X-Message-Number: 11850
Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 14:34:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: life extension regimens

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. 

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