Longevity Science Is Trying to Strike A Balance Between Innovation and Traditional Health Care


There is a growing number of technologies, processes, and treatments being discovered in the quest to extend life.

Brad Inman, founder of Inman News and Longevity Media LLC, Palm Beach, Florida, joins Pharmacy Times to discuss longevity science and the Livelong Summit, happening March 15 and 16 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Livelong is a conference that will bring together an expert panel of doctors, scientists, and researchers who will discuss new research and discoveries that could extend longevity.1 Inman discusses with Pharmacy Times how longevity science is characterized and dives into many of the complexities associated with this novel approach to medicine.

PT Staff: Let's start broadly; I would love you to tell me what exactly is longevity science, and what characterizes the longevity community's approach to health and well-being compared to other areas, such as studying to be a doctor or studying to be a pharmacist— other health related areas?

Brad Inman: I would like to think of it as a marriage between the traditional and the innovators. Longevity science is safe and tested innovations that we need to somehow, [like they] talk about with injections and medicine, inject the establishment—the medical establishment. [It is] a willingness to embrace things that are safe and will help us prolong our life.

The other part of it is that it seems to be about prevention versus reaction. [Let’s say] I go to the doctor when I have a pain. I go to the doctor when I'm breathing funny. I go to a doctor when I have a spot on my hand. It's all it's built around a system of reacting and not prevention. In those visits with my traditional doctor, I may get a couple of minutes to talk about me being overweight or talk about my diet, but really not much time is spent on that. And increasingly, I don't know about the rest of your audience, but the doctors don't have time to do that. They're stamping out patient after patient.

BillionPhotos.com - stock.adobe.com

BillionPhotos.com - stock.adobe.com

So longevity seems pollyannish, but [it’s the idea that] we're going to take time to deal with the patient more holistically; we're going to take time with the patient to talk about other ways to think about your health than just react to that cut on my arm.

PT Staff: Why is longevity science complex? What is hard to understand about it right now, and how can translating the research impact my health better and your health better and other people's health better?

Brad Inman: I'll just use as an example—there has been a debate in the last month [that has been] going on for a while, [and it’s about] full body scans. The full body scan just seems like “Wow! Let's democratize information and give it to the public,” which my whole career I've stood for.

You know we talk about the vastness of outer space— what's out there? We talk about the sea— what's under the sea? [But the truth is that, honestly] I don't really know what's going on in my own body. I realize how ignorant I have been so [I say] “Okay, let's do a full body scan. Brad, let's find out what is going on inside his body.”

So I get a zillion tests and I'm overwhelmed with information, then the same week that The New Yorker comes out with a piece really questioning the full body scan, and whether it's too much information and whether it's alarmist.

My wife Yaz, wanted to be on board with this longevity thing going on in our household, so she got a full body scan, and they discovered a small 2.5-millimeter aneurysm in her brain. So we had a month of stressful trauma [and] we have since tested it 3 months later and it's not growing. It's also lodged in a part of her brain where it's unlikely anything could happen and no one's worried about it.

So these things go a lot of different directions. And again, I think the public must choose if they really want to know everything about what's going inside of the body, [because] get ready.

PT Staff: So at this conference you're going to be demystifying new technology, and like, it’s great that there's all these innovations. However, there is a caveat that with all this longevity science, and it’s important to take it (to a certain degree) with a grain of salt because we're still learning a lot-

Brad Inman: We're in the formative [stage]. [As] they say in the sports analogy, we're in the first inning. It's clear to me that we're just beginning. AI is speeding it up very, very quickly, and science has been one of the main contributors. [Historically] as we have done a lot of things to kill ourselves and hurt our bodies and our health… my suspicion is that, if we went back and looked at when some of these discoveries were made, I'm sure there were things introduced that would save us, I'm sure there were things that didn't work, I'm sure there were things introduced that overpromised and had unrealistic expectations, and so I think we're in that stage [with longevity research and innovation].

I think, for the public, that it's very important to check with your doctor [prior to trying many of these new technologies and innovations]. Whatever you're doing, check with your doctor because they are grounded in experience and education and their own exposure to all the dimensions of this.

PT Staff: So you said the full body scan is a big trend; being able to check your body for everything. What are some other trends that are going to be highlighted at the conference?

Brad Inman: There isnew testing technique and treatments and of course, there's new drugs. Then there are new ways of thinking about our lifestyle (which aren't really new, they go back centuries and cost no money), new types of MRIs, an example being the magnetic scanning. Multicancer blood tests are pretty new, and functional health, which is a practice that is basically [implemented] to avoid 1 of the big killers: you have cancer, heart disease, diabetes and medical mistakes, infections, and others.

[Then there is] this idea of doing more [and accessing more] of these [services] at home. Doing testing and [receiving] tele-medicine… there are new treatments [that include] stem cell injections, among a whole raft of new treatments and new drugs... and supplements.

What we have is, I think, the best speakers on longevity that are out there all in 1 place at 1 time. What's great about that is that the public can sit in the audience and decipher from different points of view, from the people that [advocate] for a protein diet versus a plant-based diet. But of course, we know these things are customized differently for each 1 of us. And we're all different but also different age groups, different demographics, men and women.

1. Livelong Summit. News Release. Accessed February 28, 2024. https://www.livelongsummit.com/

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