[extropy-chat] where to go with supplementation in a post-Nick-Lane world ?

Ensel Sharon user at dhp.com
Sun Sep 24 21:02:07 UTC 2006

On Sun, 24 Sep 2006, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> > mitochondria, where the free radicals emanate from and do their damage, is
> > not a location that one could even hope that ingested antioxidants could
> > reach.
> Really? http://www.benbest.com/nutrceut/lipoic.html

Thanks - I will read that.  Note - I wasn't saying that the above was
_fact_, I was saying that the above was _the synopsis of his book_.  
Which I am as skeptical of as everything else.

> > I'm a skeptical person, so I will treat this new trend the same way I
> > treated the old trend (that cocoa and vitamins and pom juice and green tea
> > were the fountain of youth) with suspicion.
> I would not do multivitamins, unless you're on CR, or a junkfood diet (you
> should not ever be on a pure junkfood diet). Cocoa and green tea are quite 
> excellent actually, I don't bother with green tea extract but drink 1-2 l 
> of green tea daily (the coffeine is already worth it, and the taste is great).
> My cocoa comes as 85% (or 99%, if I can get it) cocoa chocolate. I'm also
> on linseed (flax seed) oil (not encapsulated, out of the bottle is cheaper,
> and I do like the flavour a lot), some little (because of potential heavy
> metal contamination) fish oil. Apart from that I'm currently doing 1 mg/day
> Deprenyl (selegiline citrate), and 1:4 R-lipoic acid and acetyl L-Carnitine
> (self-encapsulated bulk pharmateuticals). I might also pick up metformin (a 
> CR mimic) at some point. I should drink a couple of glasses of red wine 
> daily, but unfortunately I prefer pilsener. Maybe should just buy some
> resveratol extract, but above regime is a bit on the heavy side already.

Ok, great.  That sounds exactly like what I have been doing - green tea +
80-90ish cocoa chocolate ... that was until I read that book and did some
further investigation and found that it is unlikely that the antioxidants
in tea and cocoa will actually anti-oxidize anything in a useful fashion.

So ... I like tea and chocolate too, but is there any reason either of us
should consider them any part of a _health regimen_ ?

As for flax oil, I'm on board.  As for the wine, I'm on board, although I
think you hit the point of diminishing marginal returns very quickly
... as in one glass every 1-2 days.

> > However, it would seem that the whole notion of antioxidant regimens and
> > ORAC rations and blah blah are just a bunch of bunk (which I suspected -
> > honestly, if green tea and pomegranates and cocoa made significant impacts
> > on longevity, we would have known it 1000 years ago ... it's not like
> A kiloyear back you were just so glad to have your basic calories.
> And your life expectation was pretty low in general, from other
> sources.

Agreed, but given a typical bell curve distribution of health effects, if
we expect tea+pomegranate+cocoa+etc. to significantly prolong life _on
average_, then we should also expect it to significantly improve life
_immediately and noticably_ for some small part of the population.

Which means _some people_ would notice the effects even if they got killed
off by plague later, at a relatively young age.  Poorly stated, but you
get the idea I'm sure.

> > people didn't take note of such things...).
> No, people don't take note of such things. Not even medieterranean people
> didn't recognize their longevity came from the diet.

This is incorrect.

One can hardly get 100 pages through any comprehensive world history
without coming across accounts of peoples self experimentation and
theories regarding food, exercise and longevity.

In fact, people _have_ noticed calorie reduction, and have noticed it for
quite some time.  Ghandi preached a low calorie diet rich in nuts and
berries and spent a fair amount of time in self experimentation with his
diet, etc.  Ancient Jewish theologians spoke of "(not eating) all day like
hens"[1] and that "more people die from overeating than from

Here is a quote speaking of Maimonides:

"He warned against overeating: 'The stomach must not be made to swell like
a tumor'.  he thought that wine was healthful in moderation."[3]

Thomas Jefferson:

"I have lived temperately, eating little animal food, and that not as an
aliment, so much as a condiment for the vegetables which constitute my
principal diet." (TJ to Dr. Vine Utley, 21 March 1819)

I could go on and on.  People have been _quite attentive_ to their bodies
and their nutrition for thousands of years, and one can barely read a
western philosopher without reading of theories and cures and ideas from
everything to diet and sleep and exercise to gout and TB and the decline
of age.

What we discuss on this list and what we do with our pills and powders and
teas and juices is nothing new at all.  It is couched in different terms
and is slightly more informed, and there is larger participation due to
our increased wealth ... but it's not new.

Therefore I resubmit that:

a) a combination of natural substances that greatly increases lifespan
would have been noticed by now

and further:

b) if some combination of natural substances is going to greatly increase
your lifespan, it must also be immediately noticable in some small portion
of the population

I don't think either are true.  I think that optimization only goes so
far, and that significant gains over 100-120 years of age will only come
from a true technological innovation.

[1-3] The Age of Faith, Will Durant (He has primary sources, but I'm too
lazy to look them up in the index.  Sorry.)

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