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  1.  (6732.1)
    There was some wonderful information on the "Nootropics and other Brain Boosters" thread a while back... and I thought perhaps a similar conversation about anti-aging methods and products and scientific means might be of benefit.

    Just to start things off, here's what first comes to mind - most of which are things we've already seen posted here....

    There's the low calorie diet which slows aging (in monkeys):



    the girl who doesn't age, which may hold genetic makers to find how we might slow the aging process;



    The use of Human Growth Hormone is something I've read of time and again as being an anti-aging agent (as Sylvester Stallone was caught with in Australia customs); the low caloric diet is sometimes paired with the Free-radical theory of aging, which I was raised to believe (as a patient of Dr. Ali, who may or may not be a total charlatan); emu oil is supposed to have great skin rejuvenative effects, and different forms of laser techniques have been used to stimulate collagen production to reverse the effects of aging on skin.

    Perhaps you might desire more in-depth discussion on any topics I've mentioned, and/or know of anything else that might be of interest?
  2.  (6732.2)
    Yay! So glad the nootropic thread was helpful. I love doing research along those lines.

    Ray Kurzweil's the first name that comes to mind, at least for me; he's co-written two books with Dr. Terry Grossman on the theory and practice of (as the title of the former puts it) "live long enough to live forever". It's the "practice" bit that's probably of most interest; the theory goes that we're gaining more life expectancy per year now than ever, and at some point in the future, we'll get a year for every year that passes. (Actuarial escape velocity, I've heard it called). Kurzweil emphasizes that the plan implies years of extra good health; he rightly notes that nobody particularly wants to spend decades on life support, if it can be avoided.

    Both books contain a lot of theory (interesting reading), but also a fair amount of practical "do this, don't do that" advice. Some of it's "no duh" obvious (don't smoke, exercise, drink lots of pure water, regular checkups, etc.), some of it's not. Resveratrol shows up, but it doesn't get the end-all, be-all type of press that it sometimes does elsewhere. More along the lines of "just another useful idea". Calorie restriction for everyone and aggressive dietary supplementation for those over 40 are some of the heavily reinforced ideas. HGH gets something of a mixed review; the authors strongly advise not messing with it without a doctor's approval. Some things seem a bit excessive, personally (alkalized water and cell phone sleeves, in my case), but there's plenty to take away that has been of benefit.
    • CommentAuthorPhranky
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2009
     (6732.3)
  3.  (6732.4)
    FWIW, HGH is extremely expensive to manufacture (and thus purchase) so barring any production breakthroughs, it’s probably not going anywhere. Not too much point researching a drug that most people will never be able to afford.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2009
     (6732.5)
    Reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction#Positive_effects I see:

    * "... a calorie-restricted diet of 10-25% less calorie intake than the average Western diet, which is over caloric ..."
    * "... researchers also found that excessive calorie restriction causes malnutrition and can lead to ..."
    * "... Their BMIs decreased from an average of 24 ... It was found that the average total cholesterol ..."

    I think that the "average" diet isn't very good, and is not the diet recommended by doctors; that the *average* person gets too many calories, or not the right kind at the right times; and that maybe instead of following the average you'd do well/better/best to follow doctors' recommendations.

    I was feeling tired earlier this year, and the doctor (as well as checking my blood) referred me to a dietitian: the dietitian told me to eat every 3 hours, to have a balanced diet (I had kept a diary of what and when I ate, and she showed me how to read/interpret it according to the food chart), and to exercise *every* day. I thought I had been doing well, or at least relatively well, previously: better than average, being vegetarian, no junk food, and biking 2 hours a week; but since her advice I'm biking every day and not just twice a week, eating every 3 hours, more vegetables, fewer grains, more calcium ... and I've been feeling a lot better, stronger, fitter.

    The dietitian suspected (and I am willing to believe) that I was tired and sleeping because I wasn't eating enough or regularly. I suppose that if you reduce your calorific intake then you have to reduce your calorific output, isn't that so? So I'm eating a bit more, and burning a bit more, and don't feel low any more because I'm doing it more constantly: and I think that's improved my mental state as well.

    I just wanted to say that it (i.e. good health) doesn't necessarily take anything very exotic, and that IMO it's right to consider and to actually try following medical doctors' recommendations.

    HGH for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_hormone#Anti-aging_agent isn't very enthusiastic.

    I find it easy to believe that hormone supplementation might be sometimes appropriate, even easier to believe that a doctor is better able than I to diagnose when, whether, which, etc. When *I* complained (of tiredness etc), for example, one of the things he checked me for is hypothyroidism: negative, and instead it was a 'simple' change in diet and exercise that has helped me.
  4.  (6732.6)
    There seems to be a lot of progress in this field lately. But 20 years ago, I would have said the same thing.

    Anyway:

    Resveratrol appears to replicate the effects to a calorie-restricted diet. But the compound tends to break down in the gut and only tine trace amounts reach the bloodstream. So now Sirtris is testing ways to increase uptake of Resveratrol and on smaller molecules that have the same effect.

    They also seem to think they've cracked the so-called Frecnhc Paradox. French people (and Italians) probably live longer than you'd expect given their high fat, high cholesterol, high read meat diets because as well as red wine they also eat plenty of tomatoes. Tomatoes contain other "Sirtuin activators" (that's the class of compounds that includes resveratrol) and the two seem to act synergistically.

    I posted here a couple of months back about Rapamycin which is now shown to extend life in mice by 10-15%. Rapamycin has drawbacks as a longevity drug - its an immune suppressant - but it's another basis from which anlog compounds can be based.

    There's also a really interesting article in the latest New Scientist about centenarians.

    People who live past 100 have a lot of things in common - they tend to be healthier than their peers right through their lives and right up until the last few years of their life they tend to live independently. They also seem to retain the faculties better than other elderly people.

    So the idea that another 10 years of life has to mean 10 years of senility and cronic illness may not be correct.

    The other interesting thing is that while environment and behaviour play a large part in living to be 100 there's also a big genetic component.

    Researchers have identified two genes - a common variant of one greatly increases your risk of heart disease and Alzheimer's, one particular form of the other is realted to an improved immune system and a redcued chance of gettign cancer.

    So that's two more potential drug targets.
  5.  (6732.7)
    Give me a couple of days and I can send some real cool anti-aging formulae. One of them that actually de-aged a queen twenty years.

    Growth hormones are real key to anti aging. Working on my immortality novel, I saw how important growth hormones are to recovery. Recovery and regeneration play are big reasons why they work.