How to live longer

Nature is strange. When we think we understand it, it proves us wrong. Why does a worker bee live 5 weeks while a Galapagos turtle 200 years? Because that what’s needed to successfully transfer the genes to new generation. People in under developed countries live about 35 years, which is enough to get kids, or in developed countries to about 70 years which is also enough to take care of grand children. But what if there is a food scarcity, making it a bad strategy to get children? Then the nature has a secret weapon. It turns on the longevity gene! This can make us live to 120 years, maybe more. And not just live more, but live in good health. Who would have thought that there is such a strange thing as a longevity gene, but there is. It has been known for 80 years that eating calorie restricted prolongs life of many animals (and probably for humans as well as evidence show for people who have been on calorie restriction). But the reason was unknown. Now it turns out that it is due to the longevity gene being turned on. But is there a way to turn on this gene without calorie restriction? Yes there is. A molecule called resaveratol (found in red wine) does the job. You can buy it today in health food store or order it on the net, or wait 5 years until the medical studies have been conducted. Then you can buy it in your local pharmacy. See the following video, for the story.

Robert! Välkommen hem! gammal vän :smiley:
I dont need resaveratol. Ill live for ever, because Mammy Jameson`s looking after me. :wink:
Take care
[size=50]Long live Brunton though[/size]

Sounds great… If you are willing to ignore all of the most basic scientific facts, like the fact that DNA and genes cannot be altered by diet unless you are playing the video game Spore.

But still, peddle all the false science and herbal remedies you want. Hell, the wonderful just-so story about bees and turtles sounds scientific, right? It gives a name to a gene, which is always a surefire hit. And it promises to turn our basic scientific understanding on it’s head, which is handy because everyone roots for the underdog against the mighty establishment of knowledge backed up by scientific facts, which can be so pesky.

And even your wonderful allegory about the tortoise and the hare is arse about. Surely with a food shortage, living a shorter life would be better, since old people just take away resources from the young and those of child bearing age. Or does the magical fountain of youth herb also alter our reproductive age, and delay menopause, and prevent Down’s Syndrome? Now that would be nice. You could do some studies and stuff, of course, if you can get someone who passed high school science can explain to you why you don’t need to find a person blind in both eyes to do a double blind trial… Or you could just update your press release to include the herb that kills anyone who asks too many questions.

Do you know what they call alternative medicine that has been proven to work? Medicine. *

(* I wish I could claim this line as my own, but unfortunately it came from a Tim Minchin show that I saw recently).

Not altered by diet? Yes they can be. Positively and negatively. Will this nutrient live up to all the hype? Nope. they never do.

Um, I think there’s a disconnect in terms, here. DNA itself cannot be changed by diet, but the expression of your genes can be modified by diet. I think there’s another term for it, but I’m drawing a blank.

Example: some folk have the DNA that makes them predisposed to heart attack. But if someone with that genetic predisposition eats right and keeps himself healthy, he’ll be more likely to avoid getting that heart attack—ergo, what he’s eaten has affected him on a genetic level, in a matter of speaking.

:neutral_face: It’s too late at night for me to be fully coherent. Sorry.

I would agree that I don’t think the original poster is referring to actually altering DNA by changing the diet. Of course, that is impossible, we are quite beyond Lamarck these days. However that said, I don’t think avoiding a genetic predisposition through diet is quite what the original post is talking about either. This isn’t a diabetic diet, or a person with high-risk of heart disease avoiding hamburgers and cigarettes, but rather the assertion that there is in fact a “longevity gene”, and that it can be triggered with diet (or lack there of, in the case of calorie restriction). Avoiding or working around a genetic health issue doesn’t change the health issue. Eating a diet low in cholesterol doesn’t make the heart risk failure go away, it just keeps the corroborating risk factor as low as possible.

My first question would be, is there actually a longevity gene? I have heard of potentially fruitful research into the opposite, an ageing gene, but this is still experimental and largely theoretical. There are fish that can live to extraordinary ages because this gene is not present. There is the FOXO3A gene which has been found to be present in a large percentage of 100+ year old humans worldwide. Calling it a longevity gene is a simplification though, as is often the case in genetics. There could be a host of interconnectivity issues going on here. FOX03A could be acting as a built-in risk reduction gene.

So I am automatically sceptical of anything that claims to “activate” a longevity gene. If anyone has links to papers saying otherwise, I’d love to see them. Reason being, this is a gene that is not present in every human. The reason why FOXO3A is interesting is because it is present in a high percentage of 95+ humans, and even more present in 100+ humans. While there aren’t studies comparing these people to CR and resveratrol, it would surprise me if there was a correlation. That aside, If you don’t have the gene, there is nothing to “activate”. :slight_smile:

To my knowledge, there is no health or diet thing that anyone can do to actually extend their life, with the exception of avoiding things which increase the odds of shortening life (doubly so with genetic predisposition to common fatal diseases). There is a huge difference between those two, but it is easy to mistake the former for the latter. Avoiding smoking cigarettes will not make you live longer, but smoking them will definitely increase the odds of shortening your life.

My second objection would be to resveratrol itself. While laboratory conditions have shown it to be effective in reducing risks from already high-risk conditions (example, high-fat-diet mice can have their risks reduced by supplementing their diet with resveratrol), and a few studies (some not peer reproduced) have shown life expectancy increases in simple organisms (we are talking yeast here), none of this has been replicated in complex organisms, and certainly not humans. Resveratrol was actually one of the studied components of the “French Paradox” in relation to red wine, but in cases found to not be a factor, in only a few of the test cases showed any increase in resveratrol in blood samples at all; in other words the red wine wasn’t an effective delivery mechanism, and so cannot explain the health properties of red wine.

Most studies and reproducible results of resveratrol revolve around the reduction of risks, which again goes back to hamburger avoidance. Perfectly valid, and the drug might be of great benefit to society in the future, but saying that it will make us all live to be 120 by extending the lifespan is very likely disingenuous.

Finally, CR, like found in the Okinawa diet, has yet to be fully tested in primates, though it has shown promising data in fungi and a few animals. This is largely because we have such long lifespans to begin with. CR study isn’t that old, and there are no studies going back 80+ years, so there just isn’t any data yet. Baldly claiming that it works because CR has show some fungus lives longer on a calorie reduction diet ignores a host of scientific principles.

Not just yeast. It has been shown to work on mice, fish and (preliminary data) monkeys as well.

No hamburger avoidance. By turning on the gene (I think it’s called SIRT1 or something like that), your body goes into survival mode, so it means that you live longer even if you eat hamburgers. Not that I recommend hamburgers in any way. Now the important thing is to activate the SIRT1 gene, which CR does in various species, including monkeys. According to Sinclair’s findings, resveratrol could activate SIRT1, but as of now we are not sure. However if resveratrol doesn’t do it some other molecule will. That’s why we have to wait some years before we definitelly know how to do it.

I’m of course not claiming that it will make us live ALL to 120. But data for mice (and preliminary data for monkeys) suggest 30-40% more life expectancy. For worms the life expectancy has been increased by 600% by activating not one gene, but a couple of them. It is a well known fact that when scientist discover the basic principle, they usually find ways to amp the cause and effect. For instance by finding out the basic principle of flying, they were able to produce machines that fly faster then birds. This data and reasoning makes an AVERAGE of 120 for humans plausible.

The first studies on mice were done in 1930s, that is 80 years ago. CR has been shown to work not just on fungus but on worms, mice, fish (and the preliminary data suggests it works on monkeys as well. Actually by studying aging markers, the data suggests that it works for humans as well).

If you think this is a joke, let me say that Dr Sinclair and DR Westphal, who discovered resaveratrol, started up a small company called Sirtris. It was recently been bought for $720 million by the international pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. I’m citing the reason for the acquisition. “The company wanted access to Sirtris’ research on Sirtuins, a class of enzymes thought to be involved in the aging process. That research has led to Sirtris’ formulation of resaveratrol an anti-aging chemical found naturally in red wine.”

I think that CR works, and that it is the only sure way to activate the longevity gene, but that there is a research that suggest that a drug like reservatol or something similar can be also be used to activate it. However this is more uncertain. However I do not think that resveratrol is dangerous and it might have some nice effects, like making it less probable to develop heart disease or prostata cancer. So I’m taking resveratrol even if it doesn’t activate the longevity gene. But I think that some drug that does so wil be developed soon. In the mean time use CR if you’re up to it :wink: .

Let’s do some wild speculation. Suppose that resaveratrol or some other drug activates SIRT1 gene on humans and that we on average can live to 120. If you’re 50 that will give you 70 more years to live. If we don’t destroy ourselves and the science continues it’s accelerated progress like it has done for the past century then what kind of wonders will be possible in 70 years? Maybe we can learn to live past 120, and maybe a very healthy life. Of course some people do not want to live that long. And they will not take the pill. But maybe a small minority of people will choose to live longer. As I speculated in an earlier post, the aim of the life is to increase freedom, by braking constraints. And the freedom to choose the length of your life is an important milestone.

If I can live to 120 with the vigour and fitness of an age no greater than my 50’s then that could be great. But if I am frail and feeble and infirm (like some I might name!) for a good 70 years of my entire life - that actually sounds awful. I’d rather live a meagre 60 years with the vitality of a 20 year old if I had that choice.

I think I’d rather get off the Wheel sooner than later. My wish is to live long enough.

I have yet to reconcile the fear of death, call it desire to live long, to modern man. It seems to me that we can divide man into 2 categories: those who believe in afterlife, those who believe “this is it”. If one believes in an afterlife they should be living in such a way as to insure the best outcome, and hence should “welcome” passing on. If one believes that there is no afterlife then there is nothing to fear other than the immediate pain of death which will be inconsequential as the experiencer of that pain will simply cease to exist. This would mean that the only real “pain” is for those left behind. As pink hints at, being alive in a decayed state may only prolong the pain for those left behind at our passing.

Which is a long way to say: why not enjoy the life we have and simply accept death with it comes calling?

[size=70]Please note that my position here is as the one to die. I am intimately familiar, if not recently familiar, with the pain that accompanies losing a loved one. That pain is very real and can not be mitigated by extending a damaged life.[/size]