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Top Ten Life Extension Drugs

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Members often ask us to tell them which life exten­sion nutrients and drugs we consi­der most important.

They ask us because of the vast num­ber of nutrient and drug pro­ducts avai­lable through The Foundation–a num­ber that is constant­ly increa­sing as we come across exci­ting new pro­ducts. Mem­bers want us to pro­vide them with a list of these pro­ducts in order of impor­tance because they can­not afford to take eve­ry­thing of bene­fit to their health, or because they don’t have the time to take eve­ry­thing they’d like to take.

We publi­shed our top ten life exten­sion nutrient list in the August 1993 issue of Life Exten­sion Update. We had hoped to publish our top ten life exten­sion drug list soon after­wards, but so many new fin­dings were coming out that we sim­ply didn’t have the time to put toge­ther such a list.

Since the FDA calls natu­ral hor­mones « drugs », we have inclu­ded hor­mone repla­ce­ment the­ra­pies in our top ten list. We’ve also inclu­ded seve­ral nutrients that are sold as « drugs » in other coun­tries as treat­ments for some of the conse­quences of neu­ro­lo­gi­cal aging.

In eva­lua­ting these drugs, we consi­de­red seve­ral impor­tant cri­te­ria. The first is whe­ther there is any evi­dence that the drug has exten­ded mean and/or maxi­mum lifes­pan in labo­ra­to­ry ani­mals. The pro­blem with this mea­sure is that there have been rela­ti­ve­ly few lifes­pan stu­dies conduc­ted with poten­tial anti-aging therapies.

For example, there is evi­dence that depre­nyl, mela­to­nin, and cen­tro­phe­noxine can extend lifes­pan in ani­mals, but this evi­dence (except in the case of depre­nyl) is sparse and far from defi­ni­tive. On the other hand, there is no evi­dence that DHEA can extend lifes­pan in ani­mals, but no such stu­dy (to our know­ledge) has ever been conduc­ted, although one is now under­way at the V.A. Hos­pi­tal at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin (You’ll be hea­ring more about this stu­dy later.)

Two other fac­tors in our ana­ly­sis are avai­la­bi­li­ty and affor­da­bi­li­ty. Some drugs were lower on our list than they might have been because they are cost­ly and dif­fi­cult to obtain. For example, we have omit­ted poten­tial anti-aging drugs such as low dose RU-486 because of the dif­fi­cul­ty in obtai­ning it for cli­ni­cal use.

What are the most Important life extension drugs ?

In consi­de­ring this list, it is impor­tant to unders­tand that all the drugs inclu­ded on the list are there because there is solid evi­dence that they have signi­fi­cant bene­fits for health and lon­ge­vi­ty. It’s also impor­tant to note that new fin­dings about these drugs are pou­ring into our offices at an unpre­ce­den­ted rate, which could lead us to change our opi­nion about the order of the list at any time.



Injec­tions of syn­the­tic human growth hor­mone have been used by geria­tric phy­si­cians to reju­ve­nate aging men by increa­sing their muscle mass, strength, flexi­bi­li­ty, and coordination.

Growth hor­mone defi­cien­cy is a major cause of the decline in immune func­tion and pro­tein syn­the­sis with advan­cing age in both muscle and neu­ro­lo­gic tis­sues. Recent fin­dings sug­gest that growth hor­mone may be an effec­tive treat­ment for ear­ly-stage Alz­hei­mer’s disease as well as ear­ly senile demen­tia cau­sed by a decline in brain cell ener­gy meta­bo­lism. We will soon be repor­ting on cli­ni­cal bene­fits repor­ted with growth hor­mone the­ra­py in both Alz­hei­mer’s and Par­kin­son’s patients.

If growth hor­mone were not arti­fi­cial­ly over­pri­ced because of the FDA res­tric­tion of its sale in the Uni­ted States, we might have pla­ced it higher on our list. It doesn’t cost any more to syn­the­size growth hor­mone than it does to syn­the­size insu­lin. Without FDA inter­fe­rence, most aging Ame­ri­cans could easi­ly afford injec­tions of growth hor­mone in an attempt to slow aging. The need to inject growth hor­mone also limits the avai­la­bi­li­ty of this high­ly potent life exten­sion drug.

The cur­rent cost of syn­the­tic human growth hor­mone ranges from $12,000–225,000 annual­ly. If you want a refer­ral to a doc­tor who offers growth hor­mone the­ra­py, Call us at 1–800-841‑5433 LIFE EXTENSION DRUG NUMBER 9


The most fre­quent­ly used off­shore drug to boost short-term memo­ry and ove­rall cog­ni­tive func­tion is piracetam.

There are more than 800 publi­shed stu­dies docu­men­ting the abi­li­ty of pira­ce­tam to pro­mote you­th­ful neu­ro­lo­gic func­tion, inclu­ding enhan­ced cel­lu­lar pro­tein syn­the­sis and inter­he­mis­phe­ric and inter­cel­lu­lar communication.

Stroke vic­tims might avoid para­ly­sis and death if given drugs like pira­ce­tam after ente­ring the hos­pi­tal. Even in patients who suf­fe­red stroke-indu­ced brain cell inju­ry years ago, there is evi­dence that pira­ce­tam may help to improve the func­tio­ning of these dama­ged cells.

Pira­ce­tam can be orde­red from Europe. If we suc­ceed in abo­li­shing the FDA, pira­ce­tam, like eve­ry other drug and nutrient pro­duct you buy, will be redu­ced imme­dia­te­ly in price by at least 50%.


Because of some recent­ly publi­shed stu­dies in elder­ly humans, the news media have been tou­ting the mul­ti-face­ted anti-aging bene­fits of DHEA (dehy­droe­pian­dros­te­rone).

DHEA is now ful­filling much of the pro­mise indi­ca­ted in the ani­mal stu­dies that Saul Kent and The Life Exten­sion Foun­da­tion have been infor­ming our mem­bers about since 1975.

For those suf­fe­ring from adult-onset dia­betes, athe­ros­cle­ro­sis, Par­kin­son’s and Alz­hei­mer’s disease, or any form of autoim­mune disease such as mul­tiple scle­ro­sis or lupus, DHEA repla­ce­ment the­ra­py is high­ly recommended.

DHEA can be expen­sive for people who need high doses, but for most people it is rea­so­na­bly pri­ced. We recom­mend blood tests to mea­sure the effect that DHEA sup­ple­men­ta­tion has on your DHEA serum level. While these tests cur­rent­ly cost $55-$110, they can save you money by enabling you to lower your dai­ly dose of DHEA. Men should also have more regu­lar PSA (pros­tate spe­ci­fic anti­gen) tests to make sure they do not have pros­tate cancer.

It is regret­table that we have had to advise men with pros­tate can­cer to avoid DHEA because it could increase tes­tos­te­rone (and sub­se­quent­ly dihy­dro­tes­tos­te­rone levels), which could acce­le­rate the pro­li­fe­ra­tion of pros­tate can­cer cells. For all men taking DHEA, we sug­gest sup­ple­men­ta­tion with SERENX (saw pal­met­to extract) to block the conver­sion of tes­tos­te­rone into the more dan­ge­rous dihydrotestosterone.

SERENX (also cal­led PERMIXON) has not been lis­ted in the top ten because it is not an appro­priate the­ra­py for most women. Howe­ver, for men over 40, we stron­gly recom­mend the dai­ly intake of 1 ‑2 cap­sules of low cost SERENX to prevent beni­gn pros­ta­tic hyper­tro­phy and pos­si­bly pros­tate cancer.

If DHEA was com­ple­te­ly free of side effects, and did not require blood tes­ting, we might list it higher. It is a well sub­stan­tia­ted life exten­sion the­ra­py that can help to pro­tect us against many of the dege­ne­ra­tive diseases asso­cia­ted with aging, and may have an effect on aging itself.


These two drugs pro­vide a wide range of anti-aging effects in brain and other cells that you can­not easi­ly obtain with any other therapy.

Vin­po­ce­tine and/or Hyder­gine have been shown to :

  • improve blood sup­ply to the brain
  • increase the amount of oxy­gen deli­ve­red to the brain
  • increase oxy­gen use by the brain
  • enhance meta­bo­lism in brain cells
  • pro­tect the brain from damage during per­iods of decrea­sed and/or insuf­fi­cient oxy­gen supply
  • slow the depo­sit of age pig­ment (lipo­fus­cin) in the brain
  • prevent free radi­cal damage in brain cells
  • increase intel­li­gence, memo­ry, lear­ning, and recall
  • enhance the use of glu­cose by brain cells
  • increase ATP levels in the brain
  • stop blood from beco­ming sticky
  • raise brain levels of serotonin

Vin­po­ce­tine is rather expen­sive (at 20–40 mg a day), which is one rea­son we don’t list it any higher. Vin­po­ce­tine has been on the world mar­ket since the ear­ly 1980s, but as far as we know, has yet to be ente­red in the FDA’s new drug appro­val quag­mire. The cost of this per­iwinkle her­bal extract would be very lit­tle if the FDA didn’t inter­fere with the ship­ment of drugs from over­seas com­pa­nies. We are cur­rent­ly see­king a stan­dar­di­zed per­iwinkle extract that we could sell as a low cost nutrient just as we do with ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine and melatonin.

Hyder­gine is more affor­dable at effec­tive dose ranges of 4 to 12 mg a day. Most gene­ric brands of ergo­loid mesy­late are com­pa­rable to the San­doz « Hyder­gine » brand.

If money is no object, you should consi­der orde­ring Vin­po­ce­tine from Europe. Cost conscious mem­bers should stay with Hydergine.


GH3 and K.H.3 are popu­lar pro­ducts whose active agent is pro­caine, an anti-aging com­pound dis­co­ve­red in the 1950s by Roma­nian phy­si­cian Ana Asian. Both GH3 and K.H.3 sup­press mono­amine oxi­dase (MAO) levels. Ele­va­ted MAO des­troys the essen­tial neu­ro­trans­mit­ters dopa­mine and nore­pi­ne­phrine. GH3 or KH3 also sup­press ele­va­ted serum cor­ti­sol levels, which has been lin­ked to seve­ral of the dege­ne­ra­tive diseases of aging. There are bet­ter cor­ti­sol sup­pres­sing the­ra­pies such as low dose RU486, but at this time, RU-486 is not avai­lable to Americans.

GH3 and K.H.3 can be taken eve­ry day inclu­ding the days you take depre­nyl, which is a selec­tive MAO inhi­bi­tor. An appro­priate dose of these drugs is one to two GH3 or KH3 tablets dai­ly. Some doc­tors believe you should take a five day break from these drugs once a month to avoid too much mono­amine oxi­dase sup­pres­sion, but our review of the scien­ti­fic lite­ra­ture does not sup­port the need for taking such a break.



Lifes­pan stu­dies have docu­men­ted spe­ci­fic anti-aging pro­per­ties for the com­bi­na­tion of DMAE and p‑chlorophenoxyacetate, the two active ingre­dients that make up cen­tro­phe­noxine, a potent life exten­sion drug sold under seve­ral names, inclu­ding Lucidril.

Cen­tro­phe­noxine has exten­ded the lifes­pan of labo­ra­to­ry mice and has been shown to reduce a type of cel­lu­lar debris cal­led lipo­fus­cin (aging pig­ment) in the neu­rons that popu­late our brain and cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. The exces­sive accu­mu­la­tion of lipo­fus­cin with advan­cing age has been lin­ked to age-rela­ted neu­ro­lo­gic diseases.

Cen­tro­phe­noxine speeds up infor­ma­tion pro­ces­sing in the brain and enhances brain cell uptake of glu­cose. Brain cells use glu­cose to pro­duce the ener­gy they need to per­form their neu­ro­lo­gi­cal func­tions and to main­tain cell viability.

Some People can­not tole­rate even one tablet a day of cen­tro­phe­noxine, while others can take 1–4 tablets a day and expe­rience dra­ma­tic cog­ni­tive and ener­gy enhan­cing effects.

Cen­tro­phe­noxine can be orde­red from Europe at affor­dable prices.


Phos­pha­ti­dyl­se­rine (PS) is sold as a drug in Europe at outra­geous­ly high prices. The stan­dar­di­zed PS extract now avai­lable as a die­ta­ry sup­ple­ment is less expen­sive than the Euro­pean « drug », but is still a pri­cey item.

We have writ­ten exten­si­ve­ly about the anti-aging bene­fits of PS later in this Sep­tem­ber edi­tion of Life Exten­sion Update and want to rei­te­rate that PS may pro­duce a cumu­la­tive effect that could enable people to reduce their dosage of the drug after attai­ning the desi­red cog­ni­tive enhan­cing benefits.

Stan­dar­di­zed PS extract is contai­ned in the new COGNITEX and is avai­lable in bot­tles of 100 mg soft-gel caps. You can order this by cal­ling Pro­lon­ge­vi­ty at 1–800-544‑4440


(Also known as Elde­pryl) This was a hard one to call. A good argu­ment could be made for depre­nyl being Life Exten­sion Drug Num­ber 2, but we based this deci­sion strict­ly on the publi­shed evi­dence we have today. A new stu­dy tomor­row could cause us to move depre­nyl to num­ber 2.

Depre­nyl has pro­du­ced dra­ma­tic life exten­sion effects in ani­mals, but we are fair­ly cer­tain that depre­nyl alone will not do as well in humans. The rea­son for this is that in rats, the ele­va­tion of mono­amine oxi­dase (MAO) plays a grea­ter role in the aging pro­cess than in humans. Depre­nyl is a potent, selec­tive inhi­bi­tor of MAO‑B, the type of MAO that damages brain cells during « nor­mal » aging.

Life Exten­sio­nists take depre­nyl to help prevent Par­kin­son’s disease and the symp­toms of aging that are very simi­lar to those suf­fe­red by Par­kin­son’s patients. There is solid evi­dence that depre­nyl pro­tects many types of brain cells from pre­ma­ture aging and death. There is also evi­dence that depre­nyl boosts cel­lu­lar pro­duc­tion of SOD and cata­lase, the natu­ral antioxi­dant enzymes that are deple­ted in aging.

Our cur­rent pro­to­col calls for 2–5 depre­nyl tablets (5 mg) a week for those in their 40s. The older you are, the more depre­nyl you should take, but it is advi­sable not to take more than one 5‑mg tablet (or cap­sule) of depre­nyl a day unless you have the ear­ly symp­toms of Par­kin­son’s or Alz­hei­mer’s disease. In this case, you should take 10 mg of depre­nyl a day under the super­vi­sion of a physician.


There are too many new stu­dies appea­ring in the scien­ti­fic lite­ra­ture about ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine for life exten­sio­nists not to take this enhan­ced ami­no acid com­pound that enters the blood stream and pene­trates cell mem­branes more effec­ti­ve­ly than regu­lar I‑carnitine.

Ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine is bene­fi­cial to heart muscle cells, immune func­tion and pro­ba­bly enhances ener­gy pro­duc­tion in eve­ry cell of the body. The mul­ti-face­ted bene­fits of ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine in brain cells makes it the single most impor­tant sup­ple­ment we can take to main­tain and improve ove­rall neu­ro­lo­gi­cal function.

Ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine has been shown to improve neu­ro­lo­gi­cal func­tion even after we stop taking it, sug­ges­ting that ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine may re-pro­gram neu­ro­nal and neu­ro­trans­mit­ter func­tions to enable the brain to func­tion in a more you­th­ful, ener­ge­tic state.

We sug­gest that heal­thy mem­bers go on at least two 50-day cycles (2 cap­sules each day) of ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine sup­ple­men­ta­tion eve­ry year. If you can afford to take ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine more often, this should pro­duce grea­ter benefits.

Ace­tyl-l-car­ni­tine can be orde­red by cal­ling 1–800-841‑5433.


If we publi­shed all the new research fin­dings about mela­to­nin eve­ry month, there wouldn’t be any room in LIFE EXTENSION MAGAZINE for any­thing else.

Mela­to­nin is the most docu­men­ted anti-aging the­ra­py in the world.

It not only pro­tects us against neu­ro­lo­gi­cal aging, but pos­si­bly pro­tects us against eve­ry age-rela­ted disease known to man­kind. It is a high­ly potent antioxi­dant, has been shown to pro­tect against various forms of can­cer, and has exten­ded lifes­pan in labo­ra­to­ry ani­mals. Mela­to­nin has also been used by phy­si­cians at high doses as an effec­tive treat­ment for a wide varie­ty of diseases. We will soon be car­rying an exclu­sive sto­ry about one of these phy­si­cians who has been using mela­to­nin for over 15 years in his research. There has been no evi­dence of toxi­ci­ty in any of the publi­shed stu­dies of mela­to­nin that we have seen.

Mela­to­nin costs very lit­tle. The Life Exten­sion Buyers Club uses only ultra pure phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal-grade mela­to­nin that costs us 40% more than lower grade mela­to­nin. This ultra pure mela­to­nin goes through addi­tio­nal puri­fi­ca­tion pro­cesses that makes it almost 100% pure (99.8% to 99.9% cer­ti­fied puri­ty), yet the cost for this pre­mium mela­to­nin is still less than $5.00 a month for most people.

There are still dedi­ca­ted life exten­sio­nists who do not take mela­to­nin because they think it is only use­ful for the treat­ment of insom­nia. Mela­to­nin is effec­tive in about 80% of people suf­fe­ring from insom­nia, and is high­ly effec­tive in pre­ven­ting the symp­toms of jet lag. Howe­ver, we stron­gly sug­gest that people who do not suf­fer from insom­nia take at least a 1 mg of mela­to­nin eve­ry night. The cost of mela­to­nin is too low for anyone serious­ly fol­lo­wing a life exten­sion pro­gram not to use it. A two-month sup­ply of 1 mg mela­to­nin cap­sules costs just $4.50

There are some people who should not take mela­to­nin. Here are the condi­tions where mela­to­nin might be contraindicated :

  • chil­dren (unless recom­men­ded by a doctor)
  • pre­gnant women
  • people under the age of 30
  • people with sea­so­nal affec­tive disor­ders (SAD)
  • people with acute schizophrenia
  • manic patients
  • pos­si­bly those with ova­rian or immune sys­tem can­cers such as leu­ke­mia and lymphoma

All others should consi­der taking mela­to­nin on a regu­lar basis. You can order mela­to­nin in bot­tles contai­ning 1, 3 or 10 mg cap­sules from The Life Exten­sion Foun­da­tion by cal­ling 1–800-841‑5433.

Preventing Heart Attacks And Strokes


This is an extra added bonus to our top ten cove­rage of life exten­sion drugs. Seven­ty-five percent of Ame­ri­cans die from heart attacks and strokes. The­re’s no point in taking all or any of the life exten­sion drugs lis­ted in this maga­zine if you’re going to drop dead of a heart attack or stroke cau­sed by a blood clot that blocks your blood cir­cu­la­tion before the anti-aging bene­fits of these drugs take effect.

Even if you don’t die imme­dia­te­ly from a stroke, you stand an excellent chance of beco­ming par­tial­ly or com­ple­te­ly brain dead. If you don’t suf­fer from a stroke, tran­sient ische­mic attacks (TIAs) can cause chro­nic loss of neu­ro­lo­gi­cal func­tion as a result of decrea­sed cir­cu­la­tion to the brain.

One of the best ways of pre­ven­ting heart attacks and throm­bo­tic strokes is the dai­ly intake of low-dose aspirin–1/4 to 1/2 an aspi­rin a day. Aspi­rin works by a mecha­nism that is dif­ferent than anti-throm­bo­tic nutrients, such as green tea extract, gink­go, vita­min C, vita­min E, folic acid, etc. The nutrient that most resembles aspi­rin’s anti-clot­ting action is EPA/DHA fish oil sup­ple­ments. We high­ly recom­mend fish oil sup­ple­ments for a wide range of health bene­fits, but most People do not like the « repea­ting » that occurs after inges­ting fish oil cap­sules and fish oil cap­sules are fair­ly expensive.

Alter­na­tive medi­cine prac­ti­tio­ners are often bia­sed against aspi­rin because of the side effects that chro­nic over-dosing of aspi­rin can pro­duce. Two regu­lar aspi­rin tablets contain 650 mg of sali­cy­lic acid and people in chro­nic pain have been known to consume 4‑to-12 regu­lar aspi­rin tablets a day and conse­quent­ly suf­fer serious side effects. A baby aspi­rin tablet has only 81 mg of aspi­rin, which is all you need to pro­tect you against heart attacks and strokes, and if you take it with a hea­vy meal, there is lit­tle risk of gas­tric irritation.

Aspi­rin is just too inex­pen­sive and rea­di­ly avai­lable for life exten­sio­nists not to take. Aspi­rin reduces ove­rall car­dio­vas­cu­lar disease risk, may lower colon can­cer risk, and Durk Pear­son and San­dy Shaw have unco­ve­red evi­dence of a unique mecha­nism by which aspi­rin may slow the decline in pro­tein syn­the­sis during aging.

The Life Exten­sion Foun­da­tion sells a fund-rai­sing aspi­rin pro­duct cal­led Heal­th­prin. Each tiny heart-sha­ped tablet contains just 81 mg of aspi­rin, equal to just one-quar­ter of a regu­lar aspi­rin tablet. Heal­th­prin heart-sha­ped aspi­rin tablets are easy to break in half if you only want to consume only 40 mg of aspi­rin a day. We will send you a bot­tle contai­ning 500 of these heart-sha­ped tablets for a $15.00 dona­tion (plus $4.00 S+H). You will soon see Heal­th­prin in stores sel­ling for less than the dona­tion we are asking. To order Heal­th­prin, call 1–800-841‑5433.

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