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  1. nicholson


    Hi folks: Very quick input here: Here is some information I believe may be worth CRONistas’ attention: I recently had a routine abdominal ultrasound done with interesting results. All the organs detectable on ultrasound were studied and all but one were found to be normal (at age 75). The exception was a “large mobile gallstone” approximately 2cm in diameter. The advice is: “Should you experience discomfort in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen, come in and we will take a serious look at it.” So far it has been symptomless. This may be of interest to CRONistas because further investigation via Google and Pubmed has revealed two apparently relevant facts: A) appreciable loss of body weight is a known risk factor for gallstone formation; and B) on average, gallstones grow about 2mm per year. So, it is of some interest to me that: A) I embarked on CR in 2003, reducing my BMI over three years from 26 to 21. And B) if my gallstone has grown at the 2mm per year average rate, then it will have originated right around the time my BMI reached 21. So it looks to me that, although CR has amazing benefits, one of its disadvantages may be an elevated risk of gallstones. Of peripheral interest: geographic and hereditary gallstone incidence varies considerably. While rare in asians, for example, they are common among native americans. And - very surprising to me - apparently there is enough similarity in the DNA of scandinavians and native americans that they must be quite closely related. And scandinavian gallstone frequency is about midway between that of caucasian americans and native americans. This may have relevance for me as there is other suggestive information that - maybe 40 generations ago - a Viking or two might have sneaked into my ancestors’ DNA. So, if your introduction to CR entailed appreciable weight loss, it might be worth keeping in mind the possibility of an elevated gallstone risk. And especially so, if you suspect you might have some viking or native american ancestry. Only a few percent of asians suffer gallstones; in North America, it is about 15%; in scandinavian countries between 20% and 30%; and among native americans, roughly half. Gallstones do not usually present major health problems, although surgery is the only practical solution if they do cause trouble. But there are some infrequent gallstone occurrences that are potentially very serious. And although the risk of gallbladder cancer is nine times greater among people with stones than in those without - and it needs to be caught early - in both cases incidence is not very substantially above zero. Hope this may help. All the best, Rodney.
  2. Please, Dean, READ what I post. This is not the first occasion - there have now been several - that have caused me to wonder whether your first language may be greek. It seems pretty clear to me what I said. I SAID: "so they too would have been teenagers, or close to that, at the time of the same famine. I suspect ...... ". All very clear, to me, that I was *suggesting* a *possible* explanation for Calment's out of the ballpark longevity. Not, obviously, making any kind of categorical statement about it. And I don't CARE what age her parents lived to because, AS I HAD SAID - and as you would have seen if you had bothered to read what I SAID and not what you had imagined I might have said - the swedish study had found that it was not THE CHILDREN of teenagers experiencing famine that lived to the greatest ages, but the GRANDCHILDREN. Are you able to understand the above? Kindly argue with things I actually say. Otherwise it is all a waste of time. Mine as well as yours. Rodney
  3. Thoughts? If you are reasonably conscientious about CR and nutrition and therefore figure you stand a reasonable chance of living to 100, would it be sensible to get moles removed from your skin - especially those out of range for convenient inspection - because of the risk they might become malignant? Rodney.
  4. There was a study done in Sweden (which apparently has astonishingly good records going back a long way) a few years ago which noticed that the swedes who had lived a REALLY long time were those those grandparents had been teenagers during major famines. This is a little surprising, but perhaps not completely implausible if you think about it carefully. This made me think about one of my grandmothers and her two sisters. She lived to 99.x and both her sisters lived to be over 100. I had previously thought it must indicate strong genetic heritage. But when I ran the numbers I realized that their grandparents would have been teenagers at the time of the great irish potato famine. Jeanne Calment had been born in 1875. Her grandparents had probably been born around 1825, so they too would have been teenagers, or close to that, at the time of the same famine. I suspect this may account for a sizeable portion of Calment's great longevity. And since it seems likely that famines will occur less frequently in the future than they have in the past, maybe we will never see anyone live beyond 123. Unless of course they are on CRON, and exercise only once or twice a week ;; ^ ))) Rodney.
  5. nicholson

    The Manhattan Beach Project (2000, 2009, ...)

    " ....... as Aubrey's inheritance runs out... .... " Hopefully it is invested some place sensible, and only the return (or the return beyond the inflation rate?) is being contributed to SENS's ongoing operations, so that the inheritance will never run out, and its real value preserved. Rodney.
  6. nicholson

    Risks of drinking tea? (even in cups)?

    Then again, perhaps my sometimes-proximity to the Arctic Ocean has fried my brains? Incidentally, a couple of months ago I was bragging here about how infrequently I catch the common cold - I seem to recall I could not remember the last time this had happened. Well yesterday I had to discuss stuff with an employee at Walmart for several minutes. I noticed at the time that she seemed to be coughing rather too frequently, and I made a mental note of it. Just three hours later I noticed I had a slight sore throat. So I attacked it with salt water gargle. That seems to have solved the throat issue, but I now have all the typical symptoms of the common cold. I need to make a note of the date so that in the future I will be able to brag about it accurately. Rodney.
  7. nicholson

    Risks of drinking tea? (even in cups)?

    I rarely use tea bags, and almost always use ceramic or paper cups - the latter lined with some kind of waxy substance. But I have to warn myself not to become excessively paranoid about it. Modestly paranoid is OK! IMO it may be better to get the big details right, and not worry too much about the little details. Especially the little details which, in reality, we have no real knowledge of or control over. Rodney.
  8. nicholson

    Risks of drinking tea? (even in cups)?

    Don't we know (?) that people who drink tea are somewhat healthier than those who don't? Isn't this like the people who rant all the time about pesticides on vegetables when we know full well people who eat vegetables are healthier than those who do not? Granted, PERHAPS some producers have healthier tea/vegetables than others. But how likely is it you will ever find out the truth about which suppliers are the healthiest? Just like the olive oil rants we see all the time. Everyone who consumes it (I avoid it) believes their own particular supplier provides the perfect product because he says so. While everyone else's product is useless at best, and dreadful at worst. But without several hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment no one can know if the contamination claims are true (forgetting for a moment about the evidence that monounsaturated fats clog arteries just as effectively as saturated fats). And how often is someone selling the product (assuming he even knows) going to tell you that his tea/vegetables/olive oil is far more contaminated than that of this competitors? My take is that discussions of this type are likely to be about as constructive as counting the number of angels that can be put on the head of a pin. In other words: there comes a point in all of this where the diminishing returns have dimimished to nanoscopically small. IMO. But feel free to continue of course! Rodney.
  9. I just tripped over the following: In the latest year for which the data are available - 2011 - 2470 people over the age of 100 died in Canada. 933 of them died aged 100; 590 were 101; 383 aged 102; 257 103; 148 104; 69 105; 55 106; 25 107; 10 were 108; 4 109; and 8 were over 110 (no further breakdown). There are more really-old people around than I had thought. And the median age at which canadian males were dying in 2011 was A) about four years younger than 'life expectancy' and; B) had risen by 3.3 years over the previous 20 years. http://www.prdh.umontreal.ca/BDLC/data/can/Deaths_1x1.txt (Brought to you by the gnomes at the: Institute for the Study of Obscure Data, who wish to remind you that the unverified conventional wisdom is almost invariably mistaken.) Rodney.
  10. Hi Dean: "Whenever I see someone use the word "surely"........... " Just to be clear, when I use the term "surely" I mean it to be interpreted as meaning: "It seems highly probable to me that ..... ". There are seven keystrokes in "surely " and 36 in the alternative. So "surely" does seem rather more efficient. The Oxford Dictionary's explanation of it: "Used to emphasize the speaker’s firm belief that what they are saying is true and often their surprise that there is any doubt of this" contains over 100 characters. I had thought that that was the meaning others attached to the word also? But perhaps not? Rodney.
  11. nicholson

    B-vitamins + DHA = Less Cognitive Decline

    Suggestion for you Dean: If you think it might be a good idea, why don't you rename this thread something like: "PREVENTING COGNITIVE DECLINE - B-vitamins + DHA" Undoubtedly cognitive decline is a major issue, and it would enhance ease of access to the information if people are encouraged to post on the topic in a single location. Rodney. PS: In my experience of its use I believe 'cheeky' to be a far closer synonym for 'irreverent' than is 'disrespectful'. However, to me 'irreverent' implies a greater degree of subtlety in the user of the irreverent remark. So I think 'irreverent' was a better fit in this case than 'cheeky'.
  12. nicholson

    The Ultimate Purpose of Life

    "But how do we to relax and enjoy when we know that no path we choose matters?" Don't worry, be happy, Sthira. Assuming you can find a way to be. Rodney.
  13. nicholson

    CR Veteran(s?) Share Their Perspective

    One thing that does occur to me is that those who are on 'extreme CR', or have been in the past, really do sort of 'owe it to the group' to keep in touch at least periodically. The rest of us will greatly benefit from knowing how they are doing. What is the current health status of the small number of people who have, or had, BMIs below 18, below 17, below 16? Are they in unimaginably good heallth and look on track to live to 160? Or are they no longer alive, or suffering some specific problem from which we can all learn? Would they not want the results of their experiment to be shared with everyone? I do hope, as a minor example, that my 'much too low dietary fat' experiment can help those considering trying something similar. I am not aware of any lasting negative effects of that, incidentally Rodney.
  14. nicholson

    The Ultimate Purpose of Life

    "Yet the feverish "pursuit of happiness" seems to cause more misery to the pursuers than if they would just relax and enjoy life." Exactly. Hence, the Dalai Lama's: " ........ the much more difficult question is: How does one obtain it?" If you wanted to seek it out - via Google for example - you can find him elaborating on this question. But I seem to have found it without the Dalai Lama's assistance. Don't ask me how, but I (a one-mouse experiment) am fairly sure it has a lot to do with my mother's conduct when I was a fetus. Rodney.
  15. nicholson

    The Ultimate Purpose of Life

    There is the story - not apocryphal I believe - of a woman who for decades had wanted to get an audience with the Dalai Lama, and finally did - a year or two ago. She felt, she said to him, this great need to understand the purpose of life. It is said his reply was: "Ahhh. That one is easy. Happiness is the purpose of life. But the much more difficult question is: How does one obtain it?" More will be found here: http://www.dalailama.com/messages/compassion, and plenty of other similar references will turn up in Google. Rodney.