Healthy Life Extension
Your Attitude Can Kill or Cure You
Dear Future Centenarian,
I have an amazing friend named John Carlton. If you think this week™s essay is too long and not my words, blame John and his brilliance¦ not me. His message is just too strong and too important to not reprint part of it. If you want more, read John™s whole blog at http://www.john-carlton.com/2013/01/the-rest-of-your-freakin-life-again/. I carved the following out of the middle.
This message is too important to not absorb, regardless of your interests. So œHere™s Johnny.
There are a few enlightened health pro™s who say weÂ shouldÂ let our bodies wind down every year or so. Get a full system-flush type of cold, crawl under the covers for a few days and let the demons and other bad stuff bubble to the surface. So you can purge the crud. Evacuate the used-up bacteria and tube-clogs out of your pipes, physically. And shoo the whispering monsters out of your head.
We™re not perfect creatures. We need to sleep, we need to recharge our batteries, and we need to stop and get our bearings. At least once a year. So don™t beat yourself up for the occasional down period. We all have them, and the healthiest folks just roll with it. It™s not good to repress this stuff.
Now, I have two things to say about this:
Keep in mind the fact that everyone goes through bumpy emotional states. And that the percentage of people who actually do lose it every year is rather small.
Most of the time, you™re probably going to be fine. Even when your problems seem overwhelming.Â There are tools available to help your brain cope. You don™t often come across these tools on your own.
Often, just discovering that you™re not alone in what you™re going through, that others have successfully navigated similar troubles, and that the folks who study human behavior and thinking patterns now have really simple (and super-effective) ways to obliterate feeling overwhelmed can solve much of what™s currently holding you back.
And it turns out that, at some point in your life, Abraham Lincoln was right “Â you are as happy as you decide to be.
This is startling news to anyone lost in despair. Because it seems like you™ve been forced to feel that way. With noÂ choice.
But it™s not the case. The happiness study revealed that you cannot tell from a person™s current attitude what sort of trauma they had gone through earlier in life. People who had suffered horribly could be happy as larks, while silver-spoon never-stubbed-a-toe folks were miserable.
The difference?Â Attitude. Optimistic peopleÂ work throughÂ setbacks and trauma¦ while pessimists settle into a funk that can™t be budged.
And it™s a CHOICE. At some point in your life, you choose to either live in gloom or sunlight.
This realization rocks many folk™s boat. Especially the pessimists. They dominate society, politics, business, everything. And they areÂ veryÂ protective of their gloom and doom outlook. Invested, heavily, in proving themselves right about the inherent nastiness of life.
Maybe you™re one of ˜em.
If you are, you™re killing yourself.
The guys in lab coats who study this stuff say that heart disease rates are HALF for optimists over pessimists. So, even if you doubt the ability to measure œhappiness ” and it is a rather rocky science ” you still can™t deny the stats on dropping dead from a gloomy ticker.
Now, I am most assuredly NOT a clear-eyed optimist. I get creepy feelings around people who are too happy all the time.
But I doÂ preferÂ having a good time, and appreciating the finer things in life.
I™m just good at balancing out the bad with the good.
If you focus on the bad things that can go wrong, you™ll never crawl out of bed in the morning.
When you finally realize that ” not counting health problems ” pretty much everything bad that business, or relationships, or politics can throw at you will not kill you¦ then you can begin to relax.
Hey ” I™m in no position to tell anyone how to live their life. I™ve screwed up plenty, and if I have any wisdom at all, it™s only because I™ve survived some truly hairy situations.
But I don™t believe anyoneÂ elseÂ is in a position to tell you how to live, either. That™s gotta beÂ yourÂ decision.
And it™s a damn hard one to make.
Fortunately, while I can™t tell you how to live, IÂ canÂ move some smooth (and proven) advice in your direction. Take it or leave it¦ but give it a listen anyway, cuz my track record on successful advice-giving is fairly impressive.
And I™m telling you that having a hateful, brooding attitude will stunt your growth.Â It will make you a smaller person, a less-wise person, an older and feebler person.Â And you won™tÂ grow. Not spiritually, not physically, not emotionally. Not in your business life, either.
Most people don™t want to grow, anyway. Growth only comes from movement and change¦ and the vast majority of the folks walking the earth with us today are terrified of change.
You can™t blame them, really. Change is a form of death. Whatever was before, dies. And whatever comes next must be nurtured with devotion and sacrifice.
That™s hard. That™s a hard way to live, always dying and being reborn.
And because it™s hard, it™s avoided.
Well, screw that.
I suspect, if you™re reading this, you are notÂ afraidÂ of change. But you may not yet understand the power that REALLY giving yourself to change offers.
And that brings us to¦
Thing Numero Dos:Â Goals are all aboutÂ change.
Here™s John™s whole blog. I can™t think of a more valuable way to invest 5 minutes.
Latest Headlines from Fight Aging!
A Human Interest Article on Cancer Immunotherapy - Monday, August 19, 2013
This article is long on the human interest and short on scientific specifics, but is nonetheless an interesting look at the present state and potential for immunotherapies for cancer - one form of the coming generation of targeted cell destruction treatments.
Therapies that can cure cancer in a fraction of even late stage patients have moved from the laboratory and into early trials in recent years, a progression that will continue and broaden
The State of the Art in Misrepresenting Longevity Science - Monday, August 19, 2013
When you read about a topic you know a great deal of in the mainstream media, you'll likely notice many errors and misrepresentations. You won't see that in topics you know less of, but those errors and misrepresentations are still there.
A decent writer can make anything sound plausible and look good to someone only casually familiar with a field, even while he is omitting vital information or propagating outright falsehoods - either due to insufficient research or underlying agendas. Accuracy in media is fairly low in the list of priorities as a general rule.
Here is a good long-form example of the state of the art in misrepresentation of longevity science. All sorts of strategic omissions and outright misrepresentations are made on the work of specific scientists and the state of specific lines of research in those areas where I know enough to identify them, so I have to assume they are present elsewhere as well. Yet the piece reads as though a well-researched and constructed popular science article, and there's enough truth in there to float the falsehoods.
David Sinclair on the Prospects for Longevity Science - Tuesday, August 20, 2013
David Sinclair of Sirtris leads research on a few lines of calorie restriction mimetic drug development based on sirtuins that I don't think have a hope of significantly impacting human aging.
This is a part of a broader field, that of metabolic manipulation to slow aging, that I also don't think has much of a chance to significantly impact human aging within our lifetimes. Nonetheless, Sinclair is an optimist on the future of this field - which is understandable, given his choice to pursue it, but by this point, with a lot of sunk costs and little to show for it, there may be an element of talking up his position as well.
Arguing for Rapamycin to Slow Aging - Tuesday, August 20, 2013
There is presently some debate over whether or not rapamycin actually slows aging - based on rigorous studies some researchers say yes, say no, it extends life in mice but only by reducing cancer risk.
Rapamycin and various derivatives under development are presently the longevity enhancing drug candidates best supported by the evidence in laboratory mice, so there is probably a lesson to be learned here in regards to the soundness of the whole strategy of trying to slow aging via metabolic manipulation.
The researcher quoted here is a vocal proponent of one of the programmed theories of aging (the hyperfunction theory), so bear that in mind while reading his defense of rapamycin. His view is that it is absolutely the case that aging can be significantly impacted by intervening in genetic programs thought to be driving it, and suitable drugs are the first step on that road. This is the reverse of other side of the aging research community who see aging as caused by accumulated damage, and the accompanying metabolic changes as a reaction to that damage rather than its cause. Nonetheless there are some interesting arguments made here.
The Price of Complexity is a Loss of Superior Regeneration - Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Many lower animals are capable of regenerating from near any injury, and in some species researchers struggle to find any signs that they are subject to degenerative aging.
These are not complex creatures, however. Lacking a central nervous system or a brain and other complex organs implies the ability to be resilient and regrow tissues to a degree that a complex organism simply cannot match. This point was raised in comments on the possible agelessness of hydra, but there are other similar lower animals.
The great difference between a simple and a complex organism means that there may be little beyond knowledge to be extracted from these studies. We have evolved to lose regenerative capacity for reasons that probably have to do with the complexity of our structure - researchers can't simply port over the biology of lower animals to let our stem cells run rampant and expect positive results to follow. Improving human regeneration is something that will have to be carefully steered and controlled, as is the case in research presently taking place in the stem cell scientific community.
Considering Bat Longevity - Wednesday, August 21, 2013
When investigating aging and longevity through comparing the biology of different species, one place to start is with the few species that are unusually long-lived in comparison to similarly-sized neighboring species.
Hence the study of naked mole rats, which live nine times as long as other small rodents. Bats are also of interest, as they live much longer than other small active mammals. Digging into their biochemistry might tell researchers more about how the operation of mammalian metabolism determines longevity and the pace of aging. The results here, for example, may reinforce the role of growth hormone receptor (GHR) in the pace of aging.
Restoring Autophagy as a Basis to Treat Macular Degeneration - Thursday, August 22, 2013
The blindness of age-related macular degeneration is linked to the build-up of lipofuscin in cells, a hardy collection of metabolic waste products that the body cannot effectively break down.
Lipofuscin accumulates to cause progressive failure of the cellular recycling and maintenance mechanisms known as autophagy - this is due to failing lysosomes, a part of the autophagic machinery which becomes increasingly clogged and bloated by lipofuscin.
Macular degeneration is one of the better known manifestations of this process, but it happens in long-lived cells throughout the body. The SENS proposals for rejuvenation therapies include the use of bacterial enzymes to break down the components of lipofusin, so as to restore autophagy and remove this contribution to degenerative aging. The open access research into autophagy and macular degeneration quoted below supports the SENS view on how best to proceed.
Calorie Restriction as a Means to Augment Cancer Therapies - Thursday, August 22, 2013
Long term calorie restriction lowers the risk of cancer in addition to extending life in laboratory animals. Here researchers show that short term calorie restriction appears to augment the effectiveness of treatments for an existing cancer.
A Look Back at Some of the Roots of Modern Thought on Radical Life Extension - Friday, August 23, 2013
The modern movements of transhumanism and support for longevity science have deep roots: you can find early expressions of the ideas of human enhancement and overcoming natural limits on our biology in a range of writings from past centuries. These ideas became more commonplace and more complex over time as the prospects for technology caught up with our desires.
The Next Few Years of Research Into Alzheimer's Disease - Friday, August 23, 2013
A conservative view of what lies ahead for Alzheimer's disease (AD) research sees incremental progress resulting from new and better investigative biotechnologies.
Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2013/08/the-next-few-years-of-research-into-alzheimers-disease.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"