Convergence08: Overview

by Malc on March 7, 2009

Panel-Conv08-mod Longevity and anti-aging was not the only focus of this fascinating conference in San Hose, California, November 2008. It also covered nanotechnology, bio-technology and artificial intelligence.

300 people gathered together with interests in these main areas. An obvious connecting factor was: ‘thinking outside the box’.

Aubrey de Grey

One attendee was Aubrey de Grey, a man of striking appearance, and strong intellect. He speaks convincingly about how the degeneration caused by aging will be ended by biotechnology – potentially within a generation or two. 

Longevity – Supplements – Yes or No?

From the point of view of supplements the longevity enthusiasts polarised into two main groups: "take supplements", and "take few supplements" (or "take no supplements").

The "take few supplements" lobby were concerned about studies which appeared to show that supplements can be toxic, such as vitamin E; and those which showed them to be ineffective. An example of the latter is that the effectiveness of anti-oxidants is questioned, as our cells appear to regulate anti-oxidants so closely, that it is questioned whether it is worth taking extra ones such as vitamin C or CoQ10.

Voice of Moderation for Anti-Aging

After fighting in my head with the opposing views for a couple of days, I was won over by Terry Grossman, co-author of ‘Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever‘, who I heard speak, and spoke with, several times.

Terry runs a longevity clinic in Denver, Colorado.

His views run very closely to my own naturopathic ones; do all you can through lifestyle – as supported by science; take medical tests for major diseases where they are available; and take moderate levels of supplements.

Terry argued convincingly against the ‘vitamin E toxicity’ argument put frequently by the "take no supplements" lobby, as a misrepresentation of the data.

I plan to visit Terry Grossman’s anti-aging clinic for an ‘overhaul’ in mid 2009.

Great Anti-Aging Conference

This was an eye-opening conference. There were many people there making fantastic discoveries at the cutting edge of health and science; and, contradictorily, some of these were not so open minded in other areas.

I should not be so surprised – that’s human.

I look forward to the next conference. The organisers may have one focused more specifically on anti-aging which would be great.


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