Sunday, January 29, 2006

** Fantastic Voyage: Live long enough to live forever by Ray Kurzweil

** Fantastic Voyage: Live long enough to live forever by Ray Kurzweil

I hope Ray is right, but I fear that he’s a bit optimistic about the rate of progress and the ability of society to tolerate such massive changes. Many of his suggestions are bit too extreme, but by following some of his approaches in moderation you may be able to extend your lifespan, or at the very least extend your health and fitness into your old age. Read with skepticism and optimism.

Growing younger: Cloned telomere extended celled introduced into an organ will integrate themselves with the older cells. Through repeated treatments over a period of time, the organ will end up being dominated by the younger cells. P23

This is about the craziest thing I’ve heard from a smart person in a very long time.
Replace the genetic machinery altogether (cell nucleus, ribosomes, etc.) with small computerized robots. The computer would store all 800MB of your genetic info using only 30MB (data compressed). The computer would then assemble the proper proteins using the amino acids according to the genetic computer program. These computer would be on a wireless local area network, so improvements to the genetic computer code could be downloaded from the internet. P31 Yeah, and someone could hack into your brain cells now and reprogram them to make stomach acid. Or you could download a computer virus that actually makes you sicker than any real virus. I think this is pretty far-fetched and mighty unsafe. Microsoft can’t secure Windows, how can we possibly secure this system?

Have a Coke and a smile, along with acidosis.
Neutral water has 1 out of 10M (10 –7th) in an ionized state – broken apart into hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions. Such water has a pH of 7… If the proportion of hydrogen ions increase 10-fold, this acidic water will have 1 out of 1M of its molecules as hydrogen ions, or pH of 6… Stomach fluid is extremely acidic, with a pH of 1.5. Pancreatic fluid is quite alkaline, with a pH of 8.8. The pH in our cells ranges from 6.8 to 7.1. The most important balance is in our blood, where the pH is tightly controlled between 7.35 and 7.45. Your body will act to neutralize acidic drinks with alkaline blood buffers. Most soft drinks are extremely acidic. Colas also contain high levels of phosphoric acid, an acid capable of poisoning you if not quickly neutralized. Cola (regular or diet) has an extraordinarily low pH of 2.5. It would take 3,200 glasses of alkaline water with a pH of 8 to neutralize a single 8oz glass of cola! If the body did nothing to counteract the acid in the cola, a single glass would lower your blood pH to 4.6, killing you instantly… There were no colas nor carbonated soft drinks 1000s of years ago, so our bodies did not evolve to deal effectively with the onslaught of acids that many people consume today. P46

You can get stoned from a diet pepsi.
The body uses calcium to convert the poisonous liquid phosphoric acid in colas into the more stable solid phosphates. But these phosphates may form into calcified kidney stones… Many people erroneously think kidney stones are caused by excessive calcium. But the real culprit may be the high level of phosphoric acid. P 46

OJ actually does a body good. What about Ron’s and Nicole’s bodies, you say? I mean the juice from the fruit, not that murdering ex-footballer! Get with the program.
Not all acidic foods increase the acidity in our bodies. OJ has an extremely acidic pH of 3.5 because of citric acid, but the citric acid is burned away during digestion. OJ also contains potassium and magnesium, which with water create alkaline ions. Thus the overall effect of drinking acidic OJ is to increase alkalinity. P47

Avoid fake sugars. In a pinch, go with Splenda, 600 times sweeter than sugar. Better yet, try natural Stevia which is 30 to 100 times sweeter than sugar. We are not aware of any adverse reactions reported from the use of stevia… In fact, some health benefits have been observed: lowers blood sugar in diabetics, lowers elevated blood pressure, kills bacteria that cause tooth decay, reduces cravings for alcohol and tobacco, increases energy level and mental activity. P64

The gastric juice from your stomach lining is the most acidic fluid in your body – pH of 1 to 2. Gastric juice also contains enzymes, notably pepsins, which breakdown proteins. By the time the chyme (food mixed with gastric juice) leaves the stomach, the digestive processes have broken down about 30 to 50% of the starches and 10 to 15% of the proteins, but none of the fats. P86

The gallbladder receives enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the liver. Bile emulsifies fats so they mix well with other digestive juices, and also activates enzymes that break down fats into constituent fatty acids. P88

40% of US adults have toxoplasma gondii parasite, and infection with giardiasis.

According the 2003 JAMA report, an obese 20 year old man has a life expectancy 13 years less than his contemporaries of normal weight… Being 20% overweight triples your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, doubles your risk of high cholesterol, and increases your risk of heart disease by 60%. P107. Care for a second helping of dessert?

Annual per capita consumption of sugar and related sweetners such as honey, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, etc. is 152 lbs. P124 That’s nearly a 1/2 lb per day!

Americans consume 53 gallons of soft drinks per year. That’s 565 12 oz servings, or 1.5 per day! P124

When you consume sugar or high glycemic carbohydrates, you increase your insulin level, which stimulates production of arachidonic acid which leads to inflammation in your body… Red meat, shellfish, and egg yolks are rich dietary sources of arachidonic acid. Therefore consumption of these foods should also be limited. P165 Want some sugar crystal coated prawns in egg custard over a filet mignon?

For heart attack and stroke prevention, low dose aspirin and other NSAID therapy provides the benefits, but mainly to high-risk patients. The reason is that NSAIDs can cause ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding… Therefore our recommendation is that until further research is available, long term NSAID therapy be confined to high risk patients and avoided by otherwise healthy people. P168

Spider plants are particularly good at removing formaldehyde, while plants with fuzzy leaves help remove particulate matter. P182

Cilantro is a natural heavy metal chelator (a remover of metals)… A diet rich in garlic, onions, lemon, rosemary and green tea can help strengthen the liver’s function with the elimination heavy metals. P184

Certain fruits and vegetables are heavily contaminated with pesticide… It is estimated that you can reduce your pesticide exposure by over 90% by avoiding the most contaminated varieties (especially imported). P186

Most Contaminated Least Contaminated
Bell Peppers Sweet corn
Spinach Avocado
Celery Cauliflower
Potatoes Asparagus
Peaches Onions
Nectarines Sweet peas
Strawberries Broccoli
Apples Pineapple
Pears Mangoes
Cherries Kiwi
Grapes Papaya
Raspberries Bananas

In a UCSF study, randomly assigned patients either received angioplasty surgery or statin lowering drugs. The nonsurgery group actually had fewer heart attacks and fewer visits for chest pains. P200

One paper reviewed 27 studies on the use of melatonin as a cancer preventive treatment. The authors concluded melatonin could indeed be considered physiological anticancer substance… We recommend taking .1 to .3 mg daily at bedtime. P252

Hey fathead! Eat your omega 3s.
Constituting 2% of total body weight, the brain receives 20% of all blood and oxygen coming from the heart and lungs. By weight the brain is 60% fat, which explains the critical importance of eating healthful fats. P262

Dopamine receptors also fire as a result of victory, such as winning a football game or a battle in war. An even greater surprise, such as winning the lottery or having all 7’s show up on a slot machine. This helps explain why the variable reinforcement provided by winning at gambling is more addictive than the predictable earnings of work.. p273

Ideas for living fully
  • Get some sun each day (5 to 10 minutes).

  • Seek out quiet, beautiful environments.

  • Don’t be unduly attached to things.

  • Don’t be unduly concerned about what others think of you.

  • Give criticism sparingly.

  • Keep learning, challenge yourself and have an open mind.

  • Be optimistic, grateful and express it.

  • Have a life partner, but also have a life outside your marriage.

  • Keep a journal.

  • Stay healthy (eat well and exercise).

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