Life Extension Magazine®

Your Personal Life Extension Program

Answers to your questions about Life Extension

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

LE Magazine May 1996

Your Personal Life Extension Program
Questions and Answers



I noticed that you offer two separate mineral formulas, one for men and one for women? Could you explain the reasons for the differences between these two formulas?


As women age, their risk of developing osteoporosis increases. Mineral Formula For Women contains potent doses of calcium salts that have been shown to bolster and maintain bone matrix density. Aging men are vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. Mineral Formula For Men contains the potent doses of magnesium salts that have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease.

The Women's formula contains more calcium and less magnesium than the Men's formula, which is higher in magnesium than calcium. Magnesium is required for healthy bone maintainence in addition to calcium and other minerals. Many women take calcium supplements only and, as a result, are at risk for bone density loss due to inadequate magnesium levels.

Both Mineral Formulas are available in capsule form because calcium and magnesium often bind so tightly within tablets, that they pass through the digestive tract without breaking down for absorption into the bloodstream.


Man & Woman riding bikes


Do antioxidants slow the aging process? Are there any other ways to slow aging? Can aging be reversed?


The jury is still out on whether antioxidants slow the aging process.
A number of lifespan studies in animals have dietary antioxidants such as BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin can extend lifespan, but only in short-lived strains of mice, which are prone to develop cancer or autoimmune disease.

The failure of dietary antioxidants to extend maximum lifespan in laboratory animals argues against their ability to slow normal aging.

However, gerontologists who believe that free radicals play an important role in aging suggest that the proper experiments to prove their theory have yet to be conducted.

image The originator of the free radical theory of aging, Dr. Denham Harman, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, for example, believes that free radicals generated in the mitochondria (the power plants of the cell) are key factors in the aging process, and that the dietary antioxidants designed to quench the free radical activity in the mitochondria will be able to extend maximum lifespan in long-lived strains of mice, thus proving that dietary antioxidants can slow normal aging.

Richard Cutler, Ph.D. of the National Institute on Aging's Gerontology Research Center in Baltimore, on the other hand, believes that the critical factor in controlling free radical damage is the amount and activity level of endogenous antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. Cutler's strategy is to develop methods - either through genetic engineering or enzyme-promoting nutrients and drugs - that raise internal levels of 1 natural antioxidant enzymes. Scientists have theorized that the primary mechanism of action that causes the prolongation of life in calorie restricted animals is reduced free radical activity, but no studies have yet substantiated this hypothesis.

Calorie restriction is the only thoroughly documented method of slowing down aging in primates, although body temperature reduction has extended lifespan in annual, cold-blooded fish, and dietary antioxidants and growth factors have extended lifespan in fruit flies 3 and other insects.

In recent years, studies have that compounds such as coenzyme- deprenyl, melatonin, Q,, and chromium piccolinate can extend lifespan in both mice and rats, but the extent of their ability to extend maximum lifespan, which reflects the slowing of normal aging, has not yet been determined definitively. The Life Extension Foundation, and other companies and organizations, will soon be funding life-span studies at major university and private laboratories, to pro- vide better evidence regarding the ability of these (and other) compounds to extend lifespan and slow aging in long-lived laboratory mice. These experiments will be the aegis of PROJECT 2020. The Foundation's path- breaking program to control human aging by the year 2020.

Some therapies, such as growth hormone and DHEA, have already shown the ability to reverse some of the parameters of aging such as muscle deterioration, mental decline, and loss of coordination.

Great anti-aging reversal potential may lie in experiments to pursue the characterization and chemical inhibition of a "death hormone" produced in the pituitary gland. This "death hormone" is supposedly a primary causes of many of the degenerative changes that occur with advancing age, leading inevitably to death. Advances in blocking the deleterious effects of the "death hormone" (and other: breakthrough advances in the control of aging) will continue to be reported first and foremost in the pages of LIFE EXTENSION Magazine.



How much do you estimate it will cost to achieve PROJECT 2020's goal of total control over human aging?


That's hard to say. The Foundation believes we are very close to major breakthroughs in anti-aging research that will spur tremendous interest in pursuing control of the aging process. Companies such as Geron are develop unique approaches to aging control based upon intervention into the genetic mechanisms of aging, while doctors throughout the world are exploring the anti-aging potential of hormone replacement therapy.

We believe that as little as $1 million dollars a year could identify currently available therapies that may already be able to slow aging and extend lifespan right now!

It looks as if the expenditure of about a million dollars (by a private company) has already produced compelling evidence of a "death hormone" that could hold the key to control of the aging process. We believe that the expenditure of $10 million dollars a year, if properly directed, could go a long way towards the control of aging within the next decade. We believe that $100 million dollars a year could solve the problem totally within the 25-year period delineated in PROJECT 2020.

You can support radical lifespan extending research by purchasing the products sold and recommended by The Life Extension Foundation, and by sending your tax deductible donations to:

PO Box 229120
Hollywood, FL 33022-9120




I've heard all kinds of answers to the question of what the proper dose of melatonin should be? Even the doctors writing books on melatonin don't seem to be able to recommend the appropriate dosage level of melatonin for sleep. I've also heard that melatonin can slow down aging, but have no idea what dose of melatonin I should take for this purpose. Could you help clear up my confusion over these matters?


If you do not have a sleep problem, the nightly dose of melatonin suggested by some scientists is 500 micrograms (meg) to 1 milligram (mg). Most life extensionist take 3 mg every night because of evidence suggesting that higher amounts of melatonin may be beneficial in enhancing immune function, pre- venting cancer, and slowing aging.

For insomnia therapy, 3-10 mg of melatonin nightly usually works. Many people now hold the melatonin under their tongue for more rapid assimilation into the brain. People who wake up at night and can't get back to sleep often take another 3 mg. of melatonin under their tongue help them get to sleep again.


How do I determine the right dosage levels of life extension therapies for myself? On a number of occasions I've found that the recommended dose of a particular nutrient, drug, or hormone is not best for me. I've heard that I should be tested to determine how much of a substance to take, but I don't know what tests to undergo, where these tests are available, and how they should be evaluated. Can you help me?


Some people determine their intake of antioxidant nutrients based upon their weight. Those weighing less than 150 - 160 pounds take less than the recommended dosage, while those weighing more than 200 pounds take more than the recommended dosage.

We do not believe there are reliable blood tests to monitor serum antioxidant levels, though many commercial labs are now aggressively promoting such tests. We suggest that all Foundation members obtain a low cost blood count blood chemistry battery of tests every year to make sure their serum cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, iron, thyroid, liver and kidney function measurements are all within safe ranges.

Anyone taking hormone replacement therapy such as DHEA should certainly have their serum DHEA levels evaluated to make sure their DHEA levels are at the level of a healthy 21-year-old (neither too high, nor too low). We 1 suggest a DHEA test within 4-6 weeks of beginning DHEA replacement therapy, and then every three months until a stable DHEA baseline is established.

Any of these tests can be requested by your doctor. We now have listings for about 1,000 innovative doctors around the country who are more willing than conventional doctors to prescribe our blood testing protocols.


How do you know that following a life extension program is beneficial?

What evidence is there that taking life extension therapies can help to prevent diseases or extend lifespan? Have you heard from Foundation members about the results they have been getting with their programs?


All recommendations made by The Life Extension Foundation are based upon peer reviewed scientific studies combined with interviews with research scientists, clinical physicians, and people who have actually used these therapies, and reports of scientific presentations made at meetings, seminars, and conferences.

We hear from hundreds of Foundation members every day on the phone, or through the mail, who tell us about the results (or lack of results) they experience with the protocols we recommend. We adjust our recommendations based on the responses we receive from our members as well as from published findings in the scientific literature.


When was The Life Extension Foundation started? What are its goals? How close is The Foundation to achieving these goals?


The Foundation was started in 1980 as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. Extending lifespan has been the central, unwavering goal of The Foundation throughout its existence. We believe that a longer, healthier lifespan is of inestimable value for individuals who love and enjoy life. We also believe that extending the length of healthy productive life of Americans would do more to help solve the nation's social and economic problems than any other scientific or medical advance.

We think we've made significant progress towards our goal of controlling human aging in the past 16 years, but we also know that we have a very long way to go before we achieve our goal. The Foundation has begun to develop products with mass market potential such as Natural SleepTM and Natural SexTM in order to reach as many people as possible throughout the world. We've also been reaching out via radio and TV to inform people of the value of our message, as well as the boldness and excitement of our programs.

We think we can gain total control over human aging by the year 2020, but, even if that proves not to be possible, we are extremely confident that aging control can be achieved at some point in the 21st century. The sooner the better!