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Hi everyone,

 

I just got my annual suite of blood tests done via the Male Anti-Aging Ultimate w/Free (Direct) Testosterone offered by Private MD Labs. As you can see from the link, the test is pretty comprehensive and it doesn't require a doctor's referral. The cost was $300 (with 15% coupon code) and the blood/urine collection is done at your local LabCorp office. I highly recommend there service (although see my next post for an alternative service that looks promising).

 

Here is a link to the (big) table of results. The latest results are in the column all the way to the right. I'm overall pretty pleased with the results. I continue to show the hallmarks of human CR (e.g. see here and here for results from Luigi Fontana study of fellow CRONies), including:

 

  • Low IGF-1
  • Low Insulin
  • Low Total/Free Testosterone
  • Low White Blood Cell Count
  • High MCV/MCH
  • Low C Reactive Protein (inflammation)
  • Borderline low Thyroid hormone (Free T4)
  • Good fasting glucose / HBA1c
  • Great cholesterol levels

 

If you look at the 3 columns immediately prior to the latest round, you'll notice troublingly high liver markers (Alkaline Phosphatase, AST and ALT) from earlier this year. In fact, three months ago (3/18/15) my AST and ALT were 8x the upper reference range!

 

As you might imagine, I was quite concerned, as was my GP and the gastroenterologist he referred me to. I had an abdominal ultrasound, and all my organs (liver, kidney, gallbladder, pancreas) looked good - which was a relief. Most relevant, there was no sign of fatty liver, liver cysts/tumors or other liver abnormalities. They were planning to do a liver biopsy, but before that, I decided to try cutting out (Saigon) cinnamon (a known liver toxin due to naturally occuring coumarin) along with a few other unusual foods that I had been consuming and thought might have an impact on the liver. I retested a couple weeks later before the biopsy, and thankfully my elevated liver markers had cleared up. I strongly suspect it was the cinnamon. Three months later, my liver markers look better than they have in years (all within the normal reference range).

 

The other thing that I find interesting in these results is that I continue to show the biomarkers of 'serious' CR despite vigorously exercising a lot (~4.5h/day) - and eating enough to maintain my weight. I haven't been tracking calories for a while, but I'm clearly eating many more than most CRONies to maintain my weight (120lbs, 18.0 BMI) with all that exercise. In fact, my current biomarkers compare favorably with my results from 2/21/13, when I was much more severely CRed (112lbs, 16.8 BMI) and exercising minimally (30-60min / day). My testosterone and IGF-1 were lower back then, but as many people thought (including me), they were too low.

 

I find this very interesting. It seems to suggest that either:

  • These biomarkers aren't very good at discriminating "genuine" CR (i.e. relatively sedentary lifestyle with low calorie intake) from "exercise-induced" CR (like I'm doing now), or that
  • Perhaps "exercise-induced" CR will have a similar effect on human health/longevity as "genuine" CR.

As another data point, I spoke with Paul McGlothin recently and learned that he too exercises quite a bit (~2.5h/day) these days, although not as much as I do.

 

Why do I exercise so much you ask? I enjoy it, I have lots of free time (I'm semi-retired) and I feel really good - better than I have in a long time. I consider myself to be in quite good shape for my age (almost 51). My resting heart rate is 40 BPM. A few weeks ago, I ran a 5K and won the 18+ age group (3rd overall), with a time of 20:40, which I thought was pretty respectable.

 

I'm curious if others (I'm thinking of you Michael Rae :) ) believe I'm likely to be undermining my prospects for health and longevity with this regime, relative to "genuine" CR.

 

--Dean

 

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Hello Dean,

 

Your blood tests sound very interesting, but I can't figure out how to open (or find) your attachment of "big table"...?? How do I access it..?

 

Thanks,

 

Ed Thomas

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Hi Ed,
 
That's because its not an attachment, but this link to a file in Dropbox. Just click on link in the prior sentence to view it. Here is the URL written out so you can cut and paste it into your browser if necessary:
 
h ttps://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2521363/blood_tests.html
 

Note: you need to remove the space between the 'h' and the 'ttps' in the above URL when you paste it into your browser. I couldn't defeat the auto conversion of URLs into links this interface insists on unless I munged with the URL.

 

--Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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Wow, Dean, I somehow missed your post until now. Fascinating. Thanks for all the effort you've put into making your data readable. (I'm working on doing something like that myself.) I now see some answers to my questions about my own pancytopenia.

 

I'm starting to realize I may need to do a test of going way off CR as you did. But, my God, how do you get so many calories in during such a short eating window? Well, perhaps it's the high carbs. My worry is my blood glucose levels. But if I do my exercise after my eating periods, maybe my glucose would remain under control.

 

I don't see any results for haptoglobin. Have you ever had that tested? That would be standard with a diagnosis of anemia, I'm pretty sure, to confirm/disconfirm hemolysis.

 

- Zeta

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Guest Dean Pomerleau

Hi Zeta,

 

how do you get so many calories in during such a short eating window? Well, perhaps it's the high carbs. My worry is my blood glucose levels. But if I do my exercise after my eating periods, maybe my glucose would remain under control.

 

You're right - I eat one meal per day (around 7-8:30am) and therefore consume a lot of calories within a short period of time. I don't find it that difficult. Regarding glucose and exercise timing, I work out for about 45min prior to eating (to hopefully trigger my body's 'starvation response' after my 22.5h fast), then exercise another 3.5h (1mile run, 30min resistance training, 50miles on my stationary bike) immediately after eating, to make sure my postprandial glucose remains below 130 mg/dl while my body assimilates the food. It works well, as measured by my own tests with a glucose meter, and via my HBA1c bloodtest (5.2%, RR 4.8-5.6%).  

 

I now see some answers to my questions about my own pancytopenia.

 

...

 

I don't see any results for haptoglobin. Have you ever had that tested? That would be standard with a diagnosis of anemia, I'm pretty sure, to confirm/disconfirm hemolysis.

 

I'd never heard of either pancytopenia or haptoglobin before now, and have never gotten a haptoglobin test despite several bouts of anemia over the years. I'll respond more on the thread you started on the topic.

 

--Dean

 

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Dean, thanks for the information. I assume you can multiplex during the stationary bike workout? I'm moving towards thinking an exercise and diet plan like yours makes sense for me, at least as a test -- though I'd keep the long aerobic workouts less intense: keeping my pulse around 120. But I'd have to be able to get work done if I'm going to be exercycling or treadmilling for a couple hours/day. More at the other thread.

 

One important point: with your out-of-range MCV and MCH values, HBA1c is not a good measure of average glucose levels. Hematology is complicated....

 

http://www.diabetologia-journal.org/files/English.pdf

Edited by Zeta

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Hi Zeta,

 

Yes I multitask on my stationary bike (which is actually a standard road bike on a $75 stationary trainer) . In fact I'm composing this reply at this moment with my tablet while peddling on my stationary bike. I use a sheet music stand to set my tablet or paper book on while I'm riding. I've got the resistance dialed in so that the amount of peddling effort is about equivalent to riding on flat pavement and I average about 17 mph over the three hours that I ride. My heart rate averages a moderate 105 to 110 bpm during my ride, as measured with chest strap, and I'm quite able to carry on a conversation if necessary.

 

You might also consider a treadmill desk if you are worried about productivity while lightly exercising.

 

I realize HBA1c isn't a great measure of glucose control. I hadn't done a finger prick measurement in a while, and you prompted me to do one today. 45min after my big single meal of the day, and after a one mile jog and 30min of moderate resistance training, my glucose was 101 mg/dl, which I was quite pleased to see.

 

Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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Your exercise program -- being in motion, though not intensely, for much of the day -- is exactly what a lot of research is now suggesting is (generally) good for health. Once I get a set-up where I can multiplex (standing desk or, preferably, peddling device of a kind that allows my arms to type comfortably), I plan to exercise, lightly, several hours a day, though I think breaking it up might be better -- but this is mostly because I have two meals/day, and would want to exercise before and after each; if I ate one meal/day I'd exercise longer after the one meal -- though avoiding prolonged sitting even many hours after the one meal, when my blood glucose would presumably be fine, would also be one of my exercise/"motion" goals, but there the objective would have more to do with brain health, BDNF, etc., than glucose control.


 


About HbA1c: I think it actually is a very good measure of glucose control, for those who have normal red cells. But for you and me, it gives too rosy a picture. My recent HbA1c was 4.5% (actually 26 nmol/mol, new IFCC calibration, ref. range 31-46). But that might just mean I'm anemic. It certainly partly means that.


Edited by Zeta

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By the way, a doctor friend of mine saw your data and suggested you might have had a GI bleed (back in 2002). Did you or your doctor rule that out (one way or another: being scoped, for ex.)?

 

Zeta.

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By the way, a doctor friend of mine saw your data and suggested you might have had a GI bleed (back in 2002). Did you or your doctor rule that out (one way or another: being scoped, for ex.)?

 

Yes, back then (during my first bout of anemia) I had a sigmoidoscopy to check for GI issues, and thankfully they didn't find anything. I was given a clean bill of health after a colonoscopy a few years ago too.

 

--Dean

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I'm moving towards thinking an exercise and diet plan like yours makes sense for me, at least as a test -- though I'd keep the long aerobic workouts less intense: keeping my pulse around 120. But I'd have to be able to get work done if I'm going to be exercycling or treadmilling for a couple hours/day. More at the other thread.

 

Have you considered one of these relatively inexpensive ($150), but highly-rated incumbent exercise bikes? 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Exerpeutic-400XL-Folding-Recumbent-Bike/dp/B004O6TXVS/ref=lp_3407781_1_4?s=exercise-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1439395118&sr=1-4

 

post-7043-0-60512300-1439396236_thumb.jpg

 

You could easily fit a laptop stand or regular desk over one of these to enable productivity while cycling.

 

P.S. I just ordered one of these, and will report back if others are interested. Being recumbent, rather than in a regular bike position, is appealing.

 

--Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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P.S. I just ordered one of these, and will report back if others are interested. Being recumbent, rather than in a regular bike position, is appealing.

 

Dean, thanks for the suggestion, and I'd love to hear how it goes. I've just begin to think through how I can work using my non-recumbent exercycle, but it's looking complicated. The Exerpeutic 400XL looks much easier to use with a little work area (with a laptop, or whatever small device one might want) in the right place to be comfortable.

 

Zeta

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http://www.amazon.com/Exerpeutic-400XL-Folding-Recumbent-Bike/dp/B004O6TXVS/ref=lp_3407781_1_4?s=exercise-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1439395118&sr=1-4

 

You could easily fit a laptop stand or regular desk over one of these to enable productivity while cycling.

 

P.S. I just ordered one of these, and will report back if others are interested. Being recumbent, rather than in a regular bike position, is appealing.

 

--Dean

 

I'm very interested to hear how you like it! The major issue with most inexpensive stationary bikes is that they don't have weighted (or adequately weighted) flywheels, which makes the movement less smooth and puts extra stress on the knees.

 

I currently have a treadmill workstation and this adjustable standing desk from IKEA. Both are amazing. I'd like to get a bike to switch up the movements though, and possibly just slide it under my adjustable desk.

 

2015-08-13 11.01.39.jpg

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James and Brian,

 

I'll let you know how good the recumbent exercise bike works shortly after it arrives on Tuesday.

 

James, your treadmill desk setup inspired me to create my own today. Fortunately my True treadmill has a hand bar across its front just below the display, which can serve as a perfect fulcrum for a tray made from an old refrigerator shelf. As you can see it works great for my bookstand. It's also the perfect height for my computer.

 

Dean

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James and Brian,

 

I'll let you know how good the recumbent exercise bike works shortly after it arrives on Tuesday.

 

James, your treadmill desk setup inspired me to create my own today. Fortunately my True treadmill has a hand bar across its front just below the display, which can serve as a perfect fulcrum for a tray made from an old refrigerator shelf. As you can see it works great for my bookstand. It's also the perfect height for my computer.

 

Dean

 

post-7043-0-92970700-1439759535_thumb.jpg

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The $150 recumbent bike that I ordered from Amazon arrived a day early. Here is my initial report. 

 

Assembly was quite straightforward - it took about 40 minutes.

 

It is very solidly made, and the seat is wide, well padded, very comfortable so far. It is incredibly quiet - virtually silent. You could easily put this under you desk in a shared office and pedal to your heart's content without disturbing your officemate.

 

The (magnetic) resistance is very smooth and consistent around the entire pedal stroke - not jerky at all. It is nicely adjustable from very easy to VERY difficult. You could get a very good workout with this thing, or just pedal gently while working on your computer.

 

Speaking of working, I set up a simple folding student desk ($25 this week from Aldi's) over the bike. I had to raise the desk on cinder blocks (see below) to get it high enough for my knees to clear, and to be at a comfortable height for typing. It provides plenty of room for my laptop, tablet and tea. Here is a picture.

 

xTU9n1B.jpg

 

 

It works great! Its SO much more comfortable than my regular road bike that I've got mounted on a trainer and have been using previously. Plus both hands are free for working. As a matter of fact I'm composing this message on my laptop while pedaling at a comfortable pace right now - something I could never do on my stationary road bike. Because I'm more stable in a seated position, it is also much more amenable to getting work done than the treadmill desk I've been using for the last two days. Side note - notice the box fan on the far side of the bike to keep me cool while pedaling.  

 

Overall, while I've only had it for a couple hours, I can't recommend it highly enough. For anyone who wants to casually exercise while getting work done, combining this recumbent bike with an adjustable desk (or a fixed one raised on blocks like mine) is just the ticket. 

 

--Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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Dean, thanks for the report. Looks excellent!

 

Myself, I just realized I can use my non-recumbent exercycle as a recumbent exercycle by simply putting a chair behind it! And I can remove the seat from the exercycle, so there's plenty of space for a small table. I've had two workouts this way so far, and it's been fine. For now, I've been using a table to the side for my notebook, but that's not a good long-term solution. I'm going to fit a table to go in front of me, and see how that works. But the recumbent exercycle you bought looks great, and the price is certainly right (and it would solve the only real problem with my "chair behind the exercycle" solution: the back of one's upper legs slaps against the leading edge of the chair (because it's too deep) -- I could find a different kind of chair, but I don't have one on hand).

 

Zeta

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All:

 

I continue to show the biomarkers of 'serious' CR despite vigorously exercising a lot (~4.5h/day) - and eating enough to maintain my weight. I haven't been tracking calories for a while, but I'm clearly eating many more than most CRONies to maintain my weight (120lbs, 18.0 BMI) with all that exercise. In fact, my current biomarkers compare favorably with my results from 2/21/13, when I was much more severely CRed (112lbs, 16.8 BMI) and exercising minimally (30-60min / day). My testosterone and IGF-1 were lower back then, but as many people thought (including me), they were too low.

First: they were indeed! I see that with one exception, your IGF-1 levels were already reasonably low from 6-27-2001 thru' 07-25-2003, and then fell precipitously thereafter (and are still, prima facie, lower than I would want them to be — except that your reference range is also low). Would I be correct to assume that your earlier results were with a Zonish, meat- or dairy-inclusive macronutrient ratio, whereas the remaining results were vegan and low protein?

 

I find this very interesting. It seems to suggest that either:

  • These biomarkers aren't very good at discriminating "genuine" CR (i.e. relatively sedentary lifestyle with low calorie intake) from "exercise-induced" CR (like I'm doing now), or that
  • Perhaps "exercise-induced" CR will have a similar effect on human health/longevity as "genuine" CR.
As another data point, I spoke with Paul McGlothin recently and learned that he too exercises quite a bit (~2.5h/day) these days, although not as much as I do.

 

I would hypothesize two things. First, you're now vegan and low-protein, and as just noted in the other thread, both Fontana's studies (notably (0)) and a range of other data showing that protein is an important variable in IGF-1 production in humans, and that vegetal protein is much less IGF-1-inducing than animal protein.

 

Secondly, I've posted evidence before that even tho' exercise-induced energy deficit alone extends mean but not maximum lifespan (thus reducing the risk of early death, without exerting any discernible effect on more fundamental aging processes), adding exercise to moderate CR can replicate the effects on lifespan of more severe CR with equivalent overall energy deficit. You (Dean) recently highlighted a paper on a recent theoretical framework consistent with such a phenomenon. I note that you now weigh 120 lb, which is substantially down from your pre-CR weight of 160; maybe a few lb of that original 160 was surplus to your "setpoint," but clearly you're in significant energy deficit.

 

And, remember: the energy in raw vegetable foods is substantially less bioavailable than that in cooked food (including cooked meat) or fat (not including nuts).

 

Why do I exercise so much you ask? I enjoy it

I wish I did ...

 

I have lots of free time

I wish I did ...

 

and I feel really good - better than I have in a long time.

Happily, we do find common ground there!

 

I consider myself to be in quite good shape for my age (almost 51). My resting heart rate is 40 BPM.

That's very impressive! I've been pretty pleased with my own levels, which are very low on a population basis but still significantly higher than that.

 

I'm curious if others (I'm thinking of you Michael Rae :) ) believe I'm likely to be undermining my prospects for health and longevity with this regime, relative to "genuine" CR.

(Sorry for the long delay in answering, Dean!!) Actually, possibly yes, but not for the reason I expect you originally asked. How often do you run (half-)marathons, and how much marathon-like training do you do? As you may know, there's significant evidence of an "inverted-U" dose-response curve on exercise,(eg. (1-5)) with very vigorous and/or long-drawn-out (marathon-type) exercise being no worse than a sedentary lifestyle, but not as favorable as a more moderate regime.

 

Reference

0: Fontana L, Weiss EP, Villareal DT, Klein S, Holloszy JO. Long-term effects of calorie or protein restriction on serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentration in humans. Aging Cell. 2008 Oct;7(5):681-7. PubMed PMID: 18843793; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2673798.

 

1: Schnohr P, O'Keefe JH, Marott JL, Lange P, Jensen GB. Dose of jogging and long-term mortality: the Copenhagen City Heart Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Feb 10;65(5):411-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.11.023. PubMed PMID: 25660917.

 

2: Armstrong ME, Green J, Reeves GK, Beral V, Cairns BJ; Million Women Study Collaborators. Frequent physical activity may not reduce vascular disease risk as much as moderate activity: large prospective study of women in the United Kingdom. Circulation. 2015 Feb 24;131(8):721-9. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010296. Epub 2015 Feb 16. PubMed PMID: 25688148.

 

3: Lavie CJ, O'Keefe JH, Sallis RE. Exercise and the heart--the harm of too little and too much. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2015 Mar-Apr;14(2):104-9. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000134. PubMed PMID: 25757005.

 

4: O'Keefe JH, Franklin B, Lavie CJ. Exercising for health and longevity vs peak performance: different regimens for different goals. Mayo Clin Proc. 2014 Sep;89(9):1171-5. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.07.007. Epub 2014 Aug 12. PubMed PMID: 25128073.

 

5: Guasch E, Benito B, Qi X, Cifelli C, Naud P, Shi Y, Mighiu A, Tardif JC, Tadevosyan A, Chen Y, Gillis MA, Iwasaki YK, Dobrev D, Mont L, Heximer S, Nattel S. Atrial fibrillation promotion by endurance exercise: demonstration and mechanistic exploration in an animal model. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Jul 2;62(1):68-77. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.01.091. Epub 2013 Apr 10. PubMed PMID: 23583240.

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First, Michael, speaking for myself (and I'll bet many others), I appreciate your posts, no matter when they come. You typically dig into things quite carefully, so, that there might be delays of days or even weeks before we get a response to questions posed directly to you is perfectly understandable! No need, from where I sit, to apologize for delays.

 

About the U-shaped exercise curve: I don't trust a lot of the research on exercise, but the "too much" concern might not apply to Dean either way. Dean, your pulse is getting up to around 105-110, you said? The marathoners and heavy exercisers in the studies I've looked at typically would be exercising more vigorously than that.

 

That said, if your goal with all the exercise is glucose-control (and not an antidepressant effect, or any of the other of the myriad of exercise benefits), you might try exercising a bit less vigorously and testing glucose. I've found that averaging 95 BPM in a session of only 20 to 25 minutes knocks my blood glucose down to safe levels. It might start creeping up again, of course, depending on what I've eaten. So, if I go back to lower fat (speaking of delays in replying... need to read more though!), I may have longer exercise sessions, as long as yours, but keep them very moderate: set my Polar FT1 HR monitor to beep if I fall below 90, or get above 100 or 105 or so. That level of intensity probably correlates more closely (though it's still a bit higher, probably) with what the activity level of long-lived societies is. They're not running marathons. They're not on treadmills. They're walking up and down hills, to the store, to neighbors, gardening, carrying stuff around, etc.

 

The occasional burst of high-intensity exercise might not be a bad idea (I'm now doing the 30-20-10 thing 3-4 times/week), but I need to study the research on vigorous exercise more closely.

 

Zeta

Edited by Zeta

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First Michael, let me second Zeta's expression of gratitude for your contributions. While less frequent than we'd sometimes like, your inputs are always very much appreciated.

 

Would I be correct to assume that your earlier results [in the early 2000's, when I had lowish IGF-1, but not quite as low as recently] were with a Zonish, meat- or dairy-inclusive macronutrient ratio, whereas the remaining results were vegan and low protein?

 

Yes, back in the early 2000's when I first started CR, I ate fish (esp canned salmon), homemade kefir and (whey) protein isolates. Protein as percentage of my macronutrients was much higher, and more animal-based. I shifted to vegan around 2003 IIRC, and over the last few years have reduced protein (and fat) in favor of more health vegan carbs - all of which could explain my quite low levels of IGF-1.

 

I note that you now weigh 120 lb, which is substantially down from your pre-CR weight of 160; maybe a few lb of that original 160 was surplus to your "setpoint," but clearly you're in significant energy deficit.

 

Actually I've shifted down to about 117 lbs (BMI 17.5) over the last several months. Pre-CR, I was 172 lbs (BMI 25.8), and my weight when I graduated high school (a baseline Roy Walford used to cite) was 128 lbs. So I'm definitely at a net energy deficit relative to any reasonable benchmark.

 

 

I have lots of free time


I wish I did ...

 

Michael I envy your relative lack of free time sometimes. You and your colleagues/collaborators at SENS are doing exciting and important work for the future of humanity!

 

 

 

I'm curious if others (I'm thinking of you Michael Rae :) ) believe I'm likely to be undermining my prospects for health and longevity with this regime, relative to "genuine" CR.


(Sorry for the long delay in answering, Dean!!) Actually, possibly yes, but not for the reason I expect you originally asked. How often do you run (half-)marathons, and how much marathon-like training do you do? As you may know, there's significant evidence of an "inverted-U" dose-response curve on exercise,(eg. (1-5)) with very vigorous and/or long-drawn-out (marathon-type) exercise being no worse than a sedentary lifestyle, but not as favorable as a more moderate regime.

 

A while back I was running a lot, around 12 miles per day up. But I have cut back on the running, and the overall intensity of my exercise routine over the last several months, in response to the research you cite (summarized well in this TED talk titled "Run for your life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far") and in response to concern over perceived wear and tear on my body, particularly my knees and hips. 

 

These days, my only relatively intense exercise is running a mile a day at a moderate pace, and speed walking for a little over a mile on my treadmill at a 15% incline with hand weights. Both of these get my heart rate up to around the 130-150 BPM range, but only for a total of about 30min per day.

 

The rest of my daily exercise is very modest in intensity - an hour of relatively light weight training, and either walking at my treadmill desk or riding my stationary bikes for much of the day while working. I checked yesterday, and sometimes my HR is in the 100-110 range on my stationary road bike, but most of the time it is in the 75-100 range. So Zeta it sounds like you and I have converged on a similar routine. 

 

Michael, I'm happy to hear you don't think this sort of lifestyle is likely to be seriously damaging my prospects for living a long and healthy life, and perhaps forever if we'll let you get back to work!  :)

 

Thanks,

 

--Dean

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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I'm still really loving my recumbent bike desk. I was playing around with making GIFs from burst photos, and figured I'd make one of my exercise desk in action to give people a feel for how nicely it works. Here it is:

 

nwIAjUH.gif

 

Its SO MUCH more stable than my treadmill desk. Here is the post with details.

 

--Dean

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Four quick questions. I'm in Massachusetts, and want to get some bloodwork done without going to a doctor or leaving Massachusetts.

 

1. Is my only option the Life-Extension Foundation?

 

2. If I'm particularly interested in advanced lipid testing (LDL particle number and size, etc., and oxidized LDL), how much of a difference would it make if I test after a feast day, as opposed to after my fasting day? (For those who don't know: I eat nearly 4000 calories of ~65% fat, mostly from nuts and avocado, two days in a row, then low-fat ~500 calories on the third day.) I will have fasted at least 12 hours either way.

 

3. For advanced lipid testing, what would be more useful, NMR, or VAP?

 

4. Any other tests I might want to get while I'm at it, tests that are particularly relevant for gauging the effects of a high-fat (well, 2 out of 3 days) diet? Blood glucose I can do at home, and HbA1C is irrelevant since I'm anemic. Fasting insulin, perhaps.

 

Zeta

Edited by Zeta

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Four quick questions. I'm in Massachusetts, and want to get some bloodwork done without going to a doctor or leaving Massachusetts.

 

1. Is my only option the Life-Extension Foundation?

 

2. If I'm particularly interested in advanced lipid testing (LDL particle number and size, etc., and oxidized LDL), how much of a difference would it make if I test after a feast day, as opposed to after my fasting day? (For those who don't know: I eat nearly 4000 calories of ~65% fat, mostly from nuts and avocado, two days in a row, then low-fat ~500 calories on the third day.) I will have fasted at least 12 hours either way.

 

3. For advanced lipid testing, what would be more useful, NMR, or VAP?

 

4. Any other tests I might want to get while I'm at it, tests that are particularly relevant for gauging the effects of a high-fat (well, 2 out of 3 days) diet? Blood glucose I can do at home, and HbA1C is irrelevant since I'm anemic. Fasting insulin, perhaps.

 

Zeta

 

Hi Zeta,

 

I'll take a shot at some answers:

 

#1) No, LEF isn't your only option for doctorless blood testing. I've been quite pleased over the years with privatemdlabs.com. They have many different testing packages that are often less expensive than LEF for the same or greater numbers of tests. Very quick service - order the test (via credit card), they send you the prescription the next day, you take it to a local LabCorp to get blood drawn, and in a couple days you get notified to log in to download your PDF with results. Here is just one good one (for $272) that has a lot of useful tests, including VAP lipid testing. I usually go with the Deluxe Male Anti-Aging Panel, but it doesn't include VAP or NMR lipid testing.

 

#2) If you've fasted for at least 12 hours, I shouldn't think it would make too much difference whether you do it after a feast or fast day.

 

#3) I'm not an expert on either VAP or NMR, but privatemdlabs.com offers both.

 

#4) Definitely fasting insulin. And (obviously) triglycerides, especially if you are going to try very low fat subsequently and retest. A liver panel would be informative as well, to see what if any impact your high fat diet has had on your liver function.

 

--Dean

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Dean, thanks for the useful reply!

 

Unless there's a "wink wink" read between the lines option ("Due to state laws, we cannot provide services for RESIDENTS in NY, NJ, MA, MD or RI," we read), Private MD Labs does not provide services in Massachusetts. The allcaps on "residents" made wonder whether there might be some work-around, but I called and they said: Nope. 1) Can't be a MA resident (I'm not), and can't go to a lab in MA. It's a long drive to New Hampshire, so I lean towards LEF.

 

Yes, triglycerides will be important! (And I'll remember not to take my EPA supplement before the test. As a probable APOE-epsilon-4 carrier this is particularly important. (1).)

 

The liver function test is cheap, and I think you're right that it would be good to check liver function.

 

While I'm at it I might as well get a CBC and see whether my pancytopenia has improved. (A new test noted in the other thread on that showed that it had worsened even further still.)

 

Zeta

 

#2) If you've fasted for at least 12 hours, I shouldn't think it would make too much difference whether you do it after a feast or fast day.

 

#3) I'm not an expert on either VAP or NMR, but privatemdlabs.com offers both.

 

#4) Definitely fasting insulin. And (obviously) triglycerides, especially if you are going to try very low fat subsequently and retest. A liver panel would be informative as well, to see what if any impact your high fat diet has had on your liver function.

 

--Dean

 

 

 

(1) "'Probable'? Didn't you do 23andMe?" Yes, but after some family discussions all I can say is the "probable" bit.

Edited by Zeta

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Bummer that privatemdlabs.com doesn't service Massachusetts. I didn't realize they had such geographic restrictions. I guess the medical industry lobby is particularly strong in Massachusetts...

 

--Dean

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