Since then, the Foundation, in concert with many of the world’s leading researchers, has developed a scientific roadmap to transform the elderly to biological youth. Mr. Kekich is active in companies with proprietary stem cell and other technologies that target longevity and raises funds for life-extending research.
Mr. Kekich serves as a Board Member of the American Aging Association, Life Extension Buyers’ Club, and Alcor Life Extension Foundation Patient Care Trust Fund, and is the author of “Life Extension Express: 7 steps you can take now, to catch the emerging wave of medical breakthroughs… for a youthful, indefinite lifespan”, a how-to book for extreme life extension. He has also starred in two life extension documentaries and was featured in two others.
I first met David Kekich several years ago. He's been a major influence in the field of life extension that we discuss here.
His journey began in the late 1970's. After successfully founding and running a large life insurance company, his life took a sudden turn when, 33 years ago, he suffered a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the chest down. That fateful day at the gym began what was initially a search for solutions to his injury, but it eventually landed him on the path of longevity and anti-aging research.
Clearly, no one gets out of this life alive, but Kekich has pursued some really exciting strategies that can not only increase the length of life but also the quality of life.
The Manhattan Beach Project
To that end, he has developed a few companies, one of which is Maximum Life Foundation, which focuses on scientific conferences. They put together the Manhattan Beach Project that I participated in, back in 2009. It included many of the top biologists and anti-aging experts in the world.
That was the fifth conference put together by the Maximum Life Foundation since the first one in June of 2000, and what made that last conference so exciting was the fact that after thousands of hours of collaborations between anti-aging specialists and scientists, they were able to disclose a scientific roadmap for the reversal of aging.
Not only that; they also devised a plan for raising the money required to put the entire program into action.
"We put together a very spectacular board of directors, an amazing scientific advisory board and business advisory board, and a great management team and formed a company. We're on our way to raising, over the next few years, $100 million or so. It's going to be invested in these companies, in the technologies that we've been nurturing for almost 12 years."
Will 100 Be the New 50?
Dave is fond of saying that the age of 100 is going to be the new 50, and he firmly believes it will come true.
"That's the direction that we're going in right now," he says. "What we're talking about is actually looking and feeling and acting like you're 50 years old when you're 100. That's the future of what we're doing. In fact, we're getting very close to making that happen.
Instead of deteriorating with age and going into a slow steady decline, we're seeing the day where actually we're going to be getting better with age and not just our bodies, but also our minds. Our minds and bodies will continue to grow and evolve and eventually, we'll be talking about full rejuvenation – body and mind rejuvenation."
Telomere Shortening—One of the Most Promising Age-Reversal Strategies
According to one theory, you age because your cells age. Hence if you can control the aging process in your cells, you should be able to control your aging.
Many anti-aging experts agree that the ability to alter telomere shortening is, without question, one of the most exciting methods that holds great promise to actually REVERSE aging.
So, what's a telomere, you ask?
The telomere is found at the very tip of each chromosome, which resides inside the nucleus in each of your 100 trillion cells. Researchers have now found that the telomere is a mechanism that controls your cell's rate of aging by shortening each time the cell divides. Once your telomeres have been reduced to about 5,000 bases, you essentially die of old age.
Telomere shortening can be accelerated by an unhealthy lifestyle, effectively speeding up your rate of aging. Obesity, lack of exercise, psychological stress and smoking, all cause production of free radicals that can cleave the telomere. Most age-related diseases can, in fact, be connected to telomere shortening.
Formerly, there was little that we understood about how to slow down, stop, or even reverse telomere shortening. However, researchers are working on solutions to stop, or even reverse this telomere shortening, effectively reversing aging.
At the end of this article, I will also summarize some other exciting findings in this field because you can actually start taking advantage of this anti-aging mechanism TODAY, simply by exercising correctly!
The Promise of Age-Reversal?
This is a very controversial area. Naturally, we've all been conditioned to accept that aging is a normal part of life. However, even some of the world's leading gerontologists are now agreeing that age-reversal is possible—in fact, not only possible, but inevitable, courtesy of the speed of modern science.
"We've got stem cell, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence… and thought leaders rallying around this concept of age reversal and extended youth," Kekich says. " They believe it's going to be a reality. We've got people like Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey de Grey… They're all talking about indefinite open-ended youth some day.
We've got people like Michael Rose, an evolutionary biologist who set out to prove that aging cannot be stopped. He was the only researcher in 2000 that took the contrary end position. Recently, he came out with a book. While he was trying to prove it cannot be stopped, he concluded that, yes it can, and will be stopped!"
Interestingly enough, our life spans have already nearly doubled since the early 19th century, when the average life span was a mere 47 years old. People being born today are expected to live to nearly 80, here in the US, and in other countries the life expectancy is even higher.
The life extension technologies expected to arise over the next several decades do require you to stay alive long enough for them to be of benefit to you though. So taking good care of yourself in the now is still a given. If you're still in decent enough shape once they arrive, you may potentially be able to turn back the aging clock, and actually "grow younger," which is a truly extraordinary, mind-blowing concept.
The Law of Accelerating Returns Makes the Impossible Possible, Soon Enough
One point often brought up by skeptics is, "How could we reverse aging when we haven't even figured out how to cure cancer yet?"
In a word: acceleration.
According to the Law of Accelerating Returns, first identified by Ray Kurzweil, growth occurs not linearly, but exponentially. For example, if you take a one dollar bill and add a dollar to it every year, then at the end of two years you'll have $2, at the end of four years $4, and at the end of 10 years, $10. But if you double that dollar every year, then at the end of two years you'll have $2—same as linear growth—but after four years you'll have $8, and after 10 years, you'll have $1024!
"We are in an exponential growth mode right now," Kekich says. "We're just getting into that exponential curve with knowledge and progress in research. People don't recognize this generally because it looks like linear growth. It looks like what we've been used to all of our lives throughout the history of mankind. But we're advancing at an accelerated rate.
… The technologies that are driving the research we're talking about that we need to extend lives and cure cancer are doubling every single year."
Other people ascribe this type of acceleration to Moore's Law—the founder of Intel, who stated that computing power doubles every year to 18 months while the cost goes down by 50 percent. This has certainly turned out to be true for most of the technologies we use today, such as computers and wireless telephones. Remember those first portable phones? They were the size of a shoe and cost a small fortune!
Does Age Reversal Go Against the Law of Nature?
Some believe we as humans were more or less made to deteriorate and die, and that altering this means going against the laws of nature, perhaps even going against God's will, depending on your belief system.
"I hear that quite a bit," Kekich admits. "Is it against nature? Yes. Ever since man invented the wheel, we've been doing something counter to nature. The technology we're using today for this interview—talk about interfering with nature. This isn't natural. What's natural is going out and foraging… trying to wrestle an animal to death to eat it… We've gone way beyond.
… God gave us a brain and He gave us a way to figure out solutions to problems. I think if God didn't really want us to – if you're religious, we got a lot of people saying, God doesn't want this to happen or that happen – if He really didn't want us to make this progress, why would he have given us the ability to cure diseases, to make life more comfortable, to live longer? Why would he want to see us suffering and die unnecessarily?
I think that this kind of technology just could bring us closer to God… Is it interfering with nature? Absolutely. Everything we do interferes with nature. That's what makes us human instead of an animal."
The State of Current Research
Dave mentions a number of specific anti-aging advances.
Major advances are also taking place in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. For example, researchers have been growing bladders from the patients' own cells and implanting them into humans for a few years now, with good results. They even successfully implanted engineered human tracheas.
"Researchers have also grown complete rat hearts; beating hearts," Dave says. "It won't be long before we're going to have spare parts, replacement parts built from our own cells, our own adult stem cells. If you need a new heart, we'll soon have hearts on demand, or lungs, kidneys, livers, or what have you."
What makes these organs ideal is that you don't have the problem of rejection—they're made using your own cells so it's a perfect match.
Another inventor is working on a treatment for Alzheimer's and has already treated about 100 patients, including his own mother, whose symptoms of mid-stage Alzheimer's were reversed. It also reversed her hearing damage, allowing her to get rid of her hearing aids.
Interestingly, this treatment is a supplement, not a drug.
"Drug companies are not going to like this, and it's going to be hard to market because you can't make claims with a supplement. But this is what the research has shown and we're going to be doing studies on this. It will be about a year of study. Hopefully, this supplement will be available pretty soon," he says.
Another exciting development in this area is plain old medium chain triglycerides, found in high amounts in coconut oil, which appears to be very beneficial for Alzheimer's patients when taken as a supplement.
Can the Earth Sustain Massive Life Extension on a Grand Scale?
If age-reversal becomes reality, then the question becomes, can we provide enough food, clean water and energy for this exponential population growth?
"That comes up a lot and it's a legitimate concern," Dave replies.
"However… First of all, the population is not exploding like most people think it is… In Asia, for example, the poverty level went down from something like 90 percent just 10 years ago to about 50 percent right now, thanks to technology; thanks to telecommunications and things like that. That's the trend. As people become more affluent and better educated, they have less and less children.
In this country, we are actually seeing a population decline, except for immigration. If you factor out immigration, we have a population decline. Europe, for the most part, has a population decline. Some countries like Russia are having a serious problem because their population is declining, not growing.
… Many years ago, Julian Simon the famous economist, showed that we really have enough resources. Forgetting about future technologies, just factoring all that out, we have enough resources on this planet to feed, house, and clothe twice as many people as we have living today.
It's not so much a resource problem. It's a political problem, and a distribution problem."
What Can You Do Now? Kekich's 7 Most Potent Anti-Aging Strategies
So, what can you do to maintain optimal health and youthful vigor right now?
Kekich recommends a seven step formula in his book Life Extension Express, which he is graciously giving out free of charge. These seven steps are:
- Appropriate diet
- Sensible supplementation
- Lifestyle habits such as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight
- Seeing and Anti-Aging Physician
- Stress management
- Attitude/Positive thoughts
These are remarkably similar to my own anti-aging guidelines, which you can review here.
However, I would add to this what I now believe is an essential part of any anti-aging strategy, namely Peak Fitness exercises.
The "Anti-Aging Exercise"
A recent study published in the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development confirms the "anti-aging" effect of high-intensity training. In fact, the results suggest there's a direct association between reduced telomere shortening in your later years and high-intensity-type exercises!
This is very exciting, as the prospect of being able to reduce telomere shortening—essentially stopping the cellular aging process that eventually kills you—is one of the most promising anti-aging strategies we know of to date.
High-intensity interval-type training also boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is also essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I've discussed the importance of HGH for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information, please review this previous article.
Age-Reversal Technology—Folly, or the Opportunity of a Lifetime?
As mentioned earlier, the Foundation needs an estimated $100 million to fund the full program. But where is that money going to come from?
"It's got to be private individuals, private investors," Kekich says. "That's the only way to get it started. A hundred million you mentioned is really getting us to lay a strong groundwork… We're going to count on wealthy individuals to come in and support it.
Once we have made certain demonstrable advances, then everybody is going jump on the bandwagon, just like they did for telecommunications, just like they did for all these hot new industries. But talking about a trillion dollar industry is an understatement. It's probably going to be a multi-trillion dollar industry. It's already over 200 billion."