Introduction to the Hypothesis (Cont'd)
The following is a brief synopsis of some of the highlights of the Hypothesis. Each of these concepts is discussed in greater detail in other sections of this website.
The research that resulted in the Hypothesis was inspired by some unprecedented new observational data. A large and growing number of humans in their 50s and 60s are exhibiting substantial improvements in functionality over a large number of modalities over substantial periods of time. They continue to show cosmetic signs of aging, but are progressively reversing the loss of function that has been considered to be an inevitable consequence of the passage of time. They do not suffer from the infirmities of aging.
To emphasize the distinction between aging and loss of function, the Hypothesis uses the term Functional Deviation Syndrome (“FDS”) to describe the loss of function. Because FDS has historically afflicted every human who has lived to a sufficient age, the loss of function that is caused by FDS has been inextricably linked to aging itself. It is taken as a given that over time, all people will progressively lose function, suffer from aging-associated diseases and die.
The Hypothesis presents a compelling argument that that pervasive belief is incorrect. There is no inextricable linkage between FDS and aging. FDS is just another deficiency disease, like rickets or scurvy. If uncorrected, it gets worse over time. Since historically everyone was afflicted, and everyone ages with the passage of time, there is a statistical correlation between FDS and aging. But FDS is not inevitable and it is not part of the natural aging process. Best of all, like rickets and scurvy, it can be prevented by correcting the underlying deficiency.
FDS is caused by the body not synthesizing a sufficient amount of a particular substance, which the Hypothesis calls “Complex X.” Evolution provided all humans with a “Growth Process,” which is how we develop from a fertilized egg into an adult human. That same Growth Process is designed to maintain functionality throughout the human lifespan. But Complex X is required in order to activate the Growth Process. Numerous studies have conclusively established that whenever the blood stream has elevated levels of Complex X, a cascade of other substances are released into the bloodstream. Among these substances are human growth hormone (HGH) and all other growth hormones, steroids and all other sex hormones, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), stem cells and other progenitor cells, and every other substance that is that associated with growth and rejuvenation. The Growth Process works the same in adults as it does in fetuses and children. It is a distinct bodily function that must be triggered by Complex X, and involves the coordinated activity of dozens or perhaps hundreds of substances.
Adult humans synthesize Complex X only when they engage in intense exercise. Since adult humans don’t generally engage in exercise that is intense enough to synthesize Complex X, they don’t activate the Growth Process. In the absence of the Growth Process, the “deferred maintenance” builds up, and results in physiological deterioration that causes loss of function that shows up in most humans in their late 20s. Over time (which may be decades), the deferred maintenance leads to all of the progressive chronic degenerative diseases and ultimately to death.
It is not the exercise itself that triggers the Growth Process. It is the Complex X that is synthesized as a result of that exercise that is the critical element. The Growth Process is metabolically demanding – growing/rejuvenation takes a lot of energy, and that energy must come from the metabolism of glucose. The brain needs a constant supply of blood glucose. Fueling the Growth Process from blood glucose would put the brain at risk that blood glucose would fall below the levels necessary to maintain proper brain function. Muscle glycogen is the primary means of storing glucose in healthy humans. When a human exercises with intensity, muscle glycogen is used as the primary fuel in a process known as anaerobic metabolism. But only a small percentage of the available glucose is converted into energy and used by the working muscles. Most of the glycogen is turned into Complex X and enters the bloodstream. The Growth Process occurs during and immediately following intense exercise because that’s when fuel in the form of Complex X is released from storage in the muscles and made available to the rest of the body to fuel the Growth Process.
We are genetically programmed not to lose function as we age. Our phenotype varies from our genetic programming because human civilization has resulted in the modification of our natural evolutionary environment. Our natural evolutionary environment required us to engage frequently in the type of intense exercise that synthesized plenty of Complex X. All animals that are subject to the forces of nature naturally synthesize Complex X and thus activate the Growth Process on a regular basis.
The Growth Process acts as a countervailing force to the forces that are constantly causing minor cellular damage. Hundred of millions of cells die every day. Although substantially all of the cells are replaced, inevitably some of the replacement cells are flawed. As a result minor damage accumulates over time. Our actual condition is a result of the balance between two opposing forces - the Growth Process and the forces that lead to the minor damage. Medical science has recognized the half of the equation that relates to damage. We have made an effort to eliminate environmental factors that tend to accelerate the breaking down process – smoking, pollution, undue stress, etc. Where medical science has failed is that it has not recognized that the other side of the equation is the great variable. It is the failure of the Growth Process that allows the forces of entropy to prevail.
Civilization allows humans and domesticated animals to choose not to exercise and thus not to synthesize Complex X. Humans have made similar choices with respect to sunlight. From an evolutionary standpoint, sunlight was the only way to synthesize Vitamin D. But science has devised alternative means of providing Vitamin D to people who choose not to expose themselves to sunlight. To eradicate FDS, we need to devise alternative means of providing Complex X to those who are unable or unwilling to exercise. Eradicating FDS will not only eradicate all chronic degenerative diseases. It will allow all humans to function at their maximum genetic potential throughout their lifetimes.