Help me find the Fountain of Youth, Smart-Drugs, Questions

Rob Conklin conklin at witchcraft.com
Wed Aug 28 21:48:47 EST 1991


I am writing here to evoke a response to some
philosophical/scientific questions I have about the potential of
using nutritional supplements and or so called "smart/drugs" to
maximize human life-span and increase mental function in healthy
people.  

I do not doubt that this issue has been raised and discussed
somewhere on this network, perhaps hundreds of times, but the area
is new to me and I would appreciation a rivival of it at this
time.  I am particularly interested in hearing from research
scientists in the field of molecular biology, who may know
something more concrete about the subject than myself.  (Of course, I
am also interested in what anybody else has to say as well,
testimonials, cynics, etc...)

The main question then, is IS IT A HOAX? or IS THERE SOME EVIDENCE
to substantiate the claims being made by SOME?

I personally approach the subject with a very open mind, and real
enthusiasm, because it seems reasonable to assume that the human
mind is at least partially, if not entirely subject to the ordinary
laws of physics/chemistry.  If one accepts this premise, it is hard
to imagine that the many thousands of researchers throughout the
world that have spent many years peering through electron microscopes
and identifying various aspects of the chemistry that underly brain
function could have failed to recognize some of the principles that
might lead to the development of nutrients/pharmacuticals that might
enhance this functioning.  

The problem for me, as a layman in this area, is trying to sort out
fact from fantasy.  I have read several books, including Durk
Pearson and Sandy Shaw's book "Life Extention" and Morganthal's
book "Smart Drugs and Nutrients".  Both these books site numerous
"scientific clinical trails" from what appear to be scientific
journals both in the U.S. and Europe.  On the other hand, a recent
story on the NBC nightly news featured a research scientist from UC
Irvine stating that no valid scientific research exists that would
indicate that "smart drugs" are effective in increasing
intelligence in humans, and that in fact, a recent double-blind
experiment showed that the drug "Hydergine" was completely useless
in this regard.  (I thought the NBC news feature was very poorly
done.  There was no attempt to site research sources, or to dig
beneath the surface of the issue.  Advocates of the "smart drug"
phenomenon were young, rather uncredible lay-people, and the
anti-advocate "expert" was a distinguished looking PHD in a white lab
coat.  I would essentially chalk the report up to the "drugs are bad"
mentality which will dismiss any new developments in positive health
through the ingestion of synthetic substances out of hand).   

So anyway, I want to know the facts.  It would seem that some
experiments have been done by someone.  Linus Pauling, a
controversial but, in many quarters, highly respected scientist
advocates many of the principles of the life-extention people.  Are
the scientific issues just too fuzzy to reach conclusions at this
time?   What do clinical trails indicate?  Has anybody out there
read some of the papers?  Is it just fringe research from European
"snake-oil" scientists?  

I can't think of an issue that would have more profound
implications for more people than this one.  And yet, it IS clear to
me that the FDA and the very conservative US medical establishment
would be inclined to view positive developments in this field with
an undue skepticism, as it tends to run contrary to the
establishment line about psycho-active chemicals in general.  (For
example, outlawing the use of marijuana as a pharmacutical even
though it has been PROVEN to be highly effective treatment for
chemotherapy nausea and glaucoma, and as an aid for people with AIDS
to regain there apetite for food -- ((you don't even need a clinical
trail to know about the "munchies")!). IT IS OBVIOUS THAT ANY
INGESTIBLE COMPOUND WHICH MIGHT AFFECT CONSCIOUSNESS POSITIVELY OR
NEGATIVELY TENDS TO BE VIEWED AS A THREAT BY THE ESTABLISHMENT. 
Because of this obvious bias, which pervades the government, the
media, and interpersonal, social forms of communication, I am
personally very much inclined to want to give a very fair hearing to
the advocates of the life-extenders and smart-drug people.  It seems
to me, as a layman, that the technology should just about be there by
now.  I KNOW from my own experience that Vitamin C has some kind of
interaction with one's health in terms of colds and flus.  It also
seems clear that taking high-potency muti-Vitamins and minerals
(greatly exceeding the FDA's Recommended Daily Allowances) improves
one's stamina, resiliancy to minor ailments, wound-healing etc.  By
extention, it seems a reasonable hypothesis that these same
substances COULD play a role in the prevention of cancer and
other degenerative illnesses associated with ageing.

An interesting article in the San Francisco Examiner reports a
correlation between Japanese "Green Tea" drinkers and a much lower
incidence of lung-cancer in smokers.   Does anyone know what might
be in "Green" Tea that might be responsible for this?

HELP PROTECT FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND SPEECH, AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE
DISPERSAL OF TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND PLEASE
RESPOND TO THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 




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