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aducknamedjoe

Is radical human life extension possible? An introduction to the theory and science behind longevity research

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We put this together as a primer for introducing people to human life extension. Do you think this works for giving someone new to the concept a good overview of the theories and science?

https://www.longevityadvice.com/human-life-extension/

I learned quite a bit about CR and IF to put together the guide: did you know the longevity-promoting effects of moderate starvation (caloric restriction/fasting) have been known as far back as 1914, when a study showed that caloric restriction in mice inhibited tumor growth? (here's the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2125200/)

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Welcome aducknamedjoe,

It looks like you are one of its authors ( you list your website in your profile as https://www.longevityadvice.com/ ).  I read it prior to your post , very recently when it came out and you posted it to social media. 

I read the bios of the creators too.  It is great to see enthusiasm towards life-extension and healthy living culminated in a project that is also a calling ( from what it sounds like, I assume you are J.P.?).   I hope it helps generate awareness across the community and moreover enjoy the process. I am sure you are going to learn a lot - not only more on LE, but also running a business! t is a big playground and lots of people to reach.  Perhaps you can synergize with lifespan.io somehow?  In any case, good luck with your new enterprise!

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Thank you! It's very exciting and I'm really enjoying learning as much as I am about it; it's such an interesting space that I want to learn everything at once but I'm forcing myself to take a more methodological approach. And yeah we'd love to work with Lifespan.io on something, I love their rejuvenation roadmap (https://www.lifespan.io/road-maps/the-rejuvenation-roadmap/) and we link to it a couple times in the piece.

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I should add--of special relevance here--that my research has already got me on intermittent fasting based on the overwhelming evidence of its health benefits, and I'm looking forward to doing a deep dive into IF and CR for a future article, so any good resources I should be aware of please share!

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Starvation is NOT key to “radical human life extension” only emerging technology will produce such results. But a healthy diet and lifestyle can certainly add years to one’s life, and that could make all the difference for someone hoping to be alive when said tech actually becomes available.

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I disagree with Gordo and Mechansim, and  encourage Aducknamed]oe to do just as he intends.

  --  Saul

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Saul, I don't think we disagree.  I am not arguing against CR.  It is the use of the phrase “radical human life extension” that usually conjures living 150 years+ , which is not realistic as uni-therapy.  Restricting calories can be good or bad, depending on the extent, the manner, and person.  Anyone is and should be free to pursue their own destiny, ideally applied soundly and with appropriate counsel and knowledge of risks and benefits.  Michael Rae, for example, executes CR brilliantly.

Edited by Mechanism

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On 8/22/2020 at 8:35 PM, Mechanism said:

Michael Rae, for example, executes CR brilliantly.

Are you sure about that?  We haven't heard from him in a while.  Would be nice to know how he is doing.  He didn't sound so good in his last public appearance.

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Are you referring to Michael's voice? He explained what happened before on the CR email lists from what I remember.

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Yes. I’m not on the email list. Someone IM’ed me that he gave himself an iodine overdose from some food in his CR diet which destroyed his thyroid which led to vocal cord damage (from surgery to fix or remove thyroid?), not sure if that is an accurate account. Does make me want to be very cautious about the foods I put into my repertoire though. But beyond that it would be nice to see how someone on serious CR for so many years is aging, any bone issues or other health issues?  As you know, several members had serious problems.  I know Saul always chimes in that he is 80 and doing great, but the last doc report that he himself posted said he has a BMI of 25.  If he does serious CR and has a 25 BMI everyone else must be doing it wrong.

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Gordo, I weigh 122.  My youthful height was 5ft, 5in.  Currently, 5' 2in.  You do the math.

BMI is a crude measure of CRON -- amount of visceral fat is a much better measure.  My abdomen is flat.  As Michael Rae has noted, my body shape is such that BMI is a bad measure for me.

My new GP in her visit notes noted that my abdomen is flat.

I won't ask if you have a protruding belly.

  --  Saul

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On 8/24/2020 at 1:22 PM, Matt said:

Are you referring to Michael's voice? He explained what happened before on the CR email lists from what I remember.

Yes, that's right.  His post noted that he ate very much seaweed, which resulted in an iodine overdose, resulting in thyroid damage.  That was the source of the damage to his vocal cords.  Since then, he is very cautious about seaweed.

    --  Saul

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On 8/27/2020 at 1:30 PM, Saul said:

Yes, that's right.  His post noted that he ate very much seaweed, which resulted in an iodine overdose, resulting in thyroid damage.

😞  My iodine level was just below the normal cut off and I was going to explore a periodic supplement, but from my reading on the subject, it does appear that one can easily do a lot of thyroid damage by taking iodine without caution.  I have upped my intake of nori a little bit, usually wrapping avocado slices with spring onions and kimchi two or three times a week.

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11 hours ago, Ron Put said:

😞  My iodine level was just below the normal cut off and I was going to explore a periodic supplement, but from my reading on the subject, it does appear that one can easily do a lot of thyroid damage by taking iodine without caution.  I have upped my intake of nori a little bit, usually wrapping avocado slices with spring onions and kimchi two or three times a week.

You can just massively dilute some Lugols. For an RDA amount of iodine put 1 drop (the bottles come with a dropper) of Lugols 5% into 100ml of water, then take one ml of that solution per day as a supplement.  But many believe the RDA is too low, I double this by diluting into only 50ml of water but still taking 1 ml of this solution per day.  I single dropper bottle is a lifetime supply 😉

Note there are people taking a drop or even two drops a day of straight Lugols - I think that is a mistake personally.  Also it seems Amazon only sells Lugols 2% so adjust that accordingly.

 

Edited by Gordo

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On 8/21/2020 at 2:51 PM, Mechanism said:

I agree with Gordo.  On the subject of fasting & TRF, many great reviews.  Start with this one: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/  Both authors are pioneers in their fields.

Thanks for that link! I also think I agree with Gordo in that IF and CR won't be enough, on their own, to get us living to 150, but are nice tools to add to the toolbox so we can hopefully make it long enough for the other breakthroughs to happen.

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Also, figured I'd avoid creating a new thread, but has anyone attended any of these longevity events or conferences? https://www.longevityadvice.com/best-longevity-conferences/

I was super excited to travel to some of them this year but then the pandemic hit and most of them are online now. Any ones that you would recommend?

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6 hours ago, aducknamedjoe said:

I also think I agree with Gordo in that IF and CR won't be enough, on their own, to get us living to 150, but are nice tools to add to the toolbox so we can hopefully make it long enough for the other breakthroughs to happen.

I wouldn't hold my breath.  The most likely benefit will be increased healthspan, which is far better than being decrepit, immobile, and in pain for years before death.

As many have noted, there is nothing to fear in being dead.  It's the process of dying that is so scary.

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1 hour ago, Ron Put said:

 It's the process of dying that is so scary.

Yeah.  And for sure,  some ways of dying are much better than others. 

Our beloved Dr. Greger wrote a pretty good  book, "How Not to Die".  Now he's got a sequel coming out,   "How to Die".    Should  be interesting.

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On 9/1/2020 at 7:12 PM, Ron Put said:

It's the process of dying that is so scary.

Well for many people, the idea of not existing anymore FOREVER is even more terrifying! 

The basic assumption of Terror Management Theory is that all humans are instinctively driven toward survival and continued existence, while at the same time have knowledge of their inevitable mortality. As a result, there is a potential for them to consciously experience a terror of death. The core of death fear is fear of annihilation, which refers to the extinction of mind, spirit, and soul, as well as the destruction of the body—that is, total nonexistence. According to these theorists, the experience of such death terror would be paralyzing without some means of suppressing it from awareness. The basic task of the theory is to identify the factors helping to maintain this suppression.¹ 

 

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1 hour ago, Gordo said:

The basic task of the theory is to identify the factors helping to maintain this suppression.¹ 

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Denial_of_Death

 

 

Quote

According to these theorists, the experience of such death terror would be paralyzing without some means of suppressing it from awareness.

 

Since I've never had any hope of being able to suppress that awareness,  I've embraced it and turned to more esoteric disciplines to help balance the terror with the wonder (the terror always lurking, always there),  including meditation on the ultimate illusion of individuality,  and alternately,  "using Death as an advisor" in everyday life.

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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It's the process of dying that is so scary.

Hmm. On a few occasions when I was sick, or in great pain, I understood a few things. It's tolerable, because you expect that state to end so that you are no longer in pain or sick. But what if this state of sickness/pain were to persist, and become what's known as "chronic pain" or chronic condition of some kind? It's easy to imagine. And at that point it may no longer be tolerable. When the quality of life is that poor, death can easily be a more inviting prospect. There's also a lot to the game of expectations. A cancer patient in their 30's or 40's even if they're suffering, has the awareness that they have not really lived a full lifetime and should - were it not for cancer - be able to live for decades more. They still have ambition or unfulfilled dreams that can still be actualized if only they get better. Crucially, they still know they have the strength and raw capability to accomplish great goals or ambitions. But what if you are in your old age, and don't have that energy or capability anymore? You don't feel strong or clear-headed enough to accomplish much at all - no books to be written, no music, no discovery, no accomplishment of any kind, because it's not in you anymore, you are way, WAY past your prime, you're a pale shadow of your former self... what reason do you have for hanging on? And then you throw in great pain and suffering from illnesses and your life prospects are nil. What then?

I believe that getting old is the biological process of preparing you for death that's easy psychologically. It's NATURAL. When young you fear death. When old, you no longer care. You just DON'T CARE.

I think at that point, death seems not terrifying at all. Not existing as a prospect is not terrifying. When you're young or still full of vigour - OF COURSE you don't want to lose your life because your experience of life is of quite a high quality. But when that quality is in the toilet, what exactly are your afraid of losing? You have no energy. Your mind is fuzzy. You have no prospects. Nobody is going to fall in love with you and you're irrelevant to the world. And then, the PAIN, the constant terrible PAIN. 

In that state, there is exactly ZERO mystery as to why people might not experience "terror" when thinking "gee, I might no longer experience this bowel movement of a life! what a loss that would be... NOT!". 

As a matter of fact, it can happen a lot earlier and without ill health. Coincidentally I had this conversation with a friend not long ago. He was always extremely terrified of death and thought of it constantly. But now that he's reached his late 50's, he suddenly feels no fear at all. As he put it, if he doesn't wake up tomorrow, so what - he isn't afraid of that prospect. What changed? Well, he came out on the other side of his midlife crisis - he realized with exquisite clarity that he will never fulfill his dreams, he will never become what he wanted to be and accomplish the things he dreamed of when he was young. He realized, that from the perspective of his youth, he was a comprehensive failure. And since he had no more prospects, he shot his wad at life, well, if he were to die, so be it, what is there to regret and fear? It's not like living longer is going to allow him to accomplish his dreams. He's healthy and not in pain. It's just that he understood that in the race of life, he has LOST. He's been left behind. He feels no desire to go on. And he lives on only because of inertia. Mechanically. So if he buys the farm, well f*** it, so be it. No TERROR of non-existance at all. He's completely lost his fear of death. 

So as you can see, it doesn't take much to understand that experiencing TERROR at the prospect of death is only one of many possible reactions to the prospect of death. And none is more logical than the other one. It's just that historically we've priviledged the perspective of TERROR and fear of death - a state that's by no means the only logical one. There are perfectly logical and valid reasons not to fear death AT ALL.

And my feeling has always been - well, there's nothing I can do to prevent death, so why worry about it? Why freak out and be terrorized? How does living in terror make my life better, since it won't prevent death anyway? And if so - f*** it, I will ignore it. Tell me something new. I ain't stressing over something I can't control. Sure, I'll take any sensible measures - taking care of my health etc. - to make the likelyhood of death as small as possible, but I'll sum up my attitude the way I always put it to my wife: "I'm doing the best I can. And if I croak anyway or become sick, well, I couldn't have done better, so why should I stress about it?" So my philosophy is: do the best you can, have a clear conscience that you've done what you could, and therefore there is zero reason to stress and have regrets and worry. I've done my "duty" to my body - and now I'm free from worry, regrets and fears. Would I have liked to live forever or at least much, much longer? Absolutely! But since I can't, I ain't gonna worry about it. YMMV.

Edited by TomBAvoider

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10 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

meditation on the ultimate illusion of individuality

I was watching this documentary recently about the Hopkins team research with terminally ill cancer patients, not to treat the cancer, but to treat the anxiety over their impending death using a novel approach that also draws on the idea of the illusion of individuality. This seems to help most people, but ultimately isn’t it just a goofy mind trick?

 

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