Robert Butler
President & CEO, International Longevity Center

Why We Age

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Robert Butler talks about the force of mortality.

Robert Butler

Dr. Robert N. Butler is the President and CEO of the International Longevity Center. Whether through his many appearances in front of the United States Congress, or his hundreds of interviews with the media, Dr. Butler has worked tirelessly for decades to push population-aging issues into the public discourse. As a gerontologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Butler recognized discrimination against the elderly as early as 1968, coining the term "ageism." Eight years later, the publication of his Pulitzer-prize-winning "Why Survive? Being Old in America" solidified his reputation as someone who foresaw the impact that aging would have on American society. A founding director of the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, as well as the nation's first department of geriatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Butler often consults for television and radio. He is the author of some 300 scientific and medical articles. Source: The International Longevity Center


Description: Robert Butler talks about the force of mortality.

Question: Why do we age?

Robert Butler:  Well, we are built that way, unfortunately, at the molecular and cellular level so that we lose every seven years further ability to stay alive.  It is called the force of mortality.

Robert Butler:  From what we know, it is related very much to mitochondria, which are energy producing organelles in our bodies, which keep us alive and provide the energy that sustains us and those begin to change because of free radical damage, because of other processes that damage our ability to sustain life.

Recorded on: Mar 17 2008