Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach

Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach is a 1982 book ( ISBN  0-446-51229-X ) Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw that popularized the life extension and smart drug movements. [1] [2]

The book discussed radicals and the idea that they cause aging, and how antioxidants were said to partially prevent the damage they do. [3] The book suggests causes of aging and ways to slow, with material on improving health and various aspects of the quality of life.

One of Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, striking striking bodybuilding poses hormone releasers “they took daily.


In the 1992 documentary Never Say Die: The pursuit of eternal youth , Antony Thomas interviewed Pearson and Shaw, and criticized the anti-aging movement as misguided. [4] A review in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) by researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health that “Some of the” health “advice contained in this book would be humorous if it was not so dangerous” that “Potential readers of this ridiculous book would be able to make us feel like we were doing $ 22.50 on an unscientific, impractical, and dangerous dangerous health that literally made us ill.” [5] Biogerontologist Dr. Roy Walford wrote, “gerontology has always been the happy hunting ground for faddists, charlatans, pseudoscientific fringe characters, and just misinformed enthusiasts with ‘ready cures’ for aging. … Pearson and Shaw are among this long list of enthusiasts. … Most of the Pearson / Shaw book on this subject, and on the testimonial posturing of Pearson and Shaw themselves. ” [6] In a discussion group posting, biogerontologist Dr. Steve Harris, MD criticizes the book, offering an example of one of the authors’ “screwups:”

I manage to track one of their references to the (supposedly) somniferous effects of inositol back through some of the primary literature they are cited (loosely) in the back of the chapter. Wups, guess what? They had been reading a paper on natural ligands of the benzodiazepine receptor, and confused inositol with inosine (helped out by [Carl] Pffeifer ‘s [sic] claims that inositol is inducing sleep). Inosine Actually, Inosine Invalids, Inositol, Inosine, Inositol. [7]


  1. Jump up^ SeeRapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion, by Brian S. Alexander, New York: Basic Books, 2003,ISBN 0-7382-0761-6, pp. 5-6.
  2. Jump up^ Bishop, Katherine (1992-06-11). “FDA fears smart drugs could pose stupid risks” . Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper . Retrieved 2007-03-01 .
  3. Jump up^ Fiely, Dennis (1993-09-16). ” ‘ Biochemical bad boys’ – Possible causes of disease, free radicals, may have put their match” . Columbus Dispatch . Retrieved 2007-03-01 .
  4. Jump up^ Mann, Virginia (1992-08-17). “The often gruesome search for perpetual youth” . The record newspaper . Retrieved 2007-03-01 .
  5. Jump up^ Stare, Fredrick J .; Aronson, Virginia (November 23, 1983). “Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach” . JAMA . 250 (20): 2862-3. doi : 10.1001 / jama.1983.03340200094043 . Retrieved 2 June 2012 .
  6. Jump up^ Walford, Roy (2000). Beyond the 120 Year Diet: How to Double Your Vital Years . New York, NY: Four Walls Eight Windows. pp. 21-23. ISBN  9781568581576 .
  7. Jump up^ Harris, Steve. “Re: Whats up with Pearson & Shaw” . Retrieved 2 June 2012 .

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