Life Extension as Backup Plan

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jordansparks
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Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

Most cryonicists I talk to describe cryonics as their backup plan in case life extension doesn't work out. I've alway treated it the other way around, with life extension as my secondary goal. The reason for this is that I've never thought that life extension could happen in my lifetime. Nevertheless, I've always tried to stay somewhat current with the research, and I have remained hopeful in spite of my opinion.
As I was growing up in the 80s, my father was trying to use antioxidants to extend his life. A prominent book in our household was Life Extension, A Practical Scientific Approach by Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw. I took beta carotene pills from time to time. That book promoted the free-radical theory of aging, which has since been overturned.
In the 90s, I read The 120-Year Diet and other books by Roy Walford, MD. His books promoted the idea that you could significantly extend your life with calorie restriction with adequate nutrition (CR or CRAN). I remember the statements in the books as being overly confident. It was stated flatly that it would work and that the author would certainly live to that age. He didn't of course. I followed a CR diet for 3 years. But it turns out that it's very hard to get adequate nutrition. Looking back, mine was more of a starvation diet, and I don't think it was healthy. I got tired of the disapproving looks and the social stigma. I quit the diet because some evidence was emerging that it didn't work as well in long-lived animals, but I did continue a lite version off and on and I kept my BMI low.
In the 2000s, I read Aubrey de Grey's Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS). He listed seven causes of aging and strategies for combatting them. The strategies looked very complicated to me and very unlikely to be possible in my lifetime, so I became more resigned to missing the boat completely.
In the 2010s, I heard about resveratrol, NAD boosters, and metformin. I tried each of them for a year or two, quitting after struggling with whether they were effective and whether there might be side effects.
Now it's the 2020s. I turned 50, and got fed up with my sarcopenia. I had been completely sedentary for 20+ years and I had never tried to build back the muscle lost during CR. I started lifting weights a year and a half ago. I also bumped my protein levels up a lot to match a body builder diet. Predictably, I gained 15 pounds of muscle.
Then, David Sinclair's most recent research made headlines. He used 3 of the Yamanaka factors (OSK) to completely reverse aging in mice. This is stunning. I never imagined for a moment that something like this would be possible with our current low level of technology. I fully realize that it's going to be very hard to adapt this to work on humans, but this is major progress. Now I have to figure out how to survive long enough to take advantage of epigenetic reprogramming.
My tentative approach is going to be daily weightlifting, a bit of cardio, NMN, metformin, and daily intermittent fasting. In that style of fasting, you eat all your daily calories in a roughly six hour window, for example between 11am and 5pm. Even if eating the same number of calories as before, that pattern seems to have all the benefits of CRAN without the downsides. It's also a very flexible diet that does not interfere at all with social eating. I will not be reducing my calories and I will still be including plenty of milk and chicken while I study the BCAA issue. I really have no idea how much I can increase my lifespan, but I will push it as hard as I can to give enough time for more breakthroughs. I'm now giving myself 50-50 odds of avoiding cryopreservation through life extension, but my uncertainty is very high. I will pursue both goals equally, and we'll see how it works out. I have a feeling many other people are struggling with the same issues.
dennis
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by dennis »

jordansparks wrote: Sat Mar 25, 2023 1:29 pm Most cryonicists I talk to describe cryonics as their backup plan in case life extension doesn't work out. I've alway treated it the other way around, with life extension as my secondary goal.
The 2 are NOT mutually exclusive for me. Even with infinite lifespan, I do not see why the value of cryonics should diminish for me. But of course one can can prioritize when it comes to where on has to direct efforts or limited resources but that's a different subject.

On diet and supplements:
1) I have been on nearly an all red meat diet for the last 11 years. Besides red meat I have coffee salt and water . That's it. I may fancy half a fruit once in three of four months. I probably have not had a vegetable in years. Other indulgences: eggs.
2) Metformin - I do recollect two people mention not too many good things about Metformin one was Jason Fung, I don't recollect who the other person was. These are not casual skeptics. Jason Fung, if I recollect is a physician who has expertise on diabetes/obesity slash/intermittent fasting.

There's a larger point that I'm trying to make with 1) and 2), that common wisdom can be spectacularly off mark. I take Aubrey de Grey pretty seriously, everyone else with a pinch of salt, even a broken clock is correct twice a day. Overall it looks like we are making progress, albeit very slowly.

p.s: If someone makes a counter point on 1) make sure you've done your research, or you approach it from an angle of ignorance. I take well to ignorance but I do not take well to casual flippant skepticism.
jordansparks
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

Wow, that's an extreme diet. It seems to lack any controlled studies. Shouldn't we instead follow diets that science has shown to be beneficial? There is strong scientific consensus that a carnivore diet is a bad idea. I don't understand how you can ignore that. It has nothing to do with common wisdom and everything to do with evidence. Everything I suggested is well supported by decades of research and strong scientific consensus that it's either beneficial or at least not harmful. Notice that I do not need to get into any detail about the diet, such as a discussion about nutrients. Because it's irrelevant. All I'm looking at is what the vast majority of scientists would have to say about it. That's all. That's not casual flippant skepticism. It's ordinary rational skepticism. There's no other way.
dennis
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by dennis »

jordansparks wrote: Mon Mar 27, 2023 2:54 pm All I'm looking at is what the vast majority of scientists would have to say about it. That's all. That's not casual flippant skepticism. It's ordinary rational skepticism.
I think it's fair enough start to your skepticism ( at least you are not dismissive). What I have found is that medical/health/nutrition "sciences" as practiced is terribly, terribly flawed. When observed results in practice do not match what the current consensus by a LARGE margin then one has to question stuff.

When I started the way I eat about 11 years back it was through a trial and error process. Today you will find that there are sufficient anecdotes out there, including from clinicians ( which includes MDs if you're particular about titles, and one clinic that treats cancer patients). As you can imagine a proper study cannot be done, without funding. A seemingly outrageous as a diet like this will never get any funding to start with. It's a chicken and egg situation. There was one formal study that was done about 100 years back on 2 volunteers, for about 2 years( they where observed full time for nearly six months to make sure they were not cheating, followed by around 1.5 years of data collection.

There is a larger point I'm trying to make: On a given subject occasionally most 'scientists' can be wrong most of the time. I almost spent an obsessive amount of time on health related literature to the best extent that I can.

When one digs into literature, I found that some heretics, who had different views were right. The way I eat has probably been practiced for a few 100 years by a minuscule minority, some of them physicians ( who often have a non-trivial 'data' from the people they treat)

For anyone who is a sincere skeptic, here is a shortcut (without having to read vast amounts of literature or listen to anecdotes): self experimentation. If you have a chronic condition ( like arthritis, Crohn's, diabetes) , the results are profound and immediate. If you're healthy then your mileage will be lesser, but still to the best of my knowledge, very discernible.

The bigger barrier is, your own view of the world: how can so many people with the right credentials, be wrong, simultaneously? It is not about science but it is about humans , their politics, biases etc. This is not a barrier that I can help with. It depends on your own past experiences, IQ, conformist tendencies etc.

Caveat: do not experiment without either talking to me or reading the literature, for example it's common for people who start on this diet to eat a lot of lean meat. While it won't kill you, it will certainly cause a lot of discomfort. Another example: normally pork is considered red meat, but I will not recommend pork, simply because pigs can be fed virtually anything, and the quality of meat can be sometimes bad to the point where you could fall sick.
jordansparks
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

On a given subject occasionally most 'scientists' can be wrong most of the time
Absolutely not. The scientists are always more right than anyone else could ever be. That's the whole point of the scientific revolution. This is not even up for debate.

You used the example of self experimentation on an intractable disease as an example of where scientists are wrong. They are not wrong. They've carefully figured out the symptoms, possible causes, and potential treatments. Beyond that, their answer is that they don't know. That doesn't make them wrong. If you've reached the limit of scientific knowledge, then experiment away as long as you don't try something that they've explicitly said you should not. Scientists are not neutral about a carnivore diet. They strongly agree that it's a bad idea, so you are more likely to be causing harm than good.
jordansparks
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

After months of studying these latest longevity topics, I have decided that they are mostly fads that lack evidence. I don't have the expertise to actually make this judgement on my own, so what I've really been doing it trying to figure out what the consensus is among the true experts. It took me a while to realize that some of the loudest voices (like Sinclair) were the outliers. Distinguishing between a mainstream expert and an outlier was the real trick. A mainstream expert relies heavily on meta analyses, systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, etc. An outlier points to individual experiments and case reports and then talks a lot about hypothetical mechanisms. Once I understood this distinction, it became a lot easier to know which doctors to listen to. The end result is:
-Oral NMN is useless. It just gets digested.
-Metformin for longevity was debunked a few years ago.
-Intermittent fasting is fine for weight loss, but has no longevity benefits.
-Rapamycin still looks promising, but not enough evidence yet.
-Low protein vs. high protein is a complex topic without a clear winner. There are pros and cons to both. The current mainstream recommendation for longer life is to eat more protein, while avoiding many sources of protein that are associated with disease such as red meat. So I'm going with that recommendation for now and including plenty of egg whites, milk, chicken, and salmon.
There doesn't seem to be a magic bullet.

Why is Brian Johnson doing what he's doing? He's got dozens(?) of doctors managing his protocol. The answer is that he seems to have sought out doctors willing to use unproven protocols. He's even admitted that none of them agree on what he should be doing, which seems like a big red flag. Here are a few examples of things he's clearly doing wrong:
-Taking high dose of metformin. That was debunked and it has metabolic downsides.
-Calories are too low. He puts on a good poker face, but it's stressful to eat that little, and there's evidence that being under weight decreases longevity.
-Taking testosterone. Because he is under weight, his testosterone is low and needs to be replaced. But research clearly shows that taking testosterone counteracts the benefits of caloric restriction.
-He's taking growth hormone to supposedly rejuvenate his thymus. Give me a break. GH has repeatedly been shown to shorten lifespan.

There is no hack. There is no shortcut. There is no special secret that the mainstream has not considered. If we do find something someday that extends life, the mainstream will be all over it very quickly. There is huge demand for life extension, so it will be very obvious when it's available. In the meantime, the best we can do is stay very healthy using the mainstream recommendations of diet, exercise, sleep, etc. And yes, those who understand their medical issues in detail can live years longer, so it's always a good use of time to study your own medical issues.

What this all means is that brain preservation is currently the only way to survive. While we might find ways to increase life by a few years, that's currently not an option. I remain rationally skeptical that any breakthroughs will happen in my lifetime.
dennis
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by dennis »

I did not notice that you had responded to my previous post.
scientists are not neutral about a carnivore diet.
The average scientist over there looks at a epidemiological studies. Here is what they don't do:

-They do not do controlled experiments on subjects.
-They do not do controlled experiments on themselves.
-They do not talk/listen to practitioners of the diet.
-They do not talk/listen about medical practitioners who advocate the diet.
(for example there is an old age home, where residents are mainly fed a mostly *carnivore diet. There is a cancer clinic that treats patience almost by giving them an exclusively carnivore diet, Etc)

Put in an unflattering way : It's a desk job done by an academic who really doesn't roll up his sleeves to do anything that is not a intellectual exercise.

In my mind the near complete carnivore diet is not even up for debate, the results are night and day in a matter of days especially for people with chronic illnesses. If that is not as concrete as an evidence can get what exactly is evidence ?

I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. If there are people with chronic illnesses that are willing to be experimented on, I can bet a large sum of money on the outcome. Given that technology (here I mean cameras ) enables some form of tracking that was otherwise difficult, one can ensure that a person sticks to their diet that he is claiming to have.

*= A carnivore diet can mean many things. I am specifically referring to good quality red meat from ruminants. This means for example chicken, fish and pork are excluded.
jordansparks
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

Dennis, your position is irrational. I won't even address it with specific details because it's unworthy of a response. I will instead listen to the consensus of the experts. You are simply not qualified to interpret the evidence. You have quite the hubris to think that you are smarter than the experts who have devoted their entire lives to this topic. No way.

If you make another irrational post, I will delete it. I won't tolerate irrational behavior on this forum. We're better than that.
MaximilianKohler
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by MaximilianKohler »

Ha! Interesting replies :)

(I, Jordan, deleted most of this message for being irrational anecdotal nonsense)

...Over the past decade, I've been continually stunned and horrified by the absolute incompetence of most "experts" to the point that I have zero trust in anyone....
jordansparks
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

I think we have a high percentage of independent rebellious types in our group. I'm not interested in stupid arguments about experts not being expert, or the scientific method not being good enough. Those arguments are fallacious and they are a distraction. I won't allow that kind of noise on this forum. Go "argue" on some other forum. Any posts along those lines will simply be deleted if posted here.
dennis
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by dennis »

jordansparks wrote: Mon Dec 25, 2023 9:09 am If you make another irrational post, I will delete it. I won't tolerate irrational behavior on this forum. We're better than that.
Jordan, not sure how to respond to this. Really, words fail me. Feel free to drop me off the list if you think some level of 'irrationality' has be crossed. And yes, I noticed that the poster MaximilianKohler has echoed a similar sentiment to me, regarding the 'experts' in a prior message.
jordansparks
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

One of my latest pages was sort of written with you in mind:
https://oregoncryo.com/scientificBasis.html
The scientific method specifically depends on trusting the consensus of groups of experts. I know I won't change your mind, but I also won't tolerate irrational posts here. Your irrational posts are no more correct than someone who gets on here and carries on about alkaline water or healing energy fields. Why would I allow any of that -- from you or from anyone else?
MaximilianKohler
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by MaximilianKohler »

(Jordan deleted this "argument" against using scientific consensus)
jordansparks
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

The only people allowed to disagree with scientific consensus on a particular issue are a handful of other experts in that specific field. Nobody else is allowed to question them. This is not blind trust; it's rational trust. Why would I even think about believing a non-expert? This discussion is absurd.
dennis
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by dennis »

jordansparks wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2024 9:34 am The only people allowed to disagree with scientific consensus on a particular issue are a handful of other experts in that specific field. Nobody else is allowed to question them. This is not blind trust; it's rational trust. Why would I even think about believing a non-expert? This discussion is absurd.
As a general rule what you stated is correct. Nuances are important, there are things wrong and right with what you state. Let me ask 2 questions before I proceed.
- Is this thread a serious post on diet (versus just a musing about diet) - I presume it's the later.
- Am I ( meaning, me the person) in your opinion, capable of even holding a nuanced, 'rational' conversation on this subject?

If the answer is 'no' to either of the above 2 questions, then this would be the last post on this subject here with you. I would presume a 'no' to either of my questions, if you do not respond.
jordansparks
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by jordansparks »

1. It's serious.
2. No, you do not seem to be capable. The only rational arguments allowed would be to point to a consensus position held by all the leading experts on the topic at hand. Diet is tougher to do science on, so the consensus might not be as strong as in other areas of science, but it will still be present and fairly strong. Just like there is no true controversy on the cause of climate change, there is no true controversy on what to eat. The nutrition scientists agree.

You've made it crystal clear that you will not abide by that simple rule, so there's nothing else to say.
MaximilianKohler
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Re: Life Extension as Backup Plan

Post by MaximilianKohler »

(Jordan deleted this post for continuing to "debate" the issue of experts)
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