Naive extrapolations, overhyped claims and empty promises in ageing research and interventions need avoidance.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Most proclamations about another wonder breakthrough and another imminent miracle treatment of ageing are usually overhyped claims and empty promises. It is not that the experimental science behind those claims is totally wrong or fake. But it is often a case of being ahistorical and ignoring the cumulated knowledge and understanding of the evolutionary and biological principles of ageing and longevity. Furthermore, remaining stuck to the body-as-a-machine viewpoint reduces ageing and its associated health challenges to a mere problem of engineering and design. However, highly dynamic nature of the living systems with properties of interaction, interdependence, tolerance, adaptation and constant remodelling requires wholistic and interactive modes of understanding and maintaining health. The physiological relevance and significance of progressively accumulating molecular damage remains to be fully understood. As for ageing interventions, the three pillars of health—food, physical activity, and social and mental engagement—which actually show health-promoting effect, cannot simply be reduced to a single or a limited number of molecular targets with hopes of creating an exercise pill, a fasting pill, a happiness pill and so on. If we want to increase the credibility and socio-political-economic support of ageing research and interventions, we need to resist the temptation to overhype the claims or to make far-fetched promises, which undermine the theoretical and practical significance of new discoveries in biogerontology.

Sider (fra-til)415-421
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2020

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet Citationsformater

ID: 169895630