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Antiaging Research Priorities [was Re: Major Criticisms of

James james at nospam.com
Sun Sep 20 14:31:27 EST 1998

Brian Manning Delaney wrote:

> James wrote:
> >
> > All I said was that I don't think it can be
> > improved upon by CR (in humans), because I think
> > that humans who live to 120 have already gotten
> > the benefit of what we call CR (whether it was
> > through direct CR or some other means). In short,
> > I think humans are not going to live longer than
> > 120 without scientific intervention - lifestyle
> > changes (which is what I would call CR) are not
> > going to do it.
> Why not? To argue that CR can't take anyone beyond ~120
> requires, it seems to me, either: 1) the belief that CR
> won't work in humans; 2) the belief that those who've lived
> to 120 were practicing CR, inadvertently or not, to a
> maximally beneficial degree, and with maximal consistency
> over the course of their lives; or 3) the belief that
> there's some way of getting the benefits of CR through "some
> other means".

#2 is the one that I am opting for, though I don't find #3 to be
as far fetched as you seem to think.  Certainly there are plenty
of people that simply do not like to eat, for genetic or other
reasons.  Maybe they have a defect in their "fullness" feedback
mechanism.  Maybe they are poor and can't afford enough food
(you could argue that then they would be getting poor nutrition
also and that wouldn't really be CR, and that is probably true
*most* of the time - but you certainly couldn't say *all* of the
time).  Who knows?  There are probably a hundred things that
could cause you to unintentionally practice CR.  So don't you
think that, for whatever reason,  there must be plenty of people
who naturally consume 40% of what other people would consider
"normal"?  Please note that when I say plenty I don't mean any
large percentage of the population.  Maybe we are talking about
1 in 1,000 or even 1 in 100,000.  But when you consider the
number of people on earth, that means that there are an awful
lot of people inadvertently practicing CR.

So in summary I think that when you are observing 5,000,000,000
subjects you have probably seen every possible type of diet - CR
included - many times over.  Therefore if CR was going to take
us past 120 we would have already seen it somewhere, sometime.

As for #3, I have no idea what the other means might be, and no
I'm not certain that they exist.  But I'm not certain that they
don't either.  Assuming that we will be able to mimic CR with
drugs one day (which personally I think is a safe assumption),
who's to say that the drug(s) don't already exist in nature
somewhere and that people have been eating them in the form of
some weird plant or something?  I'm not saying this has
happened.  I am saying that without knowing the mechanism(s)
behind CR you can't even specualte on how likely it is.  It
could be a nowballs chance in hell.  Then again, maybe not.

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