celebration birthday cupcake - 100The anti-aging industry is booming. Twenty years ago, there was no such thing as an “anti-aging” or “longevity” clinic. Today, many major cities house dozens.

Step inside one, and you’ll likely encounter an assortment of remedies ranging from multivitamin cocktails to hormone injections to miracle pills that, if you believe the pitches, will guarantee you youthful entry into the triple digits.

There’s just one wrinkle. Although often lucrative for physicians, evidence suggests that many of the treatments anti-aging doctors tout don’t actually work—and some may be downright dangerous. “You really have to be careful,” says Loren Schechter, chairman of the patient safety committee for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “There are a lot of extravagant claims out there that simply don’t check out when you look at the science.”

Consider vitamins and supplements, for example. Most are harmless and possibly helpful in moderate doses, but a growing body of evidence shows that in excess, they can cause problems. Getting too much vitamin A, for example, has been linked to osteoporosis, vitamin B to nerve damage, and vitamin E to cancer.

Read full story:

US News, May 2012