"Aging" is a Deficiency Disorder
The Hypothesis concludes that the infirmities of aging are nothing more than symptoms of an easily correctable deficiency disorder. The realization that scurvy was caused by chronic deficiency of vitamin C resulted in the eradication of that disorder. Similarly, the realization that the loss of functionality as people age is nothing more than a chronic deficiency of Complex X will result in the eradication of the aging process.
Deficiency diseases typically are diseases that are caused by the subject ingesting an insufficient amount of a particular dietary element. Examples of deficiency diseases include: beriberi (vitamin B1), kwashiorkor (protein), goiter (iodine), anemia (iron), marasmus (protein), pellagra (vitamin B3), scurvy (vitamin C), rickets (vitamin D) and osteoporosis (vitamin D and calcium).
A universal characteristic of deficiency diseases is that, if the deficiency is not corrected, the disease progresses. The progress of the disease is determined by how acute the deficiency is. That is exactly the pattern followed by FDS.
Once the Institute determined that the loss of functionality with aging was a disorder, it was obvious that it was a deficiency disorder. But what’s the deficiency? All of the examples listed above appear to relate to dietary elements. How can exercise be a dietary element?
The closest analogy is sunlight and rickets. From an evolutionary standpoint, there are compelling similarities between sunlight and intense exercise. Neither are dietary elements, but both are essential for survival. Both are significant aspects of the normal evolutionary environment. And so both are critical in determining how closely phenotype conforms to genotype.
Throughout evolutionary history, humans did not obtain Vitamin D from diet. It was synthesized in the body as a result of exposure to sunlight. Sunlight was an essential part of the normal evolutionary environment. Up until relatively recently in human history most people received plenty of sunlight from playing or working outdoors. So long as people got plenty of sunlight, rickets was a very rare disorder. However, with the advent of the industrial revolution, increasing numbers of people moved from the farm to the city and even many children worked indoors or lived in smoggy cities. Human behavioral choices caused a change in the normal environment. That change caused phenotype to vary from genotype. Rickets became rather common.
Similarly, Complex X is synthesized by the body as a result of intense exercise. Intense exercise was an essential part of the normal evolutionary environment. The aging process, or FDS (the disorder caused by Complex X deficiency), is never experienced by animals that are subject to the forces of nature. However, with the advent of human civilization, humans and domesticated animals were freed from the necessity of engaging in frequent all-out physical activity. Human behavioral choices caused a change in the normal environment. That change caused phenotype to vary from genotype. FDS/the aging process became a universal disorder.
Once the medical establishment understood what was causing rickets, it was able to develop alternative sources of Vitamin D. Today, people who choose not to expose themselves to the sun can prevent Vitamin D deficiency by obtaining Vitamin D from a variety of alternative sources. It is not sunlight per se, but rather the Vitamin D that the body synthesizes as a result of exposure to sunlight, that is the critical element.
The Hypothesis explains that it is the lack of Complex X that causes FDS. Complex X is a well-known set of chemicals that can be fabricated in a laboratory. Someday soon, people who cannot or will not engage in intense exercise with sufficient regularity will be able to obtain Complex X from alternative sources. It is not the intense exercise per se, but rather the Complex X that the body synthesizes as a result of that intense exercise, that is the critical element.
Exercise is like light, or air or food. A human needs not just a sufficient amount of each, but a sufficient amount of the right type of each, in order to thrive.
Frequent intense exercise is an essential aspect of the normal evolutionary environment.