Dear Future Centenarian,
It’s been a Jobe kind of year so far. Let me count the ways:
We launched a market trading technology that took 12 years to develop that was designed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for life extension research. Good news, right? Wrong! We launched it on the exact day the markets fell apart. A bunch of money vanished, and critical life extending projects are on hold..
I hired a contractor to build a real estate project. He promised a 10 month delivery date. Here it is, over three years later, and still not quite done. Meanwhile, the bottom fell out of the market this year, and poof, a couple of million plus – up in smoke.
The same contractor got into a dispute with a sub contractor, who put a lien on the property since the contractor won’t pay. Legal fees and headaches all last week. He cost me hundreds of hours wasted on a project that was supposed to be turnkey.
Father Time stole another year from me.
A borrower defaulted on a big loan.
Verizon inadvertently disconnected my Internet service 17 days ago… and it took 15 of those days to get me back online. When I checked to see why, they inactivated my account instead of reconnecting it. Almost four hours spent on phone calls with about a dozen different representatives. Sound familiar?
There is a situation as bad as #2 that I don’t even want to talk about.
There’s another as bad as #7.
A funder for a key longevity technology was not able to perform on his commitment. Meanwhile, the markets hit the skids, and now it will be 10 times harder to get funding. I believe thousands of lives may ultimately terminate as a result, and a small fortune is jeopardized.
My electric bed took on a mind of its own. From time-to-time, without any warning, the head and foot rise in unison, trapping me in a wedge. The last time it happened, the head inclined just fast enough to barely keep me from reaching the remote. The more I stretched, the farther out-of-reach it got. I had to get rescued. A little joke on Dave.
The final straw. My Vita-Mix (my most important health drink tool) gave out yesterday J.
You might be wondering why I’m sharing my tales of woe with you. Sure, I know, you have your own challenges to cope with. Once again, all this has something to do with your health and longevity.
I’m one of those guys you might hate running into when you are troubled. Instead of getting sympathy, you’ll get an irritating dose of sunshine and a pep talk, just when you wanted someone to share your misery with. Well, I should say, I’m usually that optimistic guy. I have to admit that numbers 1-11 above started consuming my thoughts. And that’s bad. It’s bad because it’s extremely unhealthy, life-shortening and counterproductive… and because I know better.
Do you know your thoughts affect every single cell in your body? Positive, loving grateful thoughts keep you healthy and make you live longer. Negative thoughts destroy you from the inside out. What happens to you usually doesn’t matter one bit. How you react means everything. A new friend reminded me of this in a very interesting way. His name is Dr. Pete Hilgartner, and I’m going to share his words of wisdom with you next week.
I don’t care what your situation is. You have plenty to be grateful for. I know I do. I have lots of positive things and people in my life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have attracted better friends, partners and relationships than most could ever hope for. I also lucked out in the health department. And get this. Just yesterday, a close friend and associate told me a benefactor pledged enough funding to finish developing a technology which may allow you and me to actually live as long as we want someday.
Then there are the little things I tend to take for granted. I started yesterday with a nutritious, delicious breakfast and ended it with a fabulous dinner. I live in one of the best climates in the world. I have a warm comfortable bed, even though it attacks me once in a while. My shoes fit. I have shoes. I have feet! And I have a couple of pages of more things to be grateful for. Just writing this makes me feel a lot better, because when you think a grateful, happy or loving thought, there’s no room in your mind for anything else. So happiness is simply deciding what you want to dwell on. And happiness equates to healthfulness. Sure, you have to face your problems, health and otherwise. But when you do, think of solutions rather than dwelling on the negatives.
LATEST HEALTHY LIFE EXTENSION HEADLINES
Unregulated Prices Fall, While Quality Improves (October 31 2008) http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/sep2008_Would-You-Tolerate-This-Abuse_01.htm
A piece from the LEF Magazine that makes the points about modern medical research that most people don't think about: "the public today tolerates federal and state laws that enable pharmaceutical companies to conduct business as a virtual monopoly. The result is that Americans pay outlandish prices for mediocre drugs that are often laden with side effects. Unlike regulated prescription drugs, the cost of dietary supplements has plummeted over the past three decades. In a free market environment, technological breakthroughs that occurred in telecommunications will also happen in medicine. More frightening is the suffocating effect that regulation has on the discovery of life-saving therapies. Just imagine if advancement in clinical medicine progressed at the same rapid rate as telecommunications. If it did, we would probably have cures for most killer diseases today!" Heavily regulated markets are bloated, slow markets, in which the incentives are so set as to discourage progress. Present regulation is a very real threat to the future of your health and longevity.
Incremental Improvements in Stem Cell Therapy (October 31 2008) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/hms-scp102908.php
Researchers continue to find ways to alter stem cells to produce better therapies: "Adult stem cells resemble couch potatoes if they hang out and divide in a dish for too long. They get fat and lose key surface proteins, which interferes with their movement and reduces their therapeutic potential. Now, via a simple chemical procedure, researchers have found a way to get these cells off the couch and over to their therapeutic target. To do this, they simply added a molecule called SLeX to the surface of the cells. The procedure took just 45 minutes and restored an important biological function. Delivery remains one of the biggest hurdles to stem cell therapy. The blood stream offers a natural delivery vehicle, but stem cells don't move through blood vessels normally after being expanded in culture. Our procedure promises to overcome this obstacle. Karp cautions that his lab's discovery must be validated in animals, before doctors can apply it in the clinic. He's collaborating with another lab to test the homing ability of the SLeX-dotted cells in mice."
A Little More on IGF-1 and Growth Hormone (October 30 2008) http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0060254
Following up on a recent Fight Aging! post, more on the role of IGF-1 in longevity: "Using a mouse model relevant for humans, we showed that lifespan can be significantly extended by reducing the signaling selectively of a protein called IGF-I in the central nervous system. This caused growth retardation, smaller adult size, and metabolic alterations, and led to delayed mortality and longer mean lifespan. Thus, early changes in neuroendocrine development can durably modify the life trajectory in mammals. The underlying mechanism appears to be an adaptive plasticity of somatotropic functions allowing individuals to decelerate growth and preserve resources, and thereby improve fitness in challenging environments. Continuously low IGF-I and low growth hormone levels favor extended lifespan and postpone age-related mortality. Our results further challenge the view that administration of GH can prevent, or even counteract human aging. This knowledge is important since growth hormone is often prescribed to elderly people in an attempt to compensate the unwanted effects of aging."
Ouroboros on Mitochondrial Uncouplers (October 30 2008) http://ouroboros.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/mitochondrial-uncouplers-mimic-the-effects-of-calorie-restriction/
From Ouroboros: researchers "suggest that mitochondrial uncoupling is an effective mimic of [calorie restriction (CR)]. In mitochondria, the electron transport chain uses electrons from glucose and lipids to pump protons across a membrane. This proton gradient can be used to make energy in the form of ATP through oxidative phosphorylation. The process is kind of like generating hydropower. Uncouplers work by putting a leak in the dam, which lets water through without going to the generator. They 'uncouple' the electron transport chain from oxidative phosphorylation, thus reducing the efficiency of energy production. Although animals have uncoupling proteins (these proteins are important for thermogenesis, especially during hibernation), so far there are no known agonists. The researchers instead used low doses of the mitochondria uncoupler DNP.
The DNP treated mice ate the same amount of food as control mice but had lower body mass [and] showed many phenotypes observed in calorie restricted mice. Like CR mice, DNP treated mice had higher rates of respiration with lower production of ROS. Most importantly, DNP treated mice showed an extended lifespan. This study suggests that mitochondrial uncouplers are an effective mimic of calorie restriction and might be a realistic therapeutic intervention for delaying aging and extending lifespan."
Lipids and Alzheimer's (October 28 2008) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/126012.php
The brain is complex organ, and Alzheimer's is a complex disease: a wide range of strategies produce results that look promising while not addressing the root cause. Indeed, distinguishing symptoms from root causes in Alzheimer's is still an ongoing concern. Here is a potential strategy I have not seen mentioned before: "scientists working with laboratory mice have discovered that complete or partial removal of an enzyme that regulates fatty acid levels lessened the memory and learning deficits of Alzheimer's. The most striking change we discovered in the Alzheimer mice was an increase in arachidonic acid and related metabolites in the hippocampus, a memory center that is affected early and severely by Alzheimer's disease. An enzyme called group IVA phospholipase A2 (or PLA2) released arachidonic acid [in] the brain. Removal or even partial reduction of PLA2 prevented memory and learning deficits and other behavioral abnormalities in the Alzheimer mice." It is worth noting that PLA2 is upstream in biochemical signaling processes that lead to inflammation - I suspect this has more to do with inflammation than fatty acids per se.
A Jobe Kind of Year
Dear Future Centenarian,