plays a role in the “cascading and compounding” effects of normal aging—just as correcting age-related hormone deficiencies, introducing health-promoting nutrient protocols, and avoiding unnecessary exposure to environmental toxins have similarly cumulative effects in arresting and even reversing the ravages of aging.
Overcoming the Aging Effects of Stress
Excess cortisol, produced by the body in reaction to stress, exerts myriad dangerous effects. “If you have a chronic imbalance of stress hormones (too much cortisol and too little DHEA),” says Dr. Miller, “you are aging faster than you need to, and opening the door for diseases from heart disease to diabetes to depression.”
Anti-aging medicine offers therapies to correct stress-induced hormone imbalances. Chronic stress elevates levels of dangerous cortisol while depressing levels of beneficial DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Excess cortisol not only promotes heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, but also impairs immune response and neurological function. By contrast, DHEA has been shown to protect against bone loss and osteoporosis, limit skin aging, reduce body fat, increase lean body mass, enhance mood, improve sexual performance, boost immune function, and relieve menopausal symptoms.
Although DHEA is produced in abundance in the body, its levels peak in our twenties and thereafter decline dramatically, making supplementation desirable. Dr. Miller strongly advocates DHEA replacement therapy and offers detailed advice on how to work with an anti-aging practitioner to determine your cortisol and DHEA levels through blood testing, distinguish “normal” versus “optimal” DHEA levels, and monitor your progress with follow-up testing. Precautions for DHEA use, as by men with prostate cancer, are also included.
According to Dr. Miller, “Restoring a balance between cortisol and DHEA is the first important step in creating a more youthful hormone profile.”