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American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M)

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 2.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

By

Updated October 15, 2009

The Bottom Line

This organization arms physicians and other medical practitioners with information and studies about anti-aging methods, such as hormone supplementation. The organization has received criticism for advocating unproven (and expensive) approaches to anti-aging. In short, this organization is an un-recognized organization (e.g. not an official medical specialty) with a journal that is not consider to be of high scientific quality -- however, much of the practice of anti-aging medicine in the world is through practitioners who are members of this organization.

Pros

  • over 20,000 members in 85 countries
  • educational and training materials available

Cons

  • unproven advice and protocols
  • advocates the use of hormones and other products
  • not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties

Description

  • A large organization of medical practitioners in the "anti-aging medicine" field.
  • A controversial organization promoting treatments for aging that are unproven (simply because no one can treat aging).
  • The largest organization providing news, education and training in anti-aging medicine.

Guide Review - American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M)

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine was founded in 1994 by two physicians. The membership in the academy has grown rapidly and now numbers over 20,000 people in 85 plus countries. The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine sponsors conferences, trainings and provides numerous educational materials on anti-aging medicine.

There is controversy around this organization, however. The established medical community does not recognize "Anti-Aging Medicine" as a specialty of medicine (unlike, say, gerontology). In fact, many of the treatments and procedures recommended by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine are based on uncertain research (like the use of certain hormones for "anti-aging").

The problem here is that, in the view of some, the advocating of anti-aging medical treatments is "jumping the gun" by taking treatments that have not been fully developed or understood and commercializing them too soon. In other words, the fundamental problem here is that there are some theoretical pathways to "anti-aging" that have yet to be fully explored and researched. The American Academy of Anti-Aging is promoting these still exploratory pathways - you can decide for yourself if they are being innovative or irresponsible.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 2 out of 5
Another opinion on A4M, Member NancyLucas

The American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine provides a forum for exploring the current theories on aging, research on the aging process, possible interventions and outcomes. Aging itself is generally NOT considered a disease, but an inevitable process of life is the opinion of the reviewer. The reviewer is not up to date on science. Including the most recent Nobel prize winner's work. The reviewer's pan of the organization is interesting at best, biased at the least. Medicine is an art, based upon theory and quantified by basic science, laboratory research and finally clinical research. Research must first go through the Investigational Review Board process, follow strict federal, state and institutional protocols and rules, regulations and laws. Then once finished must undergo strict analysis, IRB review and then finally the tedious process of peer review looking for possible study flaws, biases, etc. before presentation before peers at medical mtgs for further scrutiny or before publication. The original reviewer acts as if the A4M does not participate in this process. It does. The reviewer also makes the statement that aging is not reversable. A general marker of a person's age biochemically, and a measure used by the medical research community standards, TBARS blood levels of oxidative stress can tell how old a person is generally within 18 mths of age. If aging were irreversible, as the author wants us to believe, then T-bar levels could not be changed. However, Clinical research published in the top tier medical publication, the Journal of Free Radical Biology & Medicine, published 8/2005--six yrs ago--shows that 30 days of suplementation by Protandim caused an average of 40% reduction in TBARS and the age dependent increase in oxidative stress was eliminated. Oxidative stress is not only associated with aging but is recognized to be associated with more than 200 diseases. (Sometimes these diseases are referred to as age related diseases, when in fact they should be referred to as oxidative stress related diseases.) This landmark study, available on the National Institutes of Health website, pubmed.gov, is just one example of the reviewer's misplaced bias. Many other serious published studies deal with the possibilities of reversing cellular aging processes. Also the reviewer pans hormone replacement theory without saying why. Hormone replacement treatment is standard protocol treatment for menopausal women, and is a multi billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. What the reviewer probably meant to say is that A4M presentations often promote a bio-identical method of hormone replacemnt, often made specifically for an individual instead of, say Premarin (pregnant mare urine hormones), a pharmaceutical compound. The idea of replacing hormones for men and women is not outside of the general medical standards and community norms and is well established and practiced for many yrs. Any new direction in medicine takes time to establish. I remember the debate it took and many yrs before ""gerontology"" was established as a field of medicine. Meanwhile many felt it was ridiculous to even consider such a specialty. Medicine changes and growth happens in science by people challenging what appears to be limiting, or unkown factors and looking for better treatment outcomes. Other factors considered to contribute to aging are the shortening of telomere strands (end caps of DNA strands). At conception there are approximately 15,000 pairs. At birth that number has gone down to approximately 10,000 pairs. And every time a cell replicates 50 to 100 pairs break off. When the number of telomere pairs drops to somewhere between 3,500 to 5,000 then programmed death is initiated. This process was thought to be irreversible, but has been shown in recent yrs not to be so. It is the science of recent Nobel prizes. Cutting edge science is the arena of anti-aging medicine. Are all ideas presented going to become mainstream? Probably not. But to discount the science of Nobel prize winners, and peer reviewed clinical science is not just biased, it is irresponsible.

21 out of 22 people found this helpful.

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