Stopping the “Age Clock”

Here’s a headline from the BBC that really caught my attention:

 Science to Stop Age Clock at 50

58608914As someone who recently entered my fifth decade of life, this naturally had plenty of appeal.  I’d be quite content to take a sip from the fountain of youth and stay as healthy and active as I am right now.  

The article starts out by stating that many of the babies born today will live to be 100 years old.   Scientists then go on to declare that it is a realistic possibility for these centenarians to have the bodies of people half their chronological age.  Longevity without aging sounds pretty good.  Why not try to achieve 50 active years after the age of 50?

But then the article goes on to detail the plan for stopping the clock.  So what do they propose, an advanced diet and exercise plan?  A new wonder drug?  No, their answer is to simply make new parts for every system in your body and replace them as needed.  Organs, joints, veins, valves, skin, whatever you need will soon be available and guaranteed to last a lifetime.

That’s not a bad thing, but is it really stopping the aging clock?   Is a ten-year-old car with new tires and paint the same as a five year-old car?  How am I supposed to feel after these multiple major surgeries to replace my obsolescent parts?  And who exactly is going to pick up the tab for all of these wonderful procedures?
It seems clear to me that without a preventative maintainance program of physical activity and proper nutrition you’re just going to have an old, worn-out body with a few good parts.   And while you may manage to slow down the aging process with diet and exercise, saying that you’re going to stop it seems more like science fiction than good science.

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