Total Body Rejuvenation, Anyone?


    One article tonight, New Pill May Lead to Full Body Rejuvenation- Cosmiverse, under Prolongevity, makes strong claims for two innocuous health-food-store  supplements, acetyl-l-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid. Carnitine is an amino-acid found in meat (as in chili con carne), and alpha-lipoic acid is one of the body's fatty acids. Experiments conducted with old rats are said to have produced extraordinary gains in energy levels and cognitive functions, in keeping, I guess, with the expectations of the researchers. One of the two  researchers, Bruce Ames, is a leading U. S. biologist and gerontologist. (The other is Tory Hagen with the University of Oregon's Linus Pauling Institute.) This study was funded by the National Institutes on Aging, as opposed to nutritional supplement companies. The authors have just submitted three papers to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
    After reading this article, I hied myself thither to Walmart to see if they carried these supplements. Unfortunately, I didn't find them there, so I went on to "Foods for Life". The sales-lady at the store advised me that they have had these products on their shelves for only a month, but that women have already besieged them. Several women said that their skin tightened shortly after they begin taking these supplements. So, of course, I bought some. Acetyl-l-carnitine is very expensive at nearly $1.00 a pill.
    The article contains no information regarding recommended dosage levels.
    The coming years should see a plethora of such products, some of which may actually work. The really effective agents will be available first only by prescription and only for pathological conditions. However, like Viagra, Rogaine, and Retin-A, these prolongevity agents will probably rapidly escape the confines of the disease-oriented prescription system and will probably become available to the general public within a year or two of their introduction. The amount of money to be made is staggering.
   We'll see.