life extension regimens

Doug Skrecky (
Sat, 29 May 1999 14:39:20 -0700 (PDT)
In Message #11825 wrote:
> We would like to make available to members of the Cryonics Institute
and the Immortalist Society, and readers of The Immortalist and of our web site, among others, a source of information that would satisfy some of the needs above mentioned. That is, we need, if possible (1) a summary of the best current advice, with BOTH concise recommendations or opinions, negative as well as positive (with suitable disclaimers), and also literature references for those who want verification and more detail; and (2) answers to questions on a reasonably timely basis. Any suggestions or offers?
I presume one of the purposes of this would be to stimulate traffic on your web site. I suggest the way to go about this in a most time and cost effective manner would be to accumulate select medline postings of interest in various categories. Some of these would benefit from additional quotes from the research papers they are derived from for the purposes of clarification, but in general medline has already done the work of typing into electronic form the written abstracts which preface most modern research reports found in medical journals. The idea here is to let the web surfer make up his own opinion about various points, without being dictated to, lectured to, etc. A few select comments might be useful, such as vitamin E not actually reducing CVD mortality, but only reducing the incidence of non-fatal heart attacks, while omega-3 fatty acids having basically the reverse effect. However I believe these types of comments should be strictly limited, or they will likely become counterproductive - even they are not untrue. A further note of caution. Much has been made in the past about the effect of various interventions on animal longevity. The animals used often die of conditions far different from that of most humans. It may be useful to add to postings about animal studies just what major diseases the animals actually die of, so the reader will not be falsely impressed or unimpressed by the data. A case in point is the often used C57BL mice. These die of lymphoma cancer, which is a disease that afflicts few humans. A treatment which reduces cardiovascular disease mortality, but has a side effect of slightly increasing lymphoma cancer risk will likely increase C57BL mouse mortality, even as it decreases that of humans. Even when the animal species more closely resembles humans, experimental conditions can invalidate the results. A case in point is the effect of peanuts on cardiovascular disease. Monkeys fed peanut oil have an increased atherosclerosis, on a very high cholesterol diet, which is standard on virtually all experiments with animals, so that this disease is rapidly induced. The trouble is that humans who eat peanuts actually live longer than those that do not, which is not what one would expect from most animal experiments. The solution to this seeming contradiction, is that when monkeys are fed (by human standards) a "normal" cholesterol diet peanut oil sharply reduces atherosclerosis, and the monkey results then are entirely consistent with human epidemiological surveys. Unfortunately many animal experiments are a waste of taxpayer's money. They are often conducted by closeted scientists who are not often called to account for their misdeeds. A rare exception is the recent official public repudiation by the Canadian government, of animal research which falsely gives the impression that canola oil can increase human mortality. The animal used (SHRSP) is not a valid model for human cardiovascular disease, and any results obtained with it are therefore invalid for human application.
Unfortunately even with medline posts one can be entirely mislead. As with all things, buyer beware.