Two aging-science researchers are suing two other academics for $120 million, arguing that the defendants have damaged their reputation by accusing them of making inflated claims about the efficacy of anti-aging therapies they promote, a case that raises questions about when academic debate crosses a line.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Ronald M. Klatz and Robert M. Goldman, a pair of osteopaths who founded the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, or A4M, in Chicago. The doctors, who also earned MD degrees in Belize, argue that their critics have defamed them as scientists and interfered with their business relationships. While A4M appears to be a clearinghouse of aging research and information, visitors to its website can quickly arrive at commercial sponsor pages selling all manner of products and services, many of questionable efficacy, according to some scientists. The two plaintiffs also have a company called Medical Development Management that...

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