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My strategies for longevity
Jønathan Lyons   Feb 14, 2014   Ethical Technology  

As a futurist and H+ enthusiast, I think it wise to have longevity strategies in place. And while future such plans might include mind uploading or radical life extension via other means (and certainly, I hope for both), strategies available to us today are simple enough to embrace.

Vegan diet.

Why:

Here are 57 reasons. Number 27 stands out:

"Longer life. Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not."

A vegan diet is also low in methionine, and a diet low in methionine "significantly increases longevity" in studies involving mice.

Additionally, a varied vegan diet brings with it superior nutrition, much lower risk of cardiovascular disease; lower cholesterol; lower blood pressure; greatly reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes; reduced risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and other cancers; reduced incidence of Macular degeneration and cataracts; reduced incidence of arthritis; and , despite what the dairy industry told us all for decades, reduced risk of osteoporosis. Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium.

This is a much healthier dietary strategy than, say, the typical omnivorous American diet. And if you want to live a long, healthy life, a healthy diet is a good place to start.

And a vegan diet is essential for the transhumanist notion of abolition of suffering, as advocated by philosopher David Pearce, and by the Transhumanist Manifesto 2.0 and in the original Transhumanist Declaration, as well.

Nuts.

Why: "’What we find is that regular nut consumers have about a 20 percent reduction in all-cause mortality’ over the course of the study, says researcher Charles Fuchs of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. This includes lower death rates from heart disease and cancer."

Probiotics.

Why: In the scholarly article "Gut–brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression," authors Jane A. Foster and Karen-Anne McVey Neufeld provide clinical evidence that "Probiotics influence anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors."  When shopping for vegan yogurts, I check to make certain that Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 is included, as studies have found it effective in the treatment of such disorders as anxiety and depression

"’By affecting gut bacteria, you can have very robust and quite broad-spectrum effects on brain chemistry and behavior,’ researcher John Cryan, a neuroscientist at University College Cork in Ireland, told LiveScience."

I also look for raw/live/fermented foods for their probiotic content. For me, this includes food such as kimchi, Raw Slaw, and kombucha tea.

And because about 70 percent of our human immune systems are located in the gut, a healthier colony of bacteria means a more robust immune system.

Green Tea.

Why:  Green tea consumption is linked to greater lengths of telomeres.

From drweil.com:

"The researchers looked at the length of telomeres, repeating DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes. (One expert suggests thinking about telomeres as the caps on the ends of shoelaces that prevent the laces from unraveling.) In cells, telomeres prevent chromosomes from fusing with one another or rearranging - undesirable changes that could lead to cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Research has shown that as cells replicate and age, telomeres get shorter and shorter and that when telomeres finally disappear, the cells can no longer replicate. Some experts have suggested that the length of telomeres may be a marker for biological aging. The shorter your telomeres, the "older" you are. Earlier studies have suggested that telomeres are highly susceptible to oxidative stress.

Now, for the Hong Kong study findings: researchers looked at telomere lengths of 976 Chinese men and 1,030 Chinese women, all over the age of 65. All the study participants completed a food frequency questionnaire.

The researchers reported that telomere length was associated only with tea drinking – participants with the highest intake, three cups per day of tea, had longer telomeres than participants who drank an average of only one quarter of a cup of tea daily. Most participants drank green tea while a few drank black tea. The investigators reported that the average difference in telomere length corresponded to "approximately a difference of five years of life" and that the "antioxidative properties of tea and its constituent nutrients may protect telomeres from oxidative damage in the normal aging process."

Regular exercise.

This one seems obvious, but among  the benefits of regular exercise, but yields an impressive seven to nine additional minutes of life for each minute of exercise.

Wine.

Why: Dr. David Angus, in his new book, A Short Guide to a Long Life, prescribes 65 rules we should follow to achieve better health.

Rule #6: Have a glass of wine with dinner.

In an interview with Inside Edition, Agus said:

"A glass of red wine can also help you live a longer life, so have a glass of wine with dinner.

‘I say drink wine in moderation,’ said Dr. Agus."

Caffeine

Agus also recommends what he calls a sensible caffeine habit:

"RULE 18 Start a sen­sible caffeine habit. Consuming caffeine in moderation from natural sources like the coffee bean and tea leaf has long been shown to confer positive benefits on our health."

Orgasms

Seriously: "Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, claims 4-8 years of additional life can be garnered if we have 350-700 orgasms per year. … Other studies report 2-3 orgasms per week can make us look 7-12 years younger."

Among the articles I’ve cited, you’ll find even more suggestions from Agus and others. This essay only directly covers the strategies I employ regularly, but more options are available.

Jønathan Lyons is an affiliate scholar for the IEET. He is also a transhumanist parent, an essayist, and an author of experimental fiction both long and short. He lives in central Pennsylvania and teaches at Bucknell University. His fiction publications include Minnows: A Shattered Novel.



COMMENTS

thanks for the list - here’s my POV -

1. Vegan?  I disagree. I don’t think so. I have joined the “Paleo+” diet promoted by The Bulletproof Executive, Dave Asprey, and I feel great. Maybe I will just feel great for 20 years and then drop dead of fatty arteries?  That doesn’t make sense to me. It seems like me feeling great means that I am healthy, thus will live a long time.

2. Nuts. YES YES YES. I eat raw cashews and almonds and walnuts especially the cashews. Very delicious.

3. Probiotics. YES YES YES YES. I think this is the most important thing on your list. I have been taking probiotic pills for a while now, six months, and I haven’t had even a sniffle. The rest of my family gets sick - not me. There are studies from Scandinavia and Germany that indicate that rate of infection plummets if you take your probiotics.

4. Green Tea. I am sure it’s good but ... there’s a pill called SmartCaffeine made by Natural Stacks that I take instead. It is faster than brewing etc. I am too lazy to make a hot beverage.

5. Regular Exercise. I think brutally hard exertion for 20 minutes a day is good. A Jolly told me (something like) that and it seems to work.

6. Wine. I can’t drink alcohol at all, even a little bit does weird things to my brain. I don’t know why. So I skip this.

7. Caffeine. I’d rather take the pill mentioned above. There’s no dishes to clean up that way either.

8. Sex. I think that claim is way over-exaggerated. 700 orgasms a year?  That sounds sort of fun but definitely exhausting. Well, I’m 61. I suppose that’s not an excuse. But I’d need to see some science on that… is it just stress reduction? Or are there hormones you get?  If it is hormones, can we just take a pill?

thanks!

IMO - longevity is largely based ... on factors that happen after you hit about 70-75. I think people who have a good social network and no economic stress at that age, can live on and on. The oldest community in the USA is the small town of Ross, in Marin County, California. Average life there is 93!  They are generally rich white people who go hiking in the redwood forests just outside of town. They have great hospitals nearby and lots of massage clinics. Its almost impossible to die young there - you’d have to really work at it.

Also… I find it interesting… Marin County has the longest lived people in the USA, but it varies ethnically. The oldest are the Asian-Americans, and then… Hispanic-Americans outlive White People there, even though the latter is wealthier, on average. I think Hispanic-Americans outlive White people everywhere in the USA - even though they have less money.

Why is this?  I think it has to do with Family. Asians and Hispanics take care of elder family members better, is my theory. Those groups are more likely to be in their children’s homes, babysitting or just resting, but included in the daily life, then White People are—Old white people… go to retirement villages, convalescent hospitals, etc. and then they die. Not so good.

Thanks Hank. I’ve read quite a bit of advocacy for the paleo diet; then again, I’ve read essays debunking it quite a lot. Meat’s just hard on the body; the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has debunked paleo and advocates a vegan diet for greatest health.
Still, I’m glad it has you feeling great.
But I also embrace veganism as a moral choice, which is to say, nonhuman animals do have moral worth. I have no right to interfere with them, let alone kill and eat them.

1.) Life logging.
2.) Plenty of back ups of your data, on and off site in different media.

Technology will give use longevity somewhere in the future, but it can not get your memories back if you do not preserve them now. Store everything, and sort it out and analyze it later. It will be fairly simple by then.

I’m hoping IEET will post this article of mine, - if not you may read it here:

http://transhumanisten.com/2014/02/15/vegan-vegetarian-vs-paleo-brothers-in-spirit/

Seems to me that vegans / vegetarians, surprisingly for some / many.., have A LOT in common with “Paleos”..

Interesting article, Joern! Thanks for sharing it.
I think many adherents of these paths embrace them in part as transhuman/H+ approaches.
And you make an important point about paleo: Even our caveman ancestors never actually ate the meat-heavy diet that many consider paleo.

Hank, I ran across this today:
“In a new study that tracked a large sample of adults for nearly two decades, researchers have found that eating a diet rich in animal proteins during middle age makes you four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low-protein diet — a mortality risk factor comparable to smoking.”
- See more at: http://news.usc.edu/#!/article/59199/meat-and-cheese-may-be-as-bad-for-you-as-smoking/

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