Just in time for the holiday gouging season, Dr. Nicholas Perricone tells us how to battle the twin threats of fat and age in a new PBS...

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Just in time for the holiday gouging season, Dr. Nicholas Perricone tells us how to battle the twin threats of fat and age in a new PBS special, "Dr. Perricone's Seven Secrets to Beauty, Health and Longevity."

Fear not: Dr. Perricone, author of such best-sellers as "The Wrinkle Cure" and "The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet," doesn't demand arduous exercise or suggest Santa leave so much as a drop of Botox.

Instead, he prescribes sex, salmon and a host of supplements and potions that, as it happens, one might find on his Web site and flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York.

Perricone is pleasantly old-school, wearing a dark suit and white shirt (and cuff links), with well-policed sideburns and a serious though not stern manner. The one-hour program was taped before an audience; he speaks without notes, indicating either a vibrant brain or a well-concealed teleprompter.

Once we hit 50, he says, lung and cardiac capacity "drop off the map." Time tags us in other ways as well: spines compress; faces (and other regions) sag; skin wrinkles and blotches; and the brain goes lame.

Yet "cutting-edge anti-aging strategies" will repair us from the "cellular level" outward, Perricone promises, allowing us to live full and vivacious lives up to a few hours before we croak.

Many of these "strategies" cover familiar territory: keeping the metabolism purring by eating the right foods (he's a big fan of fats, especially those derived from fish); reasonable exercise (anything over 45 minutes can be counterproductive); and keeping stress and blood sugar in check.


"Dr. Perricone's Seven Secrets to Beauty, Health and Longevity," noon and 11 p.m. today on KCTS.

He does have a few surprises, however. Though he is an admitted dermatologist, he suggests exposing oneself to the sun, without sunscreen or clothing, for brief periods to soak up vitamin D, which is good for the ol' skeleton.

We can suppress appetite by spiking the morning tea with a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon and by eating the protein portion of a meal first, or by gobbling down some caralluma fimbriata, an Indian cactus that apparently makes one forget all about eating.

Perricone also suggests we bombard Father Time with an array of higher-tech weaponry, including alpha lipoic acid, benfotiamine, dimethyl amino ethanol and lots of omega-3 capsules, which will rejuvenate our cells, organs and skin.

One comes away with the impression that those who get with the program will start getting carded.

None of Perricone's advice is more heartily received than his segment on the miraculous properties of pheromones — "chemical messengers" that heighten sexual interest, produce a feeling of well-being, improve brain function and even reduce panic attacks. As he speaks, one woman is shown baring her teeth.

She will also have to bare some serious greenbacks to pursue this happiness. As it happens, Perricone's Web site offers a pheromone potion (applied above the upper lip) costing $250 per 0.85 ounce.

Viewers not panicked by the ticking clock may have scant sympathy for those whose vanity, and fear of mortality, make them easy pickings for the supplement Sherpas. Some might even wonder why they hope to live so long — to experience the next wave of cultural and political degradations, perhaps including the third wave of the Bush dynasty?

Yet this is tame stuff compared with other longevity schemes, such as having your head sawed off, frozen and placed in storage for a happier day. Perricone is by any measure a moderate, though not a cheap one.