Healthy Life Extension
My Best Gift from Santa “ EVER
Dear Future Centenarian,Â
Before I tell you about the most amazing and unexpected gift I ever got, let me give you a little background:
Since I was a teenager, I had an wanderlust for California. Credit it to television. 77 Sunset Strip, Route 66, Dragnet and especially the Rose Bowl and the Bing Crosby Invitational golf tournament.
The last two were January television event staples. I grew up in a mountainous area of western Pennsylvania. So it snowed a lot. And it was bitter cold. One eye on people in short sleeves on TV land and the other on our iced-over picture window in my real world.
I finally moved to Calif after brief stints in the Army National Guard active duty, working for the telephone company and substitute teaching.
In January, 1968, I loaded everything I owned, including a duffle bag stuffed with my army gear, my golf clubs and other personal items into my ™65 Corvette convertible “ and headed west.
Shortly after I landed in southern Calif, I checked the want ads for job opportunities. I was looking for full-time employment, but a small classified part-time ad caught my eye. The headline said œGet Paid to Interview Single Girls. I thought œI can do that.
So I called the number, went for an interview, and only had one question. I asked Jack, the company owner, if I could do it full-time. Of course I got hired on the spot since it was a commission-based job. No salary and no benefits (well¦).
As it turned out, the job was selling pots and pans (we snobs called it œcookware) door-to-door to single working girls. The job was a bit unusual for a college graduate, but here was my rationale:
I was a fairly good golfer and had aspirations of playing professional golf. Except for some prospecting for leads in office buildings and hospitals, selling cookware was primarily and evening job. I figured I could spend my days honing my golf skills, and make enough money in the eves to get myself on tour.
But there were two flaws in that grand plan. I grossly overestimated my athletic ability and way underrated the commitment it takes to play any sport at that level. In other words, I had neither the physical talents nor the discipline it took to even dream of having a shot. Besides, I became addicted to the beach.
So Plan B (my default plan) was to play golf for fun when I wasn™t body surfing, and to meet girls on the job without having to spend money.
This lasted for about a year until I decided to pursue something a little more meaningful. So I got my real estate license.
I tell you this story because Jack remained a close friend to this day. I credit him for being the first to introduce me to personal development books and tapes. And commission sales taught me more real lessons about business and life than I learned in four years of college.
So fast forward to Christmas dinner at Jack and Jackie™s (Jack™s wife) home.
I sat next to an extremely nice man named Paul. I first met Paul last Thanksgiving at Jack and Jackie™s annual Thanksgiving dinner.
Before our Christmas dinner, Paul reminded me of something I said to him on Thanksgiving. During our first meeting, he told me his wife died on March 23, 2012. Paul™s in his mid-80s, and that was his second marriage. They married the day JFK was assassinated, November 22nd, 1963 and lived in bliss till the day she died.
In response to how he was managing life without her, he said, œIt is what it is. Then I told him golf legend Bobby Jones™ quote after he was diagnosed with ALS. œYou have to play it where it lies. Then the topic changed.
I forgot about that until he brought it up a month later. He told me that when I told him the quote, it went through him like a knife. He said he never felt so much pain in his life. He then added that his quote was passive, and mine was active, therefore much more meaningful.
I felt horrible. I thought I inadvertently caused him pain. But he went on to explain that until that Thanksgiving moment, he was in daily pain from the grief of losing his wife¦ until I said what I did. When he said it went through him like a knife, he meant his pain immediately disappeared. He even added that he was constipated for a month until then. When he went home he œcompletely opened up and has not been constipated since.
So the bottom line is, I unintentionally erased Paul™s pain by eight magical words. Discovering that I ended a person™s suffering was one of the best presents I could imagine.
The holiday lesson here is, you never know when you will touch someone. Words have meaning. Words have power. You don™t know how people will react to them. But there is always a reaction.
So be careful what you say and to whom. Words can sting too¦ and they can even cause irreparable harm. Words can also heal, encourage, transform and motivate. Words can change the world.
I think the most impactful and transformative words I ever wrote are in Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100? I update it every year. In fact, I spent the better part of the last couple of weeks making hundreds of revisions. The new edition should be finished by February.
The information in my book is written to heal, prevent and inspire. I try to improve it with each edition. And I have gotten tons of encouraging feedback. But even after all this time, I never attached much importance to what I say in casual conversation. Now I do. Another gift from Paul.
Therefore, choose your words carefully, written or spoken. They can be weapons or tools. The world has too many weapons¦ and never has enough tools.
Happy New Year and More Life,
Latest Headlines from Fight Aging!
Examining the Opening Stages of Alzheimer's Disease - Monday, December 23, 2013
Researchers here add data to the picture of the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
A Complex Relationship Between Mitochondrial Haplogroups and Natural Variations in Longevity - Monday, December 23, 2013
Mitochondria, the power plants of the cell, bear their own mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that is inherited from the mother.
There are a range of common variants of human mitochondrial DNA known as haplogroups, and given that mitochondria are important in aging there is an expectation that some of the natural variation in human longevity can be explained via haplogroup differences. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that some haplogroups are better than others when it comes to life expectancy, all other things being equal.
These effects are not large in the grand scheme of things, however, and as for everything involving the genetics of longevity the underlying mechanisms and relationships are complicated.
A Heart That Beats for 500 Years - Tuesday, December 24, 2013
The ocean quahog species of Arctica islandica can live for at least 500 years and individuals appear to undergo comparatively little in the way of obvious degeneration across that span.
Many species of bivalve live only a couple of years, and this very large range of life spans in similar animals has attracted researchers who wish to uncover the molecular biology that determines longevity.
Embrace Your Eminently Sensible Fear of Death - Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Coming to terms with a personal future of disability, pain, and then death due to aging is very human. But coming to terms is one step removed from complacency, and the world is complacent about aging and the staggering toll of death and suffering it causes.
Thus research into prevention of aging and treatments that might remove this death and suffering languish with little funding and interest, and the populace go about their days doing their best to ignore the fact that they are corroding away inside.
If aging were treatable, no-one would want to go back to when it was not - that would be a nonsensical proposition, like restoring smallpox and famine. Yet all too few people today care to help us move forward into a better world.
A Glance at Reflexive Opposition to Radical Life Extension - Wednesday, December 25, 2013
This columnist sees the signs of progress, thinks that extended longevity is plausible, but rejects radical life extension on the flimsy grounds that only death gives life meaning and removes the possibility of stasis.
This seems particularly silly given that, I'm sure, this isn't someone who would advocate moving life expectancy back to where it was a century or two ago. So would he argue that life is less meaningful now, more of a "featureless expanse" as he puts it?
Death doesn't give life meaning - it strips meaning, and everything else, from us. Being alive is what allows us to inject meaning into life, and for so long as you are alive you can be a font of meaning if that's what drives you. We can draw lines and calculate totals and change careers and directions wherever we want, and then start over to work on something new and interesting. This already happens constantly throughout life, just the same as it did a century or two ago, and just the same as it will when people live far longer in good health.
Data to Bolster the Usual Explanation as to Why Conscientious People Live Longer - Wednesday, December 25, 2013
In a better world, researchers who presently spend their time figuring out how and why personality traits correlate to life expectancy would instead be working on rejuvenation treatments.
Alas, most of the study of aging is just that - study, with little to no interest in producing treatments. Here, scientists provide additional data to support the usual explanation as to why conscientious people live longer: they are taking better care of their health by refraining from smoking, engaging in regular exercise, not carrying excess fat tissue, and so forth. No doubt they are also making better use of available preventative and other medical services, but that isn't examined in this study.
Reversing Glial Scars in Brain Injuries - Thursday, December 26, 2013
Researchers here are working on a way to remove a type of scarring that occurs in brain injuries and forms of neurodegeneration.
Evidence for Longer Telomeres in Women - Thursday, December 26, 2013
Women tend to live longer than men for reasons that remain much debated, an example of the way in which identifying cause and effect for natural variations in longevity can be very challenging.
Telomeres, the caps of repeating DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes, tend to become shorter on average with age and illness. Some forms of telomere length measurement in some tissues may be useful as a biomarker of aging, but so far this hasn't proven to be straightforward. Given these two line items we might expect to find that women have longer telomeres than men, once the details are sorted out.
A Method of Delivering Genes to Mitochondria - Friday, December 27, 2013
One of the causes of aging is mitochondrial DNA damage. The mitochondria, the cell's herd of bacteria-like power plants, contain their own DNA, separate from that in the cell nucleus.
It is more vulnerable to damage: mitochondrial DNA repair mechanisms are not as good as those operating in the nucleus, and mitochondria generate reactive free radical molecules in the course of their operation. DNA provides the blueprints for protein machinery, and some forms of damage to mitochondrial DNA can lead to crippled mitochondria that can nonetheless out-compete their undamaged brethren.
Cells become taken over by broken mitochondria and themselves begin to malfunction and harm surrounding tissue: by the time you are old this is a very significant issue that contributes to a range of fatal age-related conditions. Yet this can all be reversed provided that the necessary proteins are provided to the mitochondria. There are numerous strategies, some more permanent than others: the SENS Research Foundation favors a one-time life-long fix that puts copies of mitochondrial genes into the cell nucleus, for example.
But more temporary solutions include delivering the proteins directly, or delivering extra copies of undamaged mitochondrial DNA to swamp out the damaged copies and provide the necessary protein blueprints. A number of ways are either proposed or demonstrated to deliver new DNA to mitochondria, and here is another of them. As is usually the case, the focus here is on comparatively rare genetic disorders rather than the ubiquitous problem of aging, however.
Reviewing Methods of Life Extension in Flies, From a Perspective of Maintaining Homeostasis - Friday, December 27, 2013
If you consider aging to be an accumulation of cellular and molecular damage, then loss of homeostasis in tissues - a progressive failure of stability and maintenance - is a consequence of that damage, and epigenetic changes shown to occur with aging are reactions to damage or driven by damage.
The way to reverse the issue is to repair the damage. If, on the other hand, you consider aging to be a genetic program, then loss of homeostasis and damage are both consequences of these epigenetic changes. The way to reverse the issue is to restore epigenetic patterns to a youthful level.
Interestingly, while the majority of the research community holds the view that aging is damage accumulation, they also tend to work on projects that better fit the programmed aging hypothesis - aiming to use drugs to alter the operation of metabolism in order to slow aging, for example. This is most likely because these projects look more like past drug development and exploration of the molecular basis for disease, and are thus more palatable to conservative funding sources and regulatory bodies.
This is just one of numerous ways in which the research community proceeds in a less than rational manner, following short term incentives at the expense of longer term goals.
Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2013/12/reviewing-methods-of-life-extension-in-flies-from-a-perspective-of-maintaining-homeostasis.php
DISCLAIMER:Â News summaries are reported by third parties, and there is no guarantee of accuracy. This newsletter is not meant to substitute for your personal due diligence and is not to be taken as medical advice. For originating report, please see www.fightaging.org/
David A. Kekich
Maximum Life Foundation
"Where Biotech, Infotech and Nanotech
Â Â Â Â Meet to Reverse Aging by 2033"