Re: Life extension in practice

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Tue Feb 15 2000 - 20:55:45 MST

On Tuesday, February 15, 2000 10:42 AM Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > I was thinking that "stuff vitamin pills down your neck" might be
> > closer to the mark, but I am suspicious about how many of us actually
> > try practical life extension, and how many of us just wait for the
> > miracle cure...
> If there _were_ such a thing as practical life extension, many of
> us would no doubt do that. But while there have been many studies
> showing some correlations between diets containing certain nutrients
> and certain health benefits, there has not been a single study I'm
> aware of to show that popping vitamin pills has any positive health
> benefit at all.

What about the UCLA study of vitamin C published in 1992? This was not the
most rigorous study, but it tracked over 11K individuals over about a
decade. The findings? Men taking 800 mg of vitamin C per day lived about 6
years longer than those taking 60 mg of the same per day. Another 9 year
study completed in 1996 with a similar population size seemed to confirm
this, though the study focused on vitamins C and E, rather than just vitamin
C. Granted, those are only two studies, but that beat Lee Daniel's above

I'm sure others can dig up more studies. The problem is long term studies
of these things in humans take a long time. (I know: Big suprise!:) A lot
of short term studies of vitamin C and other supplements also seem to back
the claim that people in general should strongly consider supplementation.

It's also notable that in many of these studies, the doses used are often in
excess of what one can reasonably get from one's diet. I consume several
grams of C, e.g., a day. If I was to try to get the same from oranges, I'd
probably wouldn't be able to eat much else.:)

Vitamin C is only the tip of the iceberg, though, in supplements. And,
again, I don't supplements should be viewed as the first and last word in
life extension. Diet and other life style modification should be included.

And I also freely admit that a lot of supplements are overhyped and
sometimes consumer expectations are very high. There's, e.g., no pill you
can take, I know of, that will make you twenty years younger (which would
put me back in diapers... almost:) overnight.

Another thing that is important is medical testing. Getting involved in a
life extension regimen should involve such testing to make sure the patient
is getting the right amounts and also, in the cases of substances which are
toxic at high doses (not many supplements are, but don't take that as a
blanket statement that everything is safe), not doing any damage. One also
wants to make sure one isn't wasting time and money.

I urge people on this list to look up the studies, some of which are cited
at , and make your judgment based on knowledge -- not on the
above quoted passage.:) (No offense, Lee Daniel, but you sound like the
stypical cynic here.:)

Also, where is Doug Skrecky!?!:)

Daniel Ust
    Push for tar water hearings in the U. S. Congress at:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:03:47 MDT