An Impeccable Scientific Track Record of 37 Years
Since 1980, the Life Extension Foundation® has been a world leader in uncovering pioneering approaches for preventing and treating the diseases of aging.
The following represents a succinct chronology of the Life Extension Foundation’s accomplishments since 1980:
In the 1980s: DHEA, Aspirin, CoQ10
- In 1980, Life Extension recommended that healthy people consume high doses of antioxidant vitamins to maintain their health. Since then, hundreds of studies have been published in prestigious journals documenting the role of antioxidants in protecting against disease. Interestingly, some studies show that modest doses of antioxidants are relatively ineffective, whereas the more potent antioxidant plant extracts that Life Extension introduced long ago have demonstrated profound results in human clinical studies in both the prevention and reversal of common age-related disorders.
- In 1981, Life Extension recommended the hormone DHEA to slow aging. There are now hundreds of published papers substantiating DHEA’s youth promoting properties. DHEA has become one of the most popular anti-aging supplements and Life Extension’s dosing protocols enable people to derive optimal benefits from it.
- In 1981, Life Extension recommended B-complex vitamins to lower homocysteine blood levels. Homocysteine is now recognized as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Foundation members have been keeping their homocysteine levels low by taking folic acid, Vitamin B12, trimethylglycine (TMG), and vitamin B6.
- In 1983, Life Extension recommended the use of low-dose aspirin on a daily basis to prevent vascular disease. Cardiologists in the United States now prescribe low-dose aspirin to protect against a heart attack in cardiac patients.
- In 1983, Life Extension warned its consumers against the intake of supplemental iron because of studies showing that excessive iron causes cancer. In 1988, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article showing that men with high levels of iron had a 40% increase in their overall risk of cancer.
- In 1983, Life Extension was the first organization in the world to recommend the Japanese cardiac drug coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as an anti-aging nutrient. The use of high-dose CoQ10 in the United States is enabling people with congestive heart failure to resume normal lives because this nutrient significantly boosts cardiac energy output. High-dose CoQ10 also has been shown to significantly slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. A breakthrough in the field of anti-aging medicine occurred in 2006 with the publication of a study showing that ubiquinol form of CoQ10 slowed aging in middle-aged, senescent-accelerated mice by 40%.
- In 1985, Life Extension published an article suggesting that the progression of AIDS could be slowed by vitamin supplementation. Since we published the article in 1985, hundreds of published studies have shown that the proper nutrient supplementation can dramatically slow the progression of the immune system decline that leads to AIDS.
- In 1985, Life Extension reported on lycopene, as a dietary supplement for the purpose of preventing some forms of cancer. Lycopene is now accepted as one of the components of plants that has cancer-prevention properties.
- In 1985, Life Extension recommended the drug cimetidine (Tagamet®) as an adjuvant cancer therapy. Since then, published studies reveal that this drug (most commonly associated with heartburn relief) can reduce the recurrence of certain cancers by as much as 79%.
- In 1986, the Foundation recommended low doses of a European drug, called deprenyl, as a potential anti-aging therapy. The FDA eventually approved deprenyl in higher doses to treat Parkinson’s disease but has yet to recognize the anti-aging effects that low doses of this drug produce in healthy people.
- In 1986, Life Extension recommended the broad-spectrum anti-viral drug ribavirin to treat lethal viral infections. Twelve years later the FDA approved ribavirin as a treatment for Hepatitis C.
- In 1988, Life Extension reported on phosphatidylserine to improve memory and slow brain aging. At a scientific conference on anti-aging medicine held in December 1997, phosphatidylserine was the hottest topic of discussion by speakers who were lecturing to 1,500 physicians about how to slow the aging process.
In the 1990s: Arthritis, Atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease
- In 1991, Life Extension sued the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because the FDA failed to approve Tacrine (THA) to treat Alzheimer's disease. While the lawsuit was dismissed on technical grounds, it forced the FDA to finally approve THA seven years after it was shown in a New England Journal of Medicine report to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
- In 1992, Life Extension introduced melatonin to the American public based on overwhelming evidence that this natural hormone is an effective anti-aging therapy. After several books were published extolling melatonin’s multiple benefits, every health food store in the United States began selling it in 1995.
- In 1994, Life Extension warned that the commonly prescribed estrogen and synthetic progestin drugs could increase breast and ovarian cancer risk. Findings published years later confirmed these dangers. The natural hormone-balancing approaches long recommended by Life Extension have been shown to decrease common female cancers.
- In 1996, Life Extension published the first book that integrated hormone replacement, high-dose nutrient supplementation, prescription drugs, and conventional medical treatments for the purpose of preventing and treating 110 diseases that were not being effectively treated by conventional medicine alone.
- In 1996, Life Extension revealed the crucial importance of monitoring blood levels of fibrinogen, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Since then, numerous studies have confirmed that high levels of fibrinogen are indeed a heart attack and stroke risk factor, just like high cholesterol levels.
- In 1997, Life Extension published a new theory on why cells malfunction as they age (decline in DNA methylation), and introduced several therapies that could help aging cells to rejuvenate. These therapies, which have been documented by hundreds of studies, are currently being prescribed for the treatment of depression, liver disease and atherosclerosis.
- In 1997, Life Extension recommended that certain patients temporarily take a combination of statin and COX-2 inhibiting drugs to inhibit cancer cell growth. Since then, several studies have confirmed the anti-cancer effects of these drugs that are not commonly associated with cancer therapy.
- In 1997, Life Extension warned about the dangers of taking only the “alpha tocopherol” form of vitamin E. Since then, a number of published studies confirmed that aging people would benefit by also taking the “gamma tocopherol” form of vitamin E that Life Extension has long advocated.
- In 1997, Life Extension reported on a European discovery called s-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) that safely alleviated depression, arthritis and certain liver disorders. A Harvard study published in 2010 showed that the use of SAMe increased the response rate to conventional anti-depressant drugs by 105%!
- In 1998, Life Extension introduced to the United States a natural herbal supplement (nettle root extract) that has been used for more than ten years in Europe to relieve the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy.
- In 1998, the FDA approved the anti-viral drug ribavirin for use in Hepatitis C patients. The Foundation fought the FDA for 12 years to force them to approve this lifesaving medication.
- In 1998, Life Extension warned how excess estrogen levels in aging men may be a causative factor in the development of prostate cancer and provided easy and safe methods to mitigate these effects.
- In 1998, Life Extension introduced Americans to a Japanese drug called methylcobalamin, a form of vitamin B12 that was particularly effective in protecting the brain against damaging excitotoxicity and also reversing the course of certain neurological disorders.
- In 1999, Life Extension showed how vitamin C may prevent nitroglycerin drug intolerance in patients with coronary artery disease.
- In 1999, Life Extension showed how certain FDA-approved estrogen drugs may not protect against heart disease. A few years later, these very drugs were shown to increase cardiovascular disease in women.