Chapter 4 - Other Therapies

     We will now examine various therapies by which doctors and others without formal degrees attempt to prolong life.

Let us begin by saying that, although many approaches seem to have merit, and many of their advocates are sincere and even dedicated to their viewpoints, none as yet has succeeded in prolonging the prime of life. Provably so, that is. With one exception.

In other words, who the devil cares about prolonging his old age with all its multiple griefs, so he cannot die and be rid of the odious burden? The ideal is of course Dr. Faustus and Dorian Gray, without having to make pacts with the devil and suchlike creatures in order to maintain zest and potency for beautiful companions----as though sex were the chief goal of humankind. (A women s libber should write a counter-part for all those implausible, yet somehow fascinating stories foisted on them by men. On the other hand, please don t; they would be equally implausible. And a woman should have more intelligence than to merely copy a man s idea.)

Probably the best known youth-doctor practitioner was the late Dr. Paul Niehans, who maintained a clinic in Switzerland for many years. His fame was such that practically all of the famous and near-famous were treated by him or his followers. His work is carried on by many clinics in Europe and other places— in fact, almost everywhere except the United States, where the ultraconservatives still hold the big black-snake whip in medicine.

Niehans's theory seems rational: Damaged cells, no matter of what organ or tissue, need repairing. What better way than to give them fresh new cells with which to do the repairing? For example, Niehans postulated that an injured liver would be repaired by injection of new liver cells, derived primarily from embryonic liver cells: embryonic before the still largely undifferentiated cells could develop the "sophistication" necessary to produce an allergic-immune response from the body's cells. Niehans used the cells derived from unborn lambs for the most part, then later used adult cells after they had been specially processed ("freeze-dried") to eliminate the immune reaction. This freeze-dried method is employed primarily today —though some practitioners maintain the living cells are more viable.

Be that as it may, in spite of Niehans s claimed results on many thousands of patients, he never saw fit to publish his results in medical journals. Proponents claim with some justification that Niehans's work would never be published in any leading medical journal; therefore, realizing this, he didn t try. Critics point out he could have written a monograph and had it privately published or indeed printed by almost any publisher in the world; many would have been eager to capitalize on Niehans's fame. The controversy rages, even after Niehans s death, for cellular therapy has spread throughout the world, chiefly through German manufacturers of the freeze-dried product.

Many famous people have taken cell therapy and reported much benefit. It should be explored further and made a subject of serious testing by teams of medical researchers, if they really want the truth about aging to emerge.

Probably the one big disadvantage to cell therapy was its cost and cumbersome method of administration.

As promulgated by Niehans, it entails the raising and keeping of herds of sheep, then killing the ewes, extracting the unborn lamb—grinding up its organs—at the exact time a patient is to be injected.

Clearly, while the results of cellular therapy seem to be promising, the treatment is not yet for the average man--—only for the relatively rich.

However, there is a health spa in Nassau called Renaissance, where cell therapy as well as other modalities is used; the cost is about $1500 for ten days treatment.

Renaissance is directed by Dr. Ivan M. Popov, a well-known and original medical thinker. The board of this organization is composed of eminent physicians throughout the world, including Dr. Franz Schmid, chief of staff at the Children s Hospital, Aschaffenburg, West Germany.

Dr. Scbmid makes a good case for the use of freezedried cells Instead of live cells.

I was impressed by the knowledge of the executive director, Elliott Goldwag, Ph.D., and by the results obtained by several of the patients. I have not investigated Renaissance in depth, but I have carefully noted the high caliber of the researcher-clinicians who are connected with the project.

With the exception of Gerovital H3, there have been no provable, long-lasting methods of inducing old age to stop its relentless march. There have been many who tried, and some seemed to have a brief measure of success: Voronoff with his transplanted monkey glands; Brown-Seqüard with his transplanted dog testicles; Bogomolets with his cytoreticular serum; Metchnikoff with his acidophilus bacilli; and many others too numerous to mention here. The ones we have mentioned were great scientists and recognized by their peers as such—until they began advancing treatments for maintaining youth. That is when they started being laughed at, because it seems that attempted old-age regeneration combined with attempted sexual rejuvenation is both funny and embarrassing and therefore not worthy of a serious scientist's consideration. Actually sex was the focal point of many researchrs geriatric efforts. They were looking for the male hormone, but didn t know it. They were unaware that testosterone is not the answer either, although it is important.

A final shocker about old age: if you think that when and if we eliminate cancer and heart disease our troubles will be over and everybody will live happily ever after—you are wrong. Most of the "authorities" agree that even if we suddenly found a dependable 100% cure for heart disease and cancer, our life spans would not be prolonged for more than five or six years. Startling? Yes. But mere projongation of life is not the answer to aging, because who wants to live--—exist is a better word--—decrepit, senile, useless to both yourself and the society to which you have become accustomed?

Another exercise in futility consists of interviewing old people in an attempt to learn the secrets of longevity. You will receive every answer possible: drinking whiskey, not drinking it; smoking tobacco, not smoking it; eating meat, not eating it; having plenty of sex, not having it; drinking lots of water, not drinking it; working hard, not working at all; wearing shoes, going barefoot. You won't get a coherent picture—except for one thing: the vast majority are uninformed or do not care about the world's problems, or any other problems except their immediate needs. They very rarely let anything annoy them, because they can't be annoyed. Their adrenal glands do not start pumping adrenaline into their bloodstreams when they are subjected to what other people would call disturbing. They do not react as most persons or animals do.

The oldsters in the various pockets of longevity in the East know no more why they live longer than do their counterparts in the West. Modern scientific investigators can offer little more than personal opinions.

Lack of stress, which means lack of worry or thought about anything except habitual routine, vigorous exercise, living in an uncontaminated atmosphere free from pollutants of all kinds, and having.long-llved ancestors are some of the ways people survive to 110-to 125. You have seen them: wrinkled as an Egyptian mummy, toothless, hearing and eyesight failing or failed; their strength diminished or nearly gone; thoughts confused, then finally dying.

Another version of how to live longer: be simple, ignorant, care little about the world; follow the ways of your ancestors, and learn nothing from them except the simple pattern of obedience, complaisance with everything as it exists; never change your ancestral customs or ways; go to bed early; never question authority; never learn more than your father knew; follow all this and you will live a long and most dull life. But it will not be dull to you because you are resigned and have become a human robot and do not question the gods or your superiors. Therefore you are happy and when strangers come to question you, you tell them what you think they wish to know.

Some think this is worth copying; I do not. If that is all getting old means, then I say I would have none of it. Being old does not, as the Chinese and some others think, mean wisdom; it means senility in most cases, which is the opposite of wisdom. But this does not mean that man cannot live to his prime in excellent condition—once we learn how to do it. This book is dedicated to that principle.

Return to Content List Continue - Chapter 5