Anti-aging! It seems you can barely go by a day without hearing this buzzword. According to Statista, in 2020 alone, the global anti-aging market was estimated to be worth about 58.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Yes, indeed, the anti-aging market is the one potential scam that keeps on selling. And we haven't been immune to its charm, reporting on all kinds of new anti-aging discoveries.
Now a new study from an international collaboration of scientists from 14 different countries could be painting anti-aging efforts as all frauds. The research tests the “invariant rate of aging” hypothesis, which dictates that a species has a relatively fixed rate of aging from adulthood that is likely not affected by anti-aging efforts.
The work published in Nature Communications took into account a "collection of 39 human and nonhuman primate datasets across seven genera."
"Our results support the invariant rate of aging hypothesis, implying biological constraints on how much the human rate of aging can be slowed," wrote the researchers.
What does this mean? Essentially, it confirms that you cannot cheat death. Life expectancy might have risen as a result of better environmental factors, but, at the end of the day, we are all headed towards growing old and dying.
“Our findings confirm that, in historical populations, life expectancy was low because many people died young,” said José Manuel Aburto from Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science told The Guardian.
“But as medical, social, and environmental improvements continued, life expectancy increased. More and more people get to live much longer now. However, the trajectory towards death in old age has not changed. This study suggests evolutionary biology trumps everything and, so far, medical advances have been unable to beat these biological constraints.”
So what can one do? Live well while you can and try to enjoy life as much as possible. There's a certain relief in knowing it will all end eventually. In many ways, it forces you to be your best self and take care of those around you. Isn't it time we stopped fearing aging?