X-Message-Number: 8358
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 23:50:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: 11'th update on fly longevity experiments (fwd)

    This is the eleventh update on my fly experiments. The most recent
 results are as follows:

 Third Run                Survival
 Supplement            DAY 17 DAY 36
 Control                64%    14%
 Activated charcoal     87     31
 Amchoor                73     42
 Angelica               56     18
 Anise                  45     43
 Bay                    69      0
 Beet                   62      0
 Betaine HCL            82     27
 Carrot                 40      0
 Celery seed            90      0
 Citrus bioflavonoids   65      5
 Comfrey                88      0
 Dill seed              82      0
 Green pea              76      8
 Hydroxycitric acid     47      0
 Kelp                   64      7
 Malt                   83     34
 Melatonin              54     31
 Melatonin 2X           70     29
 Melatonin 4X           65      6
 Nicotinamide 6X        28      0
 Paprika                69     43
 Para-aminobenzoic acid 82     17
 Purple yam             92     58
 Rosehip                88      6
 Sage                   66     19
 Sage 2X                67      0
 Sage 4X                94      0
 Silica                 88      7
 Spinach                40     20
 Tumerin                84      0

    Currently the highest survival is in the bottle containing purple
 yam(58%), followed by a tie for second between paprika(43%) & anise(43%),
 followed by amchoor(42%), malt(34%), and then melatonin(31%) & activated
    The control bottle has a low survival of just 14%. Possibly the higher
 seasonal temperatures in my apartment have reduced control survival. By
 comparison control survival was 25% on the day 42 census of the second
 run. In addition to accelerating the aging process in flies higher
 temperatures also may encourage bacteria growth in the 4-24 medium I use.
 Since I am not changing the medium at all pathogens are lifely a major
 limiting factor in the survivals of my flies. Starting with the fourth
 run I will be taking some further action against this.
    The dose does make the poison. Although a low dosage of bactericidal
 sage increases survival, higher dosages are quite toxic, possibly because
 of thujone poisoning. Melatonin was something of a disappointment.
 Although a low dosage increased fly life span, the highest dosage was
 toxic for reasons unknown. The results for tumerin, which is problably
 the most powerful DNA protectant in existance were very disappointing.
 Activated carbon has extended the remaining life span of old rodents by
 an impressive 47.3%. (Experimental Gerontology 19: 217-225 1984) It seems
 to be helpful for flies as well.
    The day 17 results for anise are in some doubt. Although the day 36
 total fly count for most bottles was quite close to that of the day 17
 count, one major exception was for anise. On day 17 I tabulated 11 flies,
 while on day 36 this was increased to 21! There is no evidence of
 reproduction in either this or any other bottle used in the third run,
 due to the presence of the taurine larvicide I mix in the medium. The
 bottle is completely sealed with cardboard so nothing can get in or out.
 My best guess is that I somehow had a brain aneurism while writing down
 the live count as 5, instead of 15 on day 17. In any case the day 36
 survival of 43% (9 alive & 12 dead) still stands.
    The high survivals of purple yam(58%), paprika(43%), anise(43%) and
 amchoor(42%) are all very intriguing. I have no idea why these
 supplements seem to be helpful. To be frank I am not completely convinced
 any of them really are helpful since these results could still be by
 chance. These supplements will have to further prove themselves by
 consistently increasing survival in several experiments before I short
 list them as longevity extenders for flies. However if anyone has any
 information about purple yam in particular I would be most grateful to
 hear from you. A medline search using the terms "purple yam" was

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