Re: spike's Body, a modern medical enigma

From: Mike Linksvayer (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 05:29:35 MDT

On Tue, Apr 17, 2001 at 09:31:43PM -0700, John Marlow wrote:
> It occurs to me that someone starting out this skinny can't be
> healthy, and has no reserves to spare; you get hit with a severe
> illness, you die. True, you may (or may not) be less likely to
> contract it--but it seems a bad bet overall.

Even with zero body fat (not recommended, unachievable?) and zero
ability to eat (though there's always injection), one has reserves
in muscle and organ tissue. AFAIK CR animal studies so far have
shown reduced incidence of disease and improved recovery.

OTOH, if I were planning a trip to the South Pole I'd definitely
bulk up.

Apart from illness, disease, and aging I'd guess accidents, primarily
car accidents, constitute the largest threat to an individual's
lifespan. Bulk seems like it should provide some protection against
death or disability from accident, though I don't know if the
statistics uphold such a correlation. In any case, a much bigger
payoff probably comes from taking simple precautions, e.g., drive
a relatively safe car model defensively, avoid involvement with
organized crime...

Avoid all accidents and illness, you're still almost certain to
die before reaching 100. I think that CR is the only somewhat-proven
life *extension* mechanism. Now maybe the big S is coming in a
few years, rendering any and all long-term health efforts moot.
Highly, highly speculative at best. If substantially biological
humans still dominate in the next century, I'd like to be one of
them. CR seems like my best shot, and it's a cheap one at that.

> looking for excuses, the not-skinny

As I you've probably read, CR involves consuming fewer calories,
not losing weight or looking skinny, though those tend to be side
effects. After a year or so of moderate CR I've lost almost no
weight, though I've always been very skinny, ~135lbs., 6'0".

Curt Adams wrote:
> CR accentuates wrinkles. The skin is held up by a combination of
> fat and collagen/elastin. If you take the fat out, the skin sags
> more.

I'll gladly take healthy wrinkled skin covering a healthy body over
unhealthy skin covering an unhealthy body -- not that the choice
is so stark.


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