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Thomas G

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  • Birthday 04/29/1979

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  1. This is from people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in the early stages of the progression of the illness. We have no way of knowing if the higher ATL numbers are a result of the infection and its impact on the liver, or if these people had higher ATL levels before they got sick and for some reason because of that they are having more severe cases. We just don't know. But given that I have higher ATL levels anyway, it seems like a potential concern. I'm at the early stages of researching all of this and haven't had the time to look to closely at it. I am a minimalist on supplements. I do eat maybe an excessive amount of dark green leafies. I also eat a lot of turmeric. Those are the only suspicions I have at the moment. I need to learn a lot more. Here is another fun AI related COVID-19 research project. They are training a neural network to listen to people's voices and coughs to see if they can start to identify who is sick and who isn't. I tried it myself but the results were not very user friendly in terms of what it actually means. Just a horizontal bar without any numbers or explanatory text. Still an interesting project and one I wouldn't be surprised might work if they give it enough time. https://gizmodo.com/researchers-built-an-app-that-aims-to-detect-covid-19-b-1842613139
  2. I haven't seen this posted here before. Apologies if it has and I missed it. Another interesting AI project, this one based out of NYU. All of these results should taken with a grain of salt right now I would say, but if they keep it up and the sample size gets big enough, it could help us see things we might not otherwise in terms of why some people have severe cases and others don't. https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2020/march/experimental-ai-tool-predicts-which-patients-with-pandemic-virus.html This is not great news for me since the most recent time I had a physical all of my results were either excellent off the charts good, or well within the "normal" range except for an ever so slightly elevated ALT level which the doctors said they weren't concerned about because it was only a little high. But for whatever reason, that might mean that I am more likely to have a severe case. Not sure there is anything I can do about it, and again I'm taking these early results as interesting but not slam dunk definitive.
  3. I'm re-reading the The Great Influenza about the 1918 pandemic and am about 70% of the way through it. One thing it mentions is that because the 1918 influenza was so deadly, as the virus changed through antigenic drift it actually got less deadly. So areas that didn't have a super bad first wave, but got a second or third wave, didn't have as high of a death toll. There is no guarantee that will happen this time, but there is at least a chance that as time goes on and the virus shifts, it will shift to a more mild version. I'm a little bit surprised that we haven't seen more full-face masks (like a full-face snorkel mask) emerge as PPE. I'm expecting to see something like this emerge and be widely adopted. It has the benefits of covering the eyes, nose and mouth. It wouldn't even necessarily need to have a filter to be highly effective. Just wearing the face mask will stop people from touching their faces, and provide a material barrier for most droplets. It would be fun to try to finally kill off the common cold just by denying it a host for a few years, but that seems very difficult. I do think that next year we will see an unusually high number of people get the regular flu shot and will develop some herd immunity against the seasonal flu at least for one year.
  4. Revolutions are often impossible to see coming, but I think it is fair to say that there will be several revolutions around the world (not sure if they will be China or US) where the pandemic played a key contributing factor. Many of our systems cannot take that much stress, and right now they are being overwhelmed. Many will collapse, including governments. But I expect some revolutions won't happen for a few years. A million dominos are falling in a million directions. There is no telling what they might knock over but there is a virtual guarantee that A LOT of things will get knocked over.
  5. Dean, you know Josh from Waitlist Zero? I was just coming her to post this too. I signed up, but want to more carefully consider everything before actually going through with it. Given that some epidemiologists are estimating as many as 30% to 80% of the population will get COVID-19 anyway, it seems like getting it for a worthy cause, surrounded by the best care available, and hopefully winding up with some level of immunity (either from the experimental vaccine itself, or from exposure as a part of the trail), is much better than sitting around at home and waiting to catch it and take your chances. But my understanding is that some of the experimental trails could have unpredictable and even worse results, so the risks are not exactly the same as catching it in the wild. Still seems like a worthwhile thing to do, however.
  6. I've read mixed things about facemasks. But it still seems super irresponsible to horde medical facemasks when hospitals will be facing shortages. That isn't going to be good for anyone. But I am wondering if it is possible to start sewing our own facemasks. A reasonably dense woven fabric, with a few layers. It's not going to be perfect or as good as an N95. But it has the advantage of being washable and reusable. If the main point is to just stop droplets from the mask wearer, any fabric barrier will significantly cut down on that, even if it isn't 100% perfect. To me I see the main advantage as stopping us from touching our own faces. And stopping us from spreading the virus since we might be contagious without knowing it. Normalizing social responsibility seems good too. I have to admit I would feel foolish going out in public with a facemask since where I live NOBODY is doing that yet. But I think it is probably the morally right thing to do. I worry that people's mindsets will adjust when it is too late. Wearing a facemask might not be the most important thing to do (washing hands and social distancing seems more important), but for me at least there is a placebo element. And we know that placebos work. The feeling that we are doing what we can might help the mind-body link to strengthen our immune system.
  7. Don't most people who practice CR have lower than normal white blood cells? And is that necessarily a bad thing?
  8. I read this book on the 1918 influenza pandemic a couple years ago. I highly recommend it and I'm going to give it another read now. It is very well written and a fascinating story. It is also quite frightening. Although it is unclear just how bad the coronavirus will turn out to be, it seems quite likely that it will be the worst pandemic since 1918 and if that turns out to be the case that will be very very bad. One key thing that The Great Influenza book makes clear is just how radically the pandemic changed medical science and the way that doctors are trained. Our current healthcare system leaves a lot to be desired, and a pandemic will expose it's weaknesses in ways that cannot help but transform it (hopefully for the better in the long run). It is possible that we will see similar marshaling of resources and minds that will lead to major medical breakthroughs that go well beyond treating this one flu. The book also makes a plausible argument that President Wilson suffering from neurological disorders as a result of catching the influenza, and that he had wild and uncharacteristic behaviours including embracing harsh austerity against the Germans in the wake of WWI, creating the conditions that lead to WWII. I'm trying to keep up with the news and the best advice for how to be responsible. I'm finding it harder than usual to gage just how concerned I should be, feeling tugged in directions that I worry are both over- and under-reacting. Given that my latest project is to learn as much as I can about sleep and try to improve my sleep as much as I can, that seems like a prudent and healthy thing to do to help my immune system.
  9. The way the article is written it makes it sound like the problem isn't the statins themselves, but the absolute level of cholesterol, whether that is achieved by artificially lowering it through statins or through a low cholesterol diet like the one I'm on. But that is not 100% clear to me. I'd love to read the full text of some of the studies linked to, like this one for example, although I worry I don't have the right background to fully understand it even if I did have access to the full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9499332 Practically speaking, I'm wondering if I might feel differently or notice a difference if I deliberately raised my cholesterol now that I know what to look for or focus on. I don't remember any personality changes, but I wasn't on the outlook for them. But it seems complicated. As far as I can tell none of these studies really look at the issue directly in humans. They are patching a bunch of things together (some individual cases seem to show a connection, statins/low cholesterol may cause low serotonin, low serotonin is linked to violence, depression, irritability, etc.) It would be nice to directly study low cholesterol diets in humans and see this behavioral changes emerge. Is there any study that has actually done this? Given that the body makes its own cholesterol, I'm wondering if it might be perfectly fine to be on a low cholesterol diet and that if you have some of these symptoms it is more a matter of something else going wrong that is preventing your body from making the optimal levels of cholesterol you need. Adding more cholesterol through diet might just be masking a different problem at the root. But I'm not sure how you would tell if your body is making "enough" or what might cause it to make too little?
  10. Thomas G

    Dean's Current Diet

    I buy a lot of bags of chopped leafys like kale and collards, mainly because it makes it so much more convenient to eat without having to wash them. I think I've got to keep doing that just because I'm already spending so much time/energy on food prep. But it seems this is not ideal.
  11. Thomas G

    Dean's Current Diet

    Hey Dean, I just watched Dr. Greger's latest video today and I'm wondering what you make of it. I know you precut a weeks worth of veggies (or at least you used to). Wondering if this will make you reconsider that approach or what you make of it. Maybe it's too minor of an issue to really spend any thought/energy on. I can't tell myself.
  12. The New York Times reports on a recent study. The study is pretty small (21 fit older men who have been avid joggers their whole adult lives). Basic takeaway, it looks like exercise helps reduce inflammation overall and keeps old muscles looking younger.
  13. Thomas G

    Less is not always more...

    I skimmed a lot of these videos (but didn't watch every second of every one). Did she have medical supervision? She never said explicitly, but I get the impression that she didn't. I've always wanted to do a 40 day fast. Given how badly short fasts of just five days go for me it seems like maybe it's not in the cards for me, or if it is, I will need to be drinking something special to stay healthy. Her focus seems almost exclusively religious (with maybe some weight loss ambitions thrown in too), but given that refeeding seems to be the most important part of a fast her matza only refeeding diet seems like a particularly poor one from a health perspective. I wouldn't do it. I'd be breaking a long fast like this with modest amounts of nuts and berries, some fruit and dark greens (but not too much). I admire the endurance and the willpower, but I don't think this is the way I want to fast.
  14. Thomas G

    How to wean into a cr diet

    I'm not really sure what is going on with my body when I am fasting. The fasts all seemed reasonably short for me, I was mainly doing five day water only fasts. Part of it might be that I was eating calorie restricted before the fast. But the truth is I don't really know because I wasn't medically supervised. I wasn't getting my blood drawn. I bet if I had, they would be able to pinpoint what the issue was. The fast that was the absolute worst for me was one where I was trying to be deliberate about drinking a lot of water. I think that may have really done a number on my electrolytes. When I fast even a day or two I start getting light headed and dizzy when I stand up. Even on normal CR days I get that a little bit. I would like to do a fast again soon. In fact I was thinking about doing one later this week just for three days. But I probably should make an appointment with a doctor and talk to them about it first. For the last couple of years I've cut my fasts down to three days because it isn't until the fourth day that I start to go downhill. By day five I feel downright sick, like I'm fighting off the flu or something. My head gets foggy and I'm not able to be as productive as I need to be.
  15. Thomas G

    Less is not always more...

    I'm not sure. It might have been, but it could have been something else too (electrolytes, salts, etc)