The search for the Fountain of Youth has gained far more urgency now that the average U.S. adult is expected to live until 79, an increase of 30 years compared to the average life expectancy of 49 years in 1900. With more than half a 1900 lifetime added to life, the Fountain of Youth Ubertrend is driving a forever-young attitude, and stimulating a desire for innovative rejuvenation solutions.
Boca Raton, Fla.-based American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) has trained more than 26,000 practitioners in the science of anti-aging:
- Market dimensions – The global anti-aging market is predicted to reach $421 billion in 2030, up from $192 billion in 2019.
- Caloric restriction – Research shoes that “stressing” the body through intermittent fasting can prompt your body to activate genes that help repair broken DNA and protect chromosomes. In 2006, two Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech start-ups, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals and Elixir Pharmaceuticals, pursued research that showed that reducing the caloric intake of a mouse by 30%, would make it live at least 30% longer than its normal two-year lifespan.
- Diet – The Mediterranean diet, high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, and low on red meat, remains the anti-aging gold standard. It’s the only diet proven by clinical research to decrease cardiovascular mortality. A 2020 study published in the BMJ & British Society of Gastroenterology medical journal Gut, which followed 612 people aged 65 to 79, before and after 12 months of either eating their usual diet or a Mediterranean diet found that those following the Mediterranean diet for just one year slowed the development of age-related inflammatory processes.
- Resveratrol – Resveratrol also contributes to longevity due to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer attributes. Found in many plant varieties, resveratrol is abundant in the skin of red grapes, peanuts and pistachios, and in such fruit as blueberries, cranberries, mulberries and raspberries, and cacao beans. Its abundance in red grape skins gives red wine its notable concentrations of resveratrol. While the jury is out on whether resveratrol can help prolong human life, there’s no question that resveratrol mimics the lifespan-extending effects of very-low-calorie diets in flies, fish and mice — apparently by activating SIRT-1, one of seven Sir2-like genes in humans that play a crucial role in anti-aging.
- Reprogramming genomes – La Jolla-based Salk Institute has reversed aging in mice by reprogramming their genome, rejuvenating organs and lengthening their lifespans by as much as 30%.
The Fountain of Youth techniques described earlier focus on reinventing the human body, many others rejuvenate or reshape it:
- Market dimensions – The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) estimates Americans spent more than $17 billion on cosmetic plastic surgery, which includes both minimally invasive procedures and cosmetic surgical procedures in 2018 (due to the pandemic, no expenditure data is available for 2019 or 2020).
- Body shaping – Imagine for a moment that you could leave work for lunch, undergo a simple procedure and return to your desk having shed an inch from your waist. You may consider that a wild fantasy but technology to instantly shape the body has already arrived. Body shaping describes a new wave of innovative contouring technologies that require little or no downtime and are minimally invasive.
- Plastic surgery – For more dramatic results, nothing comes close to plastic surgery, of course. The ASPS reports that 2.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures were performed in 2019. Due to the pandemic, 2020 is not a representative year for total procedures, however, the top five procedures in 2020 are compared below:
The anti-aging techniques described here represent just a tiny sliver of the next-generation therapies that this young science promises to deliver in the near future. Research is being conducted using leading-edge technologies that hold out hope for fighting other age-related diseases, including macular degeneration, joint disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. Innovation advances will be arrive increasingly faster, as described elsewhere on this site.
“Fountain of Youth” was originally identified by author Michael Tchong. To learn more about this Ubertrend, read “Ubertrends — How Trends And Innovation Are Transforming Our Future.”