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  1. How did you get your apo tested? Did you request this in addition to your regular blood panel during a physical, or did you get the test at a commercial lab quite on your own? Also, did you do multiple tests, and are you worried about lab variability and/or reproducibility? TIA!
  2. I first saw Berenson on the Joe Rogan podcast: I was not overy impressed insofar as he didn't write a book to examine the issue dispassionately, instead it was a book that - as admitted by himeself - was making a case and so emphasized the evidence of one side and suppressed the other. That said, I don't think there is no value in such "case making" books or approaches, and I do agree very strongly with him in this quote from Gordo's post: "[...]everyone needs to hear this counterargument, whether or not it's right, you need to hear it because the damage we are doing to ourselves right now is so enormous." Anyone who is interested in the truth - and we all should be - ought to address legitimate arguments, regardless of what side we fall on. The fact that there isn't much engagement with these arguments is certainly disappointing. YMMV.
  3. TomBAvoider

    Nuts and Mortality

    Good find, Ron. That's very interesting. Speaking just for myself, I eat a very high phytate diet, and I suspect many on this board do too. The study is in women, but I'd think this would apply to men too(?). Also, speculatively one would think this might apply to more minerals too, perhaps things like zinc. One big rap against mineral rich veggies, such as spinach, is that the minerals are often bound up in all sorts of compounds, oxalate and so forth. So, it is recommended that you get your zinc f.ex. from animal sources. But what if those who habitually consume F&V rich diets have a digestive system that's adapted (microbiome) in such a way that it can extract those minerals from the various matrixes and so need not resort to intake of animal products (vegans). No doubt there are some limitations as you can't adapt to absolutely everything, but various panics over "phytate" and so forth might only apply to those who are unadapted to such a diet. YMMV.
  4. Yeah, I am speculating and it's all gut feel and anecdotal - which I'm very aware of! - so we have to wait for government data to come out (not that it's necessarily super accurate). The breakdowns in supply chains have all sorts of weird effects. Farmers are throwing out milk, literally dumping into the ground, because they can't sell it all - meanwhile, where I'm at, there are milk shortages and the stores are only selling limited quantities per person. What puts a big kink into all of this is the fact that a huge amount of agricultural products were going into the restaurant and other kinds of supply businesses or organizations (like schools with their lunches and milk programs etc.) which have now been shut down - so the producers can't get rid of their stock and don't have the distribution system to switch it all to supermarkets. It's just a mess. One of the weaknesses of mature systems is that an infrastructure built on JIT (Just In Time) doesn't have the flexibility to deal with dramatic spikes in demand or supply - the flexibility is along fractions of a percentage point, so if the disruption is on the order of several percentage points, the whole system breaks down. It will take time for it all to shake out. Meanwhile, speaking of hoarding - the authorities are telling us that we should avoid going out AT ALL this week, including trying not to even go to the grocery store. No problem for us (my wife and me), as we're set for at least 6 weeks, but this is some kind of BS - because all you're doing is bunching up the demand even worse. And who wants to bet that next week it won't be BUT THIS week you really should not go out even to the grocery store, and so on for the rest of April and into May depending on the area. I'm sorry, but this just encourages hoarding. I even had this discussion with my wife - sure, we are fine for several weeks, but do we really want to exhaust everything down to the last reserve and then have to go out and battle it out with the hungry hordes? It might make more sense to re-supply when we still have some small reserves so that something unexpected doesn't leave us high and dry. And speaking of "rationality" - when you go out and re-supply "bigly" so that you won't have to come back too often exposing yourself to the virus (and others), people will look at you weird as you are a "hoarder". But what's the alternative - buy a little and constantly keep running back and forth to the store causing crowding and potentially spreading germs? So this rationality business is not so straightforward - there may be a case made for "hoarding". But really there is no happy solution here, there has to be some kind of balance between supply and demand, and I guess a price equilibrium will be reached. Maybe it'll come down to ration cards like during WWII :)...
  5. Good points, Brian. But at the same time, people are hoarding, which indicates demand is not depression-era dead; this might be because it's still early, and we'll have to wait until the full effects hit.
  6. Continuing with anecdotal reports :) I know many folks are experiencing economic hardships, so I don't want to play that down. However, it seems to me, tons and tons of people are still quite flush judging by the pricing side of the economy. A great deal of products are not experiencing downward pricing pressure, but rather the opposite. I look across Amazon, and in general prices seem to be higher, sometimes sharply higher. Supermarkets are constantly short as people keep buying out stuff. A key characteristic of a depression is a collapse in demand. So far, there has not been a sharp collapse in demand - at least some sector demand. This is in keeping with government fiscal and monetary stimulus to keep the demand side strong, hoping for a strong V-shaped recovery rather than a prolonged recession. We'll have to see how this turns out. A V-shaped recovery is probably overly optimistic, but maybe a U shape can be managed. So, we have a ways to go before we see a slackening of demand and consequent price moderation. So far, from what I can see, prices are rising! All anecdotes of course, we'll have to see what the numbers are once we get government reports. By the way, I read about how fuel prices have collapsed due to oil hitting insane lows, but again, it's all regional - in CA fuel prices have hardly dropped despite the low oil prices and much less driving. It'll all take time to shake out. It's still early in this process.
  7. Really? I know Bill Gates believes that... but I find it hard to reconcile. I rather suspect not - first, there will be a group of people, a very *large* group of people who will be economically desperate enough to go ahead and go back to "normal"; think of all the retail workers and other "workers" who are working despite being scared to death because they need that paycheck. Fear doesn't mean much, if you have an even greater fear of not being able to feed yourself or your family. Not everyone can *afford* to fear the virus - they might have to overcome that fear. I realize that such a scenario might not occur to Bill Gates, being somewhat outside of his range of experiences :) The other thing is that people get inured to all this. It becomes just another risk to deal with, out of sight, out of mind. Are people afraid of the flu virus? Sure they are. People are afraid of HIV, but from what one reads, unsafe practices in affected communities (especially young LGBT) have resumed full swing. Instead, I see it in different terms - people will swing right back into "normal", and it will be a distinct minority who will bother observing any mitigating practices on account of the CV. So that's my take. I'm speculating and I might be wrong, but then again, so is everyone else :)... I guess we'll see!
  8. Interesting, but as reported somewhat useless - they give no hard numbers. What does "a bit higher" mean? Or "higher levels of hemoglobin"? Ordinary blood panels have reference ranges which differ from lab to lab. This by itself doesn't tell you much about health status, because the way the reference ranges are derived, it's simply what the majority of people tested show. There was a Peter Attia podcast where one of his guests discussed NAFLD and one of the points made was how liver enzymes have been rising for *decades* in America - and how once upon a time a level which these days is smack in the middle of most reference ranges was considered *high* and was outside the reference range. Now, because of obesity and other factors, liver health has deteriorated in the entire population to the point where the upper limit of the reference range has been stretched much beyond what was considered excessive in the past - NAFLD is widespread and frequently undiagnosed. So, if you look at most of today's population - from whom the upper limit of the reference range has been derived - all those even within the higher end of "normal" range would've been considered impaired back in the day when livers were less stressed than they are today across the broad population. Therefore, going just by current reference ranges is not a guide to your health status. Apparently, particularly when it comes to liver enzymes. In this context, it is therefore critical to know the exact numbers, and not rely upon generalities like "within range" - what "range" and what lab, and what population? If this is a study using numbers coming out of China (they say it was a "collaboration), this is particularly misleading as what is a "normal" range in China might not be "normal" in the U.S. Maybe in fact we should be worried unless the ALT levels are actually LOW - anything above, even well within the reference ranges (in the U.S.) might... or might not... fall into the "danger area" identified by the AI program. Unless we know the exact numbers, this is all a lot of generalities that are hard to pin down. Of the "three factors" the only one we can speak of with any degree of confidence is myalgia. Bottom line - who the hell knows what this means; another FAIL in reporting.
  9. He used to be a lion tamer - who knew: Opossums, Hydras And Hummingbirds: What We're Learning About Aging From Animals A quote: Knowing everything you do about aging, do you live any differently? I don't take anything. I don't do any weird diets. I do a lot of sensible stuff. I exercise a lot. I eat right. I don't smoke. Once there's enough evidence, I may try some other stuff. I don't think there's evidence enough in humans to be doing anything else right now.
  10. Thanks, Dean and mccoy - I guess I should be less skeptical :)
  11. I was just talking to a friend Sunday, and we agreed that there is likely some genetic background to people's responses to the CV infection. It just doesn't make sense that there are tons of people of all ages who get it and are apparently completely symptomless, even if they otherwise have all sorts of morbidities, diabetes etc., meanwhile young people with zero co-morbidities, some even athletes or health nuts succumb in no time at all. But really, without definitive studies, all we have are conjectures and speculations. Meanwhile people are so desperate for answers that they take any marginal or accidental correlations and draw far-reaching conclusions from it. Dean posted about the not-as-yet peer reviewed study coming out of China that pegged people's vulnerability according to blood type, a study which these days is seen in an extremely skeptical light - the effect was small and the sample was small, rife with error possibilities. Anectdotally I hear reports from Eastern Europe to the effect that doctors noted a correlation between those who were immunized against tuberculosis back in the day seemingly being more resistent to CV and being largly symptomless when they get it - but I put that down to another spurious correlation that is almost certainly completely false. We'll be hearing a lot of these theories going forward, and I'm not sure we'll ever have much in the way of answers. The 23-and-me project is interesting, but I'm pretty skeptical too - back in the day, they had profiles for folks showing what conditions you might be vulnerable to - and it was a mixed bag. For me, some of it was accurate, and some completely wrong. The truth is, that even if you have a given gene that predisposes you to X, it very often is the case that it must be paired with another gene or more to really express that vulnerability, and the fact that there are so many interactions between thousands of genes, and then throw in the environment, and drawing conclusions from such data is very iffy. I don't have too much faith in this, but we'll see.
  12. It seems there may be cardiac damage not just lung damge from this virus: Mysterious Heart Damage, Not Just Lung Troubles, Befalling COVID-19 Patients "While the focus of the COVID-19 pandemic has been on respiratory problems and securing enough ventilators, doctors on the front lines are grappling with a new medical mystery. In addition to lung damage, many COVID-19 patients are also developing heart problems — and dying of cardiac arrest. As more data comes in from China and Italy, as well as Washington state and New York, more cardiac experts are coming to believe the COVID-19 virus can infect the heart muscle. An initial study found cardiac damage in as many as 1 in 5 patients, leading to heart failure and death even among those who show no signs of respiratory distress."
  13. The really discouraging thing is going to be if you cannot acquire reasonably durable immunity. I mean, if you can get at least 3 years, maybe it's bearable, but what if you only get a year or so? Then all the sacrifice that f.ex. Sweden and countries that count on toughing it out with "herd immunity" are willing to sustain will feel pretty hollow if all you get is 12 months at the cost of thousands of extra deaths. There's talk about a vaccine in 12-18 months, but I'll believe it when I see it. If CV becomes endemic, with low acquired immunity and a mutating virus, then that will be a terrible outcome.
  14. Indeed there's a very high degree of unpredictability here when it comes to the political situation. So much depends on how the economy shakes out, how good the politicians in charge at the moment are in controlling the public discourse, pr and survival skills. There's also pure luck, and it all can't possibly be calculated. The best we can do is attempt to identify broad trends. If the economy sustains huge damage - on the level of the Great Depression - it would provide the kindling for drastic political changes. But it still needs oxygen for a full fire - which is: how do the policians react? During the 1920's and 30's, you had the Republicans behaving especially clumsily and they got clobbered in the PR department, while FDR was a superb politicians - so the Repubs got taken to the cleaners. Now the situation is reversed - the Democrats are possibly the worst politicians the republic has thrown up in a 100 years, and the Republicans, while not great, are taking advantage of it (although Trump is a pretty exceptionally intuitive politician - credit where credit is due). The pandemic has exposed structural weaknesses of our system. The reformers - the Democrats - are epically bad at politics, so they can't capitalize on this situation where the system has shown itself in such dire need of reform. So all the Republicans - who are largely, though not exclusively responsible for these weaknesses - have to do, in face of such monumentally weak Democratic opposition, is to hold on fast and deflect all blame. This strikes me as a recipe for an ignominious deterioration and misery, but not revolution. Meanwhile China seems to still hold the allegiance of the majority of the population, having delivered on the bargain "economic growth and well being in exchange for political control" - and this blip is not enough to upset that bargain. But hey, it's all speculation - the degree of uncertainty is high enough, that anything can happen and we have no right to be surprised. And back to the U.S. - we don't even know how badly the economy will be impacted. It'll be bad, but how bad? A sharp V-shape recovery looks increasingly unlikely, but it probably won't be the Great Depression either. We'll just have to wait and see.
  15. Hmm. I see people sitting in new cars, idling for a really long time (minimum 40 minutes that I can tell, because that's how long my jog is). Is it an issue with very long time disuse? Because I've left for like 3 months vacation and came back and the car starts up no prob. Although I suppose I haven't tried doing it for 6 months or anything, so I guess that's when it might be an issue.