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Everything posted by nicholson

  1. nicholson


    AMD is one of the major causes of (effective) blindness with age. Someone I know has a moderately advanced case of it and is finding it a serious problem. So today I googled the definition of 'drusen'. Drusen are associated with AMD but likely are not the cause of it. If you have lots of drusen it is likely you will soon start to see evidence of early stage AMD. At my most recent very comprehensive eye examination I was told I have the very earliest signs of AMD, but: "everyone your age has that." Drusen are deposits that appear in the eye behind the retina with age. It turns out that they are composed of fat. So I searched using the expression: 'dietary fat age-related macular degeneration' ['dietary fat AMD' did not work]. And it turns out that, yes, high dietary total fat is associated with increased risk of AMD. ***Linolenic acid*** in particular seems to be implicated, while DHA and fish appear to be somewhat beneficial. Anyway, here is the abstract of the paper finding these associations: ===================================== Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Feb;73(2):209-18. Prospective study of dietary fat and the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Cho E1, Hung S, Willett WC, Spiegelman D, Rimm EB, Seddon JM, Colditz GA, Hankinson SE. Author information Abstract BACKGROUND:The relation between intakes of total fat and specific types of fat and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) remains unclear. OBJECTIVE:Our objective was to examine prospectively the association between fat intake and AMD. DESIGN:We conducted a prospective follow-up study of participants in the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. At baseline (1984 for women and 1986 for men), the study included 42743 women and 29746 men aged > or = 50 y with no diagnosis of AMD who were followed until 1996. Fat intake was assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire. RESULTS:We accrued 567 patients with AMD with a visual loss of 20/30 or worse. The pooled multivariate relative risk (RR) for the highest compared with the lowest quintile of total fat intake was 1.54 (95% CI: 1.17, 2.01; P for trend = 0.008). Linolenic acid was positively associated with risk of AMD (top versus bottom quintile of RR: 1.49; 95% CI: 1.15, 1.94; P for trend = 0.0009). Docosahexaenoic acid had a modest inverse relation with AMD (top versus bottom quintile of RR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.52, 0.93; P for trend = 0.05), and >4 servings of fish/wk was associated with a 35% lower risk of AMD compared with < or = 3 servings/mo (RR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.46, 0.91; P for trend = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Total fat intake was positively associated with risk of AMD, which may have been due to intakes of individual fatty acids, such as linolenic acid, rather than to total fat intakes per se. A high intake of fish may reduce the risk of AMD.PMID: 11157315 =================================== If we are all gonna live to be at least 110 it would be nice to still be able to read when we get there. Rodney.
  2. [Note: this was a discussion that Rodney started in response to a post on another thread. After talking about it with Rodney, we thought it worthwhile on this new "General Health and Longevity" forum to start a new thread on colon cancer screening. So I've moved the discussion to its own thread here. While our good diets make colon cancer less of an issue for CR practitioners than the general population, it is a serious enough health risk (3rd leading cause of cancer deaths) that it is worth serious consideration, and screening for. -Dean] Despite having no known family history of colon problems of any kind in previous generations, my brother and I both seem to acquire a new polyp about every two years. So, of course, we need to have occasional colonoscopies. My last colonoscopy was two weeks ago, and prior to that the previous one had been in 2009. You can guess how many new polyps they found this time: three of course: One of moderate size, one smaller, and one tiny one ...... likely to have appeared, respectively, in 2010, 2012 and 2014. All of them were quickly and painlessly removed and sent to pathology. Polyps of course, start off benign, but if left long enough, are likely to turn into cancer. Now the relevence of this to Dean's post is that none of the nine polyps I have had removed over the years have shown even the very earliest suggestions of turning cancerous - even the one just removed, for example, that probably had been sitting there for five years since 2010. (But what would the current status of the one found in 1998 be, had it not been found and removed?) It seems likely the explanation of the benign nature of my polyps might be that I have gone a long way out of my way to avoid eating stuff that, while no doubt devastatingly tasty, might also be devastatingly carcinogenic (incinerated fat, for example, in particular). Anyway, SFSG. I have noted to have another colonoscopy in 2019 and expect them to find another two then. Six years is a bit too long to go between checks for someone who regularly seems to sprout new ones. Anyone approaching the age of 60, who is aiming to live to be 100, and has never had one, probably ought to get a baseline colonoscopy and then follow the gastroenterologist's advice. Having them reduces the chance of getting colon cancer - a rather common form of the disease - by not far short of 100%. Not only that, the health systems have finally figured out that doing colonoscopies at appropriate intervals - which will vary from patient to patient - is less expensive than the cost of treating the cancer when it appears if colonoscopies are not done. Incidentally, all my polyps have been found in the ASCENDING colon or at the very start of the transverse colon. They would never have been found by any other investigative technique until far too late. It may also be worth mentioning that it is surprising to me how often, even when cancer is found in a polyp, if it is found early, the cancer can be surgically cured. And I do mean *genuinely* cured - not the five-year supposed cure so often talked about in cancer treatments. But changes in diet are of course necessary if cancerous polyps are not to recur. Rodney. "The unverified conventional wisdom is almost invariably mistaken."
  3. nicholson


    Since prostate cancer is by far the most common cancer in males - about as common and deadly as breast cancer is in females - the following paper may be of interest. It is ten years old now, but finally the full text is available free. I had not seen the full text before and I find its contents remarkable. It is well known that a PSA value above 4.0 is considered in many places a number a person needs to pay serious attention to. Here where I am, for anyone over the age of 70, 6.5 is regarded as THE threshold number. But this paper seems to say something quite different. It was conducted in Montreal, Canada among 313 caucasians between the ages of 40 and 80, asymptomatic, apparently in good health and with no clinical evidence of prostate cancer. So it seems reasonable to suppose it may have relevance to many people here. Its PMID is: 16831142 .....Full text PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06193.x/epdf Among these 313 individuals the median PSA values for those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s were: 0.70, 0.90, 0.97 and 1.47 respectively. Since autopsy studies of men who died from causes other than prostate cancer show that the overwhelming majority (90+%?) of males who live long enough (and most of us expect to) do eventually get prostate cancer (but understanding that the majority do not die from it), I would have thought it might be a good idea to pay attention if your PSA is above the median values listed above. Those numbers are dramatically lower than the thresholds commonly talked about. In addition, Figure 1A in the paper shows that among the subjects in the lowest 99% of PSA values in this group there was not one, at any age, with a PSA above 1.5. Seems to me then that any value above 1.5 should be considered anomalous. Their note attached to Figure 1A says: ".... the curve shows that PSA levels should be <1ng/ml for men aged <70 years." Based on these data it would be difficult to disagree. They also say that free%total PSA - a measure shown to be better than PSA at predicting the presence of prostate cancer - should be greater than 30%. Their data also show that even in their 70s some subjects have a PSA as low as 0.2. Someone needs to check out what is different about these people. Perhaps it is their genes, but possibly might it be a modifiable factor? Rodney.
  4. 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.
  5. nicholson


    A driver was stuck in a traffic jam on the highway outside Washington, DC. Nothing was moving. Suddenly, a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down the window and asks, "What's going on?" "Terrorists have kidnapped the entire US Congress, and they're asking for a $100 million dollar ransom. Otherwise, they are going to douse them all in gasoline and set them on fire. We are going from car to car, collecting donations." "How much is everyone giving, on an average?" the driver asks. The man replies, "Roughly a gallon."
  6. nicholson


    After years I still have not succeeded in getting my BMI below 21. I have been aiming at 20.0. I do get a fair amount of exercise, intentionally only once a week. But the following podcast, apparently from a highly authoritative source, suggests a possible new way to solve the problem. Of course, I understand that this is neither CR, nor ON. And that the evidence shows that exercise has minimal benefit for health, or for losing weight, compared with that from restricting caloric intake. Nevertheless, it would be nice to get down to 20.0 and even if one does not decide to adopt the advice offered here, the information appears of appreciable significance anyway. I just may experiment with it. SNR #95: Dr. James Levine – Physiological & Psychological Effects of Chronic Sitting & Low NEAT | Sigma Nutrition SNR #95: Dr. James Levine – Physiological & Psychologica... Episode 95:Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic is on the show to discuss the effect of chronic sitting on the risk of blood sugar dysregulation, fat gain, obe View on sigmanutrition.com Preview by Yahoo Rodney.
  7. nicholson

    Foods key nutrient content

    I tripped over this seemingly comprehensive list of the polyphenol and anti-oxidant content of foods. Possibly a list it would be a good idea not to lose? Not sure where to put it, but 'CR Recipes' comes close. Nor am I sure what I should do with the information. So, input will be appreciated: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html Rodney.
  8. 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.
  9. According to the following article, burning the limonene in scented candles creates carcinogen formaldehyde: https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-cancer-causing-formaldehyde-is-released-when-you-burn-scented-candles/ .... not to speak of all the other stuff - including microscopic particles of soot that could hardly be better designed to screw up yer lungs - no doubt present in the smoke. Rodney.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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'.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. nicholson

    What are the downsides of fat-free diets?

    Hi Sthira: "Ja ^^^ but I think it'll take more than a few days to actually DIE from a world without dietary fat, no?" That, actually, is a very good question. I have often thought someone with the knowledge ought to put together a table for all the nutrients with the name of the nutrient in the left column and three columns to the right. The first would be how long it would take before zero intake of the nutrient would begin to cause health problems; the second column the time to the emergence of severe health issues; and the third column representing time to death. Presumably oxygen would be at the top of the list, with one minute, three minutes and ten minutes being the data in the columns to the right. For vitamin C it might be something like two months, four months and six months. It would be nice to know these data for every nutrient. But I have no idea what the data would show for fat. Rodney.
  24. Hi folks: With this post I am hoping to start a thread on the subject of foods/nutrients/substances members believe we ought to make a special point of consuming on a "regular" basis. But before providing a list, first I would like to suggest several guidelines as to what I perceive the thread might be about: A) In this context "regular" will likely mean different frequencies for different substances: In some cases it might mean daily (B12?); in others weekly; and perhaps in some cases monthly would be adequate (largish doses of vitamin D3, for example?). B) I am unsure whether this topic merits a capitalized subject line. Nor do I have the definitive, perfect title for it - suggestions welcome. But I do expect/hope people will continue to add to it over time as more information comes to light from ongoing research findings. C) I do NOT mean this topic to cover what we all know and recognize to be overall desirable nutrition: We already well know that in general it is better for health and longevity to consume a low calorie mostly-plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables and perhaps whole grains, along with a modest quantity of carefully selected animal products - of which fish might be the most obvious example. This is well understood by everyone here, I think, and it is extensively discussed in other threads. This thread would instead be for special cases of foods and other substances believed to have specific, special health attributes. D) When a suggestion is made it may be helpful to indicate an appropriate frequency of consumption and quantity, and the reason for the substance's inclusion in the list (for example, one of my suggestions is: PRUNES // two // daily // bone quality.) E) My motivation in starting this thread is entirely selfish. While I will start with a list of items - appended below - I believe probably belong on such a list, I am really looking forward to seeing others post about items I haven't considered, as well as criticism (ridicule?!) of some of those I have suggested. F) Of course, we cannot expect ever to come up with a list everyone can agree about, but it might be nice to eventually develop a 'current' list agreed on by most people. Or perhaps two lists? One of items no one cares to dispute, and another of items suggested by some members but disagreed with, sometimes perhaps rather strongly, by others (cod liver oil might be an example of the latter?). So, with the above preliminaries out of the way, here is my list to start the ball rolling (I am hoping the list will have at least tripled in size a couple of months from now): Substance // Quantity // Frequency // Purpose ======== ====== ======== ======= B12 // Tiny amount // Daily // Deficiency can be disastrous, source only animal products. TURMERIC // modest quantity in food // weekly // Google 'curcumin' GARLIC // one or more cloves // daily // search archives POMEGRANATE // 50 mls juice // daily // antioxidants CHESTNUTS // one roasted // daily // see discussion (Dean). Powerful nutrients; negligible fat ASPIRIN // one small coated, with food // daily // multiple benefits / also risks NATTO // 50g // weekly // decalcifies arteries; good for bone strength TEA (CAMELLIA SINENSIS) - green and black // a few cups // daily // multiple apparent benefits OAT BRAN // 2 tbsp, in soup // daily // soluble fiber without all the calories in oats WHEAT BRAN // 2 tbsp // daily // insoluble fiber from whole grains without the calories BERRIES // plenty // daily // may have more benefits than other fruits COCOA POWDER (unsweetened, fat-free?) // 1 tsp added to food // daily // multiple benefits ............................ Rodney. =========== "The unverified conventional wisdom is almost invariably mistaken."
  25. nicholson

    What are the downsides of fat-free diets?

    Sorry. I had overlooked your use of the term: fat-***FREE***. Fat is an essential nutrient. You will eventually die from fat deficiency if your fat intake is inadequate. Rodney.