Live Long and Master Aging podcast

Episode

187

Freezing stem cells to slow the aging process

Steven Clausnitzer: Forever Labs

BY PETER BOWES | FRIDAY JUNE 3, 2022

What if we could stop time and preserve the biological potential of our younger selves? It is the goal of Forever Labs, a US company that stores stem cells for possible use in later life, to combat age-related disease and, perhaps, aging itself. The company collects and cryo-preserves stem cells so they can be used in future health treatments and therapies, should medical advances allow it. In this interview, Steven Clausnitzer, who founded the company in 2015, explains his vision that illnesses occurring in the years to come, could be treated, or even prevented, through the use of stem cells that were put into storage during healthier times.  

Connect with Steven: Forever Labs | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Read a transcript

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  • This episode is brought to you in association with Clinique La Prairie, the award-winning spa-clinic – and pioneering health and wellness destination – nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. Combining preventative medicine with bespoke lifestyle and nutrition plans, Clinique La Prairie offers a holistic approach to living fuller, healthier and longer lives.

“I’m very interested in using my cells, not to treat age related disease, but to prevent it. When I banked my cells, I was 38 years old. I’ll be turning 45 years old this year. Every year I get older, those cells that I have banked become more valuable to me.”

Steven Clausnitzer

Topics covered in this interview include

  • Explaining the mission – is it really to live forever? 
  • Focusing on healthspan and extending healthy years
  • The role of stem cells, their unique ability to self-renew, differentiate into multiple tissue types, replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissue
  • Why store stem cells?
  • Distinguishing between health benefits now and possible therapies in the future
  • What does the stem cell extraction procedure involve?
  • How are the cells stored? 
  • What does it cost and will the price come down?
  • Privacy concerns over the sharing of personal information by ‘banking’ cells with an outside company 
  • Reasons given to store cells in the pursuit of a longer, healthier life.
  • Is there an upper age limit to store stem cells?
  • Acknowledging the possibility that stored cells may not be beneficial in later life.

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This interview with Steven Clausnitzer was recorded on March 15, 2022 and transcribed using Sonix AI. Please check against audio recording for absolute accuracy.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:00:01] I’m very interested in using my cells not to treat age related disease, but to prevent it. When I banked my cells, I was 38 years old. I’ll be turning 45 years old this year. Every year I get older. Those cells that I have banked become more valuable to me.

Peter Bowes: [00:00:21] Hello again and welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. I’m Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science and stories behind human longevity.

SPONSOR MESSAGE: [00:00:30] This episode is brought to you in association with Clinique La Prairie, the award winning spa clinic and pioneering health and wellness destination nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. Combining preventative medicine with bespoke lifestyle and nutrition plans, Clinique La Prairie offers a holistic approach to living fuller, healthier and longer lives.

Peter Bowes: [00:00:58] Now, this is not a podcast about living forever, although that is a fascinating prospect should it ever become possible. We focus on extending healthspan the number of years that we enjoy the best of health and are able to live our lives to the full. And with that in mind, there is a huge amount of interest and research currently taking place to explore the potential of stem cell therapy to help combat age related diseases. Today, we’re going to look into what’s possible now and what might be possible in the future. My guest is Steven Clausnitzer, the CEO and co-founder of Forever Labs, a company which offers a service to store your stem cells in case they can be used in the future, perhaps as part of therapies that haven’t even been developed yet to combat age related disease and perhaps the company says aging itself. Steven, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:02:02] Thank you, Peter. Glad to be.Here.

Peter Bowes: [00:02:03] Good to talk to you. The name of the company, Forever Labs. Do you literally mean forever?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:02:09] You know, it’s a it’s a good name. It was a clever name. It’s really.. Live as long as Possible in a Healthy State Labs just didn’t have the ring that we needed. But yeah, you know, I think that at some point if we don’t destroy ourselves, our species could very well start repairing the damage that’s accruing within our bodies faster than it’s happening. Right. That’s the goal. So, yeah, I really do think at some point we could live forever.

Peter Bowes: [00:02:36] But perhaps in the short to medium term, you and I are on the same page in terms of focusing on healthspan and extending those healthy years and utilizing the science and the potential therapies that we have at our disposal.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:02:51] Yes, absolutely. That is our goal. And we believe, of course, at Forever Labs, that one of the tools you could put in your tool belt towards that end would be having access to your own autologous, meaning your own stem cells in the best possible state later in life. So that’s what we do.

Peter Bowes: [00:03:09] Well, let’s delve into that before we do. Could you maybe just give me a brief synopsis of your career, your education, and what brought you to this point?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:03:19] Yeah. So I’ll try to be as brief as possible. I think it really all starts when I got married, which is about 17 years ago. At my wedding I met someone who was a friend of my wife. His name’s Mark Katakowski. He happens to be a PhD in medical physics. Mark and his wife, and my wife,Joanna, we all started spending a lot of time together and became very, very good friends. And Mark started telling me about some of his research using stem cells to treat various neuro pathologies like stroke and traumatic brain injury. And we ended up starting Forever Labs. There’s much more to that story, but my background is not in science. It’s actually all in team leadership, sales. And I have a business development background. Mark and I though became such close friends that we started creating projects together. One of them is called Hubski dot com. It’s been described as what a child of Reddit and Twitter would look like if they had a smart child. We started that. Oh gosh, that might be 12 years ago now and we just realized we really work well together. He’s sort of the hacker, the scientist, the coder, the developer, and I’m more of the business person. And so in starting that one night we were on a phone call and we were talking about Hubski and about some other things we were working on. And Mark started telling me about his research more in depth. Surprisingly, we were very, very good friends. We talked very little about stem cells until this phone conversation. And Mark started telling me about how he was taking cells from young mice and giving them to older, genetically matched mice. So it’d be like giving older Peter, younger Peter’s stem cells and he was treating these older mice that had a stroke. And he was finding out that if he treated these older mice that had a stroke with young, genetically matched stem cells, they did much better than if you treated them with aged matched cells. Then Mark started looking into this and he started realizing that having access to your own young stem cells could be a real boon in the future. By the end of the conversation, which was not supposed to have anything to do with starting a company, and at the end of and at the end of the conversation, it still didn’t. By the end of this conversation, though, Mark was like, I’m turning 40 soon, 40 years old, and I want to have access to my 40 year old stem cells for the rest of my life. Let’s find a company that will do this for us. So Mark and I started looking into this, trying to find a company that would extract and store our young stem cells. I was 38 at the time, and we couldn’t find anyone that would do it. And so I reached out to a friend of mine who was an orthopedic surgeon. His name is Dr. Laith Vargo, great surgeon. And I said, hey, Laith, interesting question. Would you would you know anyone or would you be willing to extract my bone marrow? It sounds scary. It’s not, I promise. It’s actually a really easy procedure. Takes about 15 minutes. Would you extract my bone marrow and my friends so that we could store it? And Laith said, yes, I’m doing it all the time. We’re not storing it, but we’re taking out bone marrow and treating people with their own bone marrow at point of care. Then he said something that made the light bulb, the entrepreneurial light bulb go off. Laith said, Dr. Fargo said, And when I do this, a lot of people are asking me, can I store some for later? And no one was doing this. So we started Forever Labs, not because we were out to start a company, longevity company. No one else would do this for us. We built it for ourselves, really, and our family in Michigan and had one doctor. That’s how it started.

Peter Bowes: [00:06:54] So this is really a synergy between you and someone with a scientific background, you with your business background, and I actually come across this quite a lot that in this this modern world that you need more than one area of expertize really to make any ground. And essentially that’s what you’re doing. So let’s acknowledging that clearly you are not the scientist. Sure. Let’s talk and go back to some of the basics and maybe just ask the very simple question, what is a stem cell?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:07:23] Sure. Well, a stem cell is a cell that can become many different tissue types in the body. So it’s really like you can think of it, think of these cells as the building blocks of your body and the ones that we’re most interested in. In a lot of the research out there are most interesting are two types, really. One are called mesenchymal stem cells, which can be any part of the mesenchyme. So bone connective tissue, things like that. And the other hematopoietic stem cells in these build your blood, they support your immune system and they’re all found in the bone marrow. That’s the most it’s where they’re produced. It’s where they’re most commonly found is in your bone marrow. So these cells, you can think of them, like I said, as building blocks, think of them as like a brick in a building. Right. And you’re the building. The problem is, is as you age, these bricks become porous and you have less of them. So as you age these stem cells, they accrue damage and they replicate that damage when they create new stem cells. And so you end up aging. It’s part of the aging process. That’s why, you know, when my grandfather was around 75 years old, he slipped on the ice and he broke his tailbone. When I fall and slip in the ice, perhaps I just have a bruised tailbone and it doesn’t break. It’s because his bones were brittle, because his stem cells were no longer producing good osteoblasts that create the bone and his bone was compromised. So these cells are your building blocks. But unfortunately, as we age, these building blocks become compromised. And that’s the problem we’re trying to solve.

Peter Bowes: [00:08:52] So for and let’s break this down, for what purposes are stem cells being extracted right now? Clearly, there are two areas to look at here. There’s the right now and there’s the potential for the future. Perhaps, as I mentioned at the beginning, the therapies that we don’t fully understand or haven’t even developed yet. So let’s talk about the right now and why someone would want their stem cells for their own benefit to be extracted.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:09:16] Yeah. So there’s you can really think of the very first stem cell treatment. Everyone’s heard of it. It’s a bone marrow transplant. Right. So if you were to have a let’s say you’ve got a blood cancer, unfortunately, you get a blood cancer. You need to find a donor. Often it’s a family member, sometimes it’s not. That has the same HLA match for you. The unfortunate thing is that even when you find someone that’s an HLA match, it’s about a 50% rejection rate, which is very high. If you had banked your own precancerous cells with Forever Labs, perhaps you don’t have that problem. You could use your own cells that you banked, but that would be the first stem cell treatment that was ever really approved is a bone marrow transplant. But I mentioned earlier in the sort of founding of the company that I talked with, Dr. Fargo, and he was treating people with their own bone marrow. And so what they’re doing right now, the treatments right now that are happening is people will go in and they’ll have, let’s say, Peter, that you had a bad shoulder. You will go in and see an orthopedic surgeon. They’ll take out some bone marrow and concentrate it right there. At the point of care. It takes about, oh, a ten minute spin in a centrifuge. You concentrate all of the mononuclear cells from your bone marrow and they’ll introduce it into an area of injury. And what those cells do and I may not be a scientist, but I’ve certainly spent enough time with them to know some of these things, what these cells will do. The mesenchymal stem cells are attracted to areas of injury. They go there and they start expressing what are called extracellular vesicles. In fact, mesenchymal stem cells give off something like 5% of their weight daily in extracellular vesicles like exosomes. And what these things are is like their little communication packets. You can think of them as like little invitations that go out into your body and invite other cells to areas of injury and inflammation. And when those cells arrive, they start coordinating the healing effort and they start decreasing inflammation and growing healthy tissue. So that’s being done right now. You can go see orthopedists across the country and have these types of procedures using your stem cells. So that’s the now. The future I think is is much more exciting than the now. But right now they are already being used. And I should also mention that right now there are well over 1000 clinical trials using stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells in particular to treat various age related diseases. And these aren’t – a number of these are well along the way. So in phase three clinical trials for stroke, which is the number two killer of people, you have phase three trials for cardiovascular disease. There’s a number of cancers in particular blood cancers that are using these and neurological disorders, etc.. So there’s a lot of work using these cells. And from where we stand, it’s quite simple. Our company, we just think you should have the best possible cells, your own cells in the best possible state set aside. Whether you’re 20 years old or 50 years old, make them now. It’s the best they’re ever going to be.

Peter Bowes: [00:12:16] And you mentioned earlier that this isn’t a difficult process. From a practical perspective, though, what does it involve?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:12:23] Sure. So first things first. You would go to Forever Labs and sign up, and then we pair you with a physician that’s geographically close to you. You go into that clinic and we always say, take about one hour of your day to do this. There’s a little paperwork, like any procedure that you’ll have. Fill that out, go back, see the doctor, the physician. He or she will describe what you’re about to go through and what they’re going to describe is this. So you will lay on your side, the physician will apply a little bit of lidocaine to what’s called your posterior iliac crest, which is a fancy way of saying your hip and numb it up. And then the doctor goes in there with essentially it’s called a Jamsheed Needle, which is really just a hollow needle that goes into your bone. And it sounds really scary, but because the lidocaine, you really don’t feel it. The only time you feel a sensation is when the doctor does draw out the bone marrow because it creates a negative pressure in the bone. You get this cramp that runs down your leg, it’s very short lived, lasts for a matter of seconds and then goes away. And then that whole process is about 8 to 15 minutes, depending on how quick the physician is, to be honest. So 18, 15 minutes there, and then afterwards they’ll have you sit there for another 5 to 10 minutes just to rest and then you go about your day. Now you’ll have I let people know about a nickel sized bruise on your hip for about a week, and then that’s about it. It’s pretty simple, to be honest. The physicians refer to it as an advanced blood draw, and we’ve been fortunate as a company, we’ve done close to 1000 of these procedures, and we haven’t had anyone have any infection, which would be the sort of the biggest worry. The biggest concern would be infection from the point of entry, just like any time you’re having a blood draw or anything like that. So we work with really good physicians. Our physicians have studied at Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, Duke, you name it. So we’ve been very careful about setting up a very high integrity physician network across the country.

Peter Bowes: [00:14:24] How do you actually store the stem cells.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:14:27] So you’ll go to the physician, have the procedure done, and then the physician is going to draw two 30cc syringes of your bone marrow. We have a custom kit that they put the bone marrow in and we have a courier service that picks it up overnight, sent to our processing lab, which is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We process the cells there and then we store them in liquid nitrogen and they’re literally rendered biologically inert. So you’ll continue to age and your stem cells will not. That’s how they’re stored.

Peter Bowes: [00:14:58] There’s not an indefinite storage. Do you know if there is a time limit? Clearly, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. But is it, to all intents and purposes, indefinite?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:15:08] I mean, it better be so. My father’s are there, my cells are there, Marks are there. If it’s not indefinite, I’m a man without friends or family. So the way we have it set up is with a there’s a company called Brooks Life Sciences that is the custodian. They’re stored in their facility. This is what they do. It’s all they do. They are in liquid nitrogen. So if there was, you know, a power outage or something of that sort, it wouldn’t impact the cells. They’re stored in Indianapolis, which is about as boring a place, geographically speaking, and from a natural disaster standpoint as you can find. What would be the most worrisome would be an earthquake, something that would disturb the building itself. And we’re pretty safe there in Indianapolis. So, yeah, there’s two ways you can you can sign up for the procedure. One is called the annual plan, and then you pay forever labs and annual fee to store them, which is quite reasonable. It’s $250 a year, not a month, a year. And then the other is called the Lifetime Plan. And you pay a much larger fee upfront, but you never have to worry about that $250.

Peter Bowes: [00:16:15] And what is that upfront fee?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:16:18] So the upfront fee would be $9,000 for life and you never have to pay for it. I believe it’s like a 25 year break even. And the other one is it’s $2,500 to sign up and then $250 once a year.

Peter Bowes: [00:16:30] And does that include the procedure itself?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:16:32] It’s all inclusive. Yep. Everything in there.

Peter Bowes: [00:16:35] Well, that’s interesting. And that is a lot of money. And clearly it is out of the reach of many people. And it often strikes me when I talk about whether it’s an intervention like this or other kinds of interventions to promote health and longevity. But sadly, in the modern world that many of these interventions are out of the reach of, let’s say, for the want of a better phrase, ordinary people, ordinary working people. Do you see that price coming down? And I suppose the secondary question is how do we know that the money is well spent?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:17:07] Yeah. So I am working on ways, number one, to get the price down. We don’t come from, I don’t come from a wealthy background. My family isn’t wealthy, my friends aren’t wealthy largely. And so I would like it to be accessible to all and not interested in creating a future where only a few get to live healthier longer. So we are working on that. There are some partnerships with actually pharma that we’re working on where we can share some information. If a client consents, only if a client consents, we can share some information with them and perhaps have incremental revenue streams to the company that can help lower the cost up front to everybody, not just to those who consent, but to everybody. So we’re really working hard on that. The second question, by the way, when we started it was $5000 a person. So we have made some progress, which is great. The second question, how do we know that this is money well spent? I think I don’t know how you’re going to use your cells, Peter, if you were to bank them right now, I can’t tell you this is exactly how you’ll use them in the future. What I can tell you for a fact, indisputable fact, is that as you age, you’re going to have less of these cells in your body and they will be less efficacious without question. So the cells that you have in your body right now are as healthy and as effective as they’ll ever be. And so to that end, I can just promise you that we’ll take very good care of them. I can let you know that there are, again, over 1000 clinical trials using these types of cells, but I can’t tell you exactly how you’re going to use them. I don’t know if you’ll have a neurological disorder in the future or a cardiovascular event or a stroke. But I can tell you how I would like to use them. And so I think that’s the most interesting, is I’m very interested in using my cells not to treat age related disease, but to prevent it. As I mentioned briefly earlier, when I banked my cells, I was 38 years old. I’ll be turning 45 years old this year. Every year I get older. Those cells that I have banked become more valuable to me because the older I get, the more damage is accruing in those cells are staying pristine in liquid nitrogen. What I want to be able to do, because you can grow these cells to a very large numbers, I want to be able to take those 38 year old cells, grow them to large numbers and start IV reintroducing them on a schedule. So every year reintroducing them for health maintenance. These cells build your bone connective tissue, vasculature your blood profile, support your immune system. So if I have stronger bone connective tissue, vasculature, immune system, it’s a healthier Steven Clausnitzer. Right. So I can live healthier longer. Now we’ve been doing work ourselves that forever labs where we’re taking these cells and reintroducing them to mice to get them to live longer and healthier state. And we have been able to do that. But what we have found is that while they live healthier and longer than the control group, they eventually still die. And they still tend to die around the same age as the longest lived in the control group. So what we think we are doing, and I don’t want to get too in the weeds here, but if you were to take right now 100 million of your healthy cells and start reintroducing them on a schedule, you might burn really bright for a while, but what you’ve done is you’ve introduced more cells into your body, and what happens to cells inevitably is some of them start becoming senescent, which is that they essentially stop serving a positive function in the body still reside in the body. They’re almost like zombie cells. They reside in the body, they give off. These pro-inflammatory signals are.. they’re pro-inflammatory and give off these tumorigenesis signals to the cells around them and they remain in the body. So what we’re interested in is can we remove senescent cells from the body and on a schedule start replacing them with young Peter cells? The analogy we like to use is when you change the oil in your car, you don’t just pour new oil on top of the old oil, right? You take the old oil out and pour in the new. That’s what I think the future is for this. Autologous cell treatments is taking out old cells and replacing it with your young cells. So we’re working towards that end at Forever Labs. There’s a lot of people working on how can we use these cells to treat disease. We’re really interested in using them prophylactically to prevent disease.

Peter Bowes: [00:21:21] Exactly. I think you’ve made a valuable distinction there between treatment and prevention and that your vision involves not potentially waiting 40 or 50 years and then suddenly using the cells. It’s going to be a gradual process to to slow down that aging process. And I think, as you’ve already touched on, hopefully to prevent some of those killer diseases of old age. And we’re talking about heart conditions, we’re talking about cancers, diabetes, those diseases that for many people are the beginning of the end.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:21:54] Yes, I think we would both agree that, given what I’ve heard on your show, that the system right now, the medical system is largely built around reparation. It almost entirely. Right. We wait for the engine to break down and we try to repair it. And there’s a lot of people in science and medicine that are working on ways that we can do preventative maintenance right on on this. And there’s some of it that we’ve been doing forever, right? Diet, exercise, sleep, all of these things, meditation, all of these things we know extend healthy lifespan and quality of life. So storing your stem cells doesn’t mean you can bypass all those things. But I do think it’s just one more tool that you have set aside that could potentially help extend healthy human lifespan. And at the very at the very minimum, you know, if you’re older and you have a stroke, like I said, there are phase three trials using these cells to treat it. Perhaps that becomes a more effective way to repair the damage tissue in the infarct area of the stroke. Right. So I don’t see any downside to having these set aside. If we did see it, if it became moot and we thought that having access to your own cells later in life was no longer relevant, I wouldn’t do this. I just wouldn’t. We didn’t start this company to make a bunch of money and we started it to solve a problem.

Peter Bowes: [00:23:12] I can see that one thing just backtracking a little bit. One thing you mentioned, which might set off a little alarm bell with some people and that is working with the pharmaceutical companies and the sharing of information. Privacy is all important to all of us these days. And sharing anything of ourselves, not least our own cells. Yeah, parts of our body could be very worrisome for a lot of people.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:23:35] Sure. Yeah, you’re right. I should dive into that more. So. If you go through the process and sign up for banking your cells, you’ll see it is very much an opt in and it is overtly obvious what you’re doing. So if you do not opt in to consenting to donating this information, this tissue, it’s tissue too. So what we do at Forever Labs, I mentioned that the cells go to Ann Arbor and we process them in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When we do that, this is pretty cool. We take a small amount of your sample for 4mls of your bone marrow, and we test it. And the reason we do that is we want to make sure that it survived the shipping process. What we don’t want is 20 years from now for Peter to need his cells to treat his stroke and realize that, oops, they got too warm or too cold during shipment and they died. So we culture expand and grow a small amount of your cells and we call it it’s just QC just quality control. We grow these cells and then we actually take a photograph of the cells of your own cells, and we send it to you via email. So you get a photograph of your own stem cells. We call it a cellfie. Actually, cellfie I thought that was kind of cute.

Peter Bowes: [00:24:43] I like it.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:24:44] But you have then you have the option to donate that QC amount that we grew to research or we will discard it. So it’s up to you and we’re very, very clear about it being an opt in and about. How they’ll be used. And it’s pretty cool how they’re used so they can be very upfront, like sold to research institutions that could use these cells. Let’s say you have an APOE gene variant. They can be used to study Alzheimer’s treatments. They aren’t being used to be grown as tissue or anything like that. They’re being used in assays where you test drug treatments on these living tissues to see if they’re working. So none of this information is ever shared unless you are very explicitly okay with it. And we as a company are okay with it for a couple of reasons. One, we’re able to lower the upfront cost to people that are signing up. As I mentioned, it used to be 5000. It’s much lower now. I want to get it even lower. The other thing is, by doing this, we’re helping to advance research that we ourselves may take advantage of in the future. So it’s really symbiotic in that sense. But to be very, very, very, very, very clear, if you do not consent, they are not used. And you can always decide that you want to change your mind and consent and they’ll not be used either. So does that answer your question?

Peter Bowes: [00:26:00] It does answer the question, yes, absolutely. And I also want to ask you and you’ve obviously covered this a lot, right, since the we started talking and that is why store and I ask that question because you’ve got an interesting array of answers to that question on your website – people describing why they have decided to store their stem cells, not from I mean, clearly it’s very easy to understand we want to prevent disease. We want to stop ourselves getting those killer diseases of old age, but perhaps at a more visceral level, why focus on our own longevity? Why is it important to you?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:26:40] Why? It’s important to me because I love my life. I mean, there’s so much I love. I want I want the option. It’s funny, when you start a company like this and some of the questions you get are, why would I want to live forever? All these things I don’t talk about forever. I want options. I want the option. I want the on and off switch to be at my discretion. There are things in this world I love so much. My children. I love playing the guitar, writing music I love, I love, love, love, love. So much joy for this existence. And I want it to be my decision as to when it ends and doesn’t end. And I want to stay in a healthy state. There are people in my life that I love very much that I’ve seen decline and die, and I don’t want to see that and I don’t want my children to have to see that in me. As far as why people are banking, though, it is really interesting to see the different reasons. Some people have very specific reasons that are tied to very specific pathologies. You know, I have a family history of X, Y or Z. A lot of times it’s cardiovascular disease. And so they’ll bank, we have people that are professional athletes and they’re banking themselves in the hopes that they can extend their their either extend their playing career or post career, not have such a bad go at it. These athletes, much like our people in military, etc., really do some damage to their bodies and they don’t have to be a pro. You can be someone who’s a weekend warrior out there running marathons and you’re going to have some day you’re going to wish. I think you had some of these set aside for those knees. And then there are people that bank because they want to get to what they refer to as escape velocity, which is the point at which they’re repairing the damage faster than it’s accruing. And that’s an aeronautics term, right? It’s like when an object gets out of the gravitational pull of a larger object, I think we can get there. I don’t know if we’ll get there in my lifetime or not, but I think we’ll be able to. Certainly, I do believe we’ll be able to use these cells for health maintenance in my lifetime. Will I be able to live forever? No, I don’t think so. Will I be able to extend my healthy lifespan? I do think so, yes.

Peter Bowes: [00:28:41] Yeah. And I pretty much agree with everything you say there, that we use the science as we understand it and we have it available to us to live as long and and as well as possible. For all of the reasons that you’ve explained, it’s interesting that the vast majority of people, when I do interviews about longevity and ask a similar question to that, the answer nearly always relates to other people, to their children, to their grandchildren. It’s not so much a selfish thing, but. 

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:29:07] It’s not no.

Peter Bowes: [00:29:08] It’s what you can do with others and perhaps share your wisdom as you as you get older. I was just about to… that thought just occurred to me, is there an upper limit in terms of age, current age? You said you were 38. Yeah, I’m 60 years old now. I’ve just turned 60. Is it too late?

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:29:23] Well, first of all, you look great. You’re doing something right.

Peter Bowes: [00:29:25] Thank you.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:29:25] Keep it up.

Peter Bowes: [00:29:26] Okay.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:29:26] Is it too late? No. As you age, these cells, as I mentioned, decline in number and function. That decline really starts in your late twenties. It’s highly, highly variable based on genetics mostly, but also lifestyle choices. But that decline is very slow at first. It’s sort of like an inverse exponential curve, right? You see it, the decline accelerates the older you get. At 60, you’re still not accelerating as quickly as, say, between 70 and 80, regardless of genetics. And behavior. After the age of 80, almost everybody falls off the same sort of cliff. It’s just it’s a massive decline. A massive decline. You know, they did a study of octogenarians in Italy where they looked at people over the age of 80 and the number of circulating stem cells that they had in their bodies. And then they came back and they looked at him. I think it was seven years later, the same group and the number they had of circulating stem cells in their body at the age of 80 was predictive of who was still alive seven years later. So the stuff matters. But yes, there is a decline with age. So if you could have banked yourselves at 40, would it have been better than 60? Yes, it would have, Peter. But 60 is going to be better than 70 or 80. So. There is a point, though, where we just, you know, someone’s over the age of 75, really even 70, we start talking to them and say, you know, this is not as efficacious potentially as it would have been when you were younger. I’m not joking. My investors won’t like hearing this, but I’m not I’m not joking when I say that we are really interested in solving a problem and not getting people to sign up when it wouldn’t be potentially beneficial for them 100%. And if anything is ever proven that these cells will not, for whatever reason, be beneficial later in life, then we’ll move on to pursue something else.

Peter Bowes: [00:31:15] Well, you wouldn’t be being authentic if you didn’t say that, that you’re about the science and life as opposed to investment. So it’s clearly very good to hear that. 

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:31:25] But you’re good. You should. You should you should bank yourselves.

Peter Bowes: [00:31:27] I’m going to seriously think about it, because what you’re saying is, is fascinating to me, and I’m certainly going to follow what you’re doing very closely. Steven, this has been a really interesting conversation, very enlightening. I wish you all the best with your work. Thank you very much indeed.

Steven Clausnitzer: [00:31:39] Thank you, Peter.

Peter Bowes: [00:31:40] And there is much more to discover. I would recommend you take a look at Steven’s website and I will put a few more details into the website for Live Long and Master Aging, as well as some links where you can get that information. We’re at the LLAMA Podcast.com website LLAMAPodcast.com  You can contact me in social media at Peter Bowes or email me Peter@LLAMApodcast.com. The LLAMA podcast is a Healthspan Media Production. We’ll be back with another episode very soon. Thank you so much for listening.

The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice.  If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.

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