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Anti-aging Treatment Becoming Popular in US, but Experts Skeptical

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) is growing fast, and many observers //are concerned.

The Academy was founded in 1993 to support research on extending life and treating age-related disease. It now claims 19,000 members in 90 countries. Membership has nearly doubled in the past five years.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Inc. ("A4M") says it is a not-for-profit medical society dedicated to the advancement of technology to detect, prevent, and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. A4M is also dedicated to educating physicians, scientists, and members of the public on anti-aging issues. A4M believes that the disabilities associated with normal aging are caused by physiological dysfunction which in many cases are ameliorable to medical treatment, such that the human life span can be increased, and the quality of one's life improved as one grows chronologically older.

But the American Medical Association does not consider anti-aging an official specialty. And many say the whole field is an expensive hoax.

"There is no such thing as anti-aging medicine," huffs Jay Olshansky, a sociologist at the University of Illinois who studies medicine and longevity. "As long as humans have existed, we have always desired to live longer. Every society, every religion, every culture. Of course, they all failed at dramatic life extension."

Olshansky was slapped with a 120 million dollar defamation lawsuit by the A4M after he accused the organization of promoting quackery. He countersued and both sides eventually agreed to drop their cases.

Those who are hooked to the A4M regime take more than three dozen dietary supplements. Their diets consist mostly of "good" carbohydrates and small helpings of fish, nuts, fruits and legumes. A few weeks into the course, they claim they are experiencing the difference.

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