Life Extension Conference - March 31, 2012

Notes by Dan Dascalescu. The official program was followed with minor changes. Images may take a while to finish loading.

Christine Peterson - Intro

Half of those who die in US hospitals are killed by something else than what they were treated for.

Go to our forum,

Slow Aging: Preserve Your Telomeres

Bill Andrews, CEO, Sierra Sciences, @SierraSciences. Bill on BBC TV.

  • "Cure aging or die trying"
  • ManhattanBeachProject
  • A telomere is 15,000 bases in length at conception, vs. ~100,000,000 base pairs in chromosomes
  • 10,000 bases when we're born
  • When telomeres are 5,000-bases long, they get into senescence. This is the only aging clock discovered in humans.
  • Some people are born with short telomeres. These kids have a life expectancy of 20 years - progeria.
  • When telomeres get short, cancer risk increases, and the immune system is affected. There has been no research since 2005 hinting that lengthening telomeres would cause cancer. A lot of diseases are connected with telomere shortening. Nothing's wrong with telomere lengthening.

The actual problem is the accumulation of short telomeres. Life Length in Madrid, Spain (with offices in Florida) can measure telomeres from your blood sample.

There's nothing we can do about cells not replicating the telomeres when dividing. Hence the 125 years of theoretical lifespan (Hayflick limit). But there are things that accelerate this. To prevent the acceleration of telomere shortening: exercise, take anti-oxidants, omega 3, vitamin D; don't smoke; don't be obese, reduce stress, depression and pessimism

Telomere shortening does not occur in reproductive cells (because your children don't have shorter telomeres than you!). Reproductive cells produce an enzyme called telomerase.

Dr. Ron dePinho telomerase in mice. mice brain returned from 75% to normal

PopSci article "the man who would stop time".

Sierra Science has drugs that bring human cells in Petri dishes 16% to becoming immortal. Will reach 100% one year after getting funding.

TA 65 (TA Sciences) has had clinical studies. Product B (Isagenix), T-Activator 100 (Telomere Biosciences). Bill takes all supplements.

Not aware of correlation between VO2Max and telomeres.

UPDATE A study was released after the conference showing that gene therapy consisting of inducing cells to express telomerase was successful in mice, extending their lifespan by between 13% and 24%.

KEYNOTE: Revolutionary Near-term Advances in Anti-Aging

Patrick Cox, Editor, Breakthrough Technology Alert, @PatrickCoxAgora

From AgoraFinancial, shares penny stock news

Language is in your DNA. Your skull is a big bigger on your right. Capitalism is genetic. Shopping is a genetic ability.

Much of the Western Europe are way below replacement rates. "The only way to save western civilization is life extension".

Ariva - tobacco product with less carcinogenic compounds than Nicorette. Scandinavians use ~Snoos, oral tobacco with health benefits. Can't smoke tobacco at the optimal level.

We've all been disappointed by how beta-carotene, lycopene, resveratrol didn't work as well as we hoped.

Supermodel Brad promotes CIGRX. Dr Paul Landerson. Roskamp Institute. "This stuff" is the most effective anti-inflammatory. European Journal of Pharmacology 2011 Sep. Nf-kB. Patrick claims important health improvements with arthritis, prostatitis, hair regrowing. Fred Couples tried Anatabloc, changed his life. At 52yo he broke the Fallen Oak course record.

Michael Holic reassessing Vitamin D.

Glycoscience. Galectin. From Russia.

WSJ: against obesity: starve fat cells of blood supply.


GHRH improves everything

Immortalized pluripotent stem cells, 3 types:

  1. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
  2. Parthogenetic
  3. ?

See also:

Takes 12-15 milligrams of Anatabloc a day, every 3 hours. There's 1mg in every pill.

  • Q, Brad Templeton: how many people in the room have heard about a miracle pill with anecdotes. What's more in THIS pill?
  • A, Patrick: there are studies underway, but if you choose to wait, you're welcome to.
  • Christine: one thing to take away: understand the link between aging and C-Reactive Protein. Anatabloc works on CRP.
  • Patrick: Monday I'm going to Biotime and have my fibroblasts converted to IPS and given back to me.

Shortcuts to a long life: calorie restriction, 18 minute exercise, aspirin & iron optimization

Terry Grossman, MD
Terry Grossman video interview

Caloric restriction is the only life extension intervention shown to work in animal studies.

BMI 23-24 is associated with the greater longevity. 146-153 lbs for a person 5'7". BMI > 30 => life expectancy decreases by 3 years.

Caloric restriction: fasting one day a week. Shortcuts to this:

  • Carbohydrate concentration diet: concentrate your carbs into one time a day. History: some health benefits found in Ramadan dieters who ate only after sundown.
  • Metformin, the most commonly prescribed drug to treat type 2 diabetes (associated with lifestyle choices)

You want to have low levels of insulin. CR does that. Carbohydrate Concentration does that too. Eating starches and sugars raises insulin levels significantly. Insulin directs the body to store fat and not burn it.

CC Diet:

  • eat 3 meals a day, minimal snacking
  • eat virtually all your carbs in one meal => you'll have low insulin levels for 20 hours a day


  1. don't have to give up fav. foods
  2. you can eat normal amounts of food and get many of the CR benefits by having low insulin levels 80% of the time
  3. lower insulin level will moderate your appetite

If you want to try it, Terry did this diet for a while, very successful, weight loss, moderated appetite.


Rarely causes low blood sugar, unlike insulin. Safe, cheap drug. How it works:

  1. Decreases glucose absorption from GI tract, so sugar passes through
  2. Inhibits glucose formation in liver
  3. Once sugar is in bloodstream, mimics the effects of insulin
  4. Tells the body to burn fat rather than sugar

CR reduces sugar & insulin (which are major risk factors associated with aging)

Worldwide, Type II Diabetes increases 10x from 1985 to 300M in 2010.

Pre-diabetes: fasting glucose: 100-124. 2hr PP glucose = 140-190. 79M in the US. Ideally, you have blood sugar levels even lower. Fasting blood sugar > 75 increased cardiovascular death risk by 40%. Yet 85% of americans have Fasting Blood Sugar > 85. Vs. 15% in 1976. Optimal fasting blood sugar: 70-85, 13%. 86-99 is associated with increased risk of heart attack. 39% of Americans. FBS < 69 = hypoglycemic, abnormal.

Metformin twice as effective as other CR-mimetics. Extended lifespan of mice by 37.8%.

Side effects: primarily gastrointestinal: diarrhea. Begin slowly.

NOTE: benefits are theoretical at this stage. There are no double-blind placebo-controlled trials yet.


  1. Check Hemoglobin A1c
  2. Consider taking Metformin if your FBS > 85, or Hb A1C > 5.3
  3. Begin with 1/2 500mg tabled once a day
  4. IF tolerated, maintenance dose of 250mg-500mg

Generic Metformin is 7 cents / 500mg, $4.20/month. Brand name Metformin is $66/mo.


Longevity benefits for a 65yo of exercise: 6.7 more years. In London, drivers of double-decker buses had more mortality than conductors who had to go up and down the stairs all the time. Interval training is better than what we previosuly thought (heart rate at 85% for 30 minutes). This is how young children naturally exercise.

See screenshot #2, on interval training.

Progress to Maximum Interval Training * alternate 30 seconds of maximum exercise with 90s of rest * perform 6-9 cycles

Strength training is very good, in particular for increasing hormone levels, e.g. testosterone.

Exercise for 2 hours a week, e.g. 3x18 minutes of aerobic + 3x18 minutes of strength training.


Reduces cancer and CV death risk. After 5 years of aspiring use CV death risk reduced by 37%. Aspirin does increase the risk of bleeding by 31%, e.g. GI hemorrhages. No difference between 50mg and 325mg.

Aspirin should be considered for men 45-80, women 55-80, esp. if your family has a history of heart attack or stroke. Needs to be done every day (every other day did not work), and needs to be done for 3+ years.


Many people have too much iron. Unless you're anemic, you should not take too much iron or copper. Many foods are "fortified with iron". Iron is a great catalyst for free radicals. Study: Kell DB, Archives Toxicology, 2010 November

The human body had only one way to rid itself of excess iron: by bleeding. "I think women have longer life expectancy than men because they regularly lose iron".

Tom Levy: "Iron excess may be the most overlooked major factor in the clinical mgmt of all chronic degenerative diseases".

The best way to determine iron stores is to do a ferritin levels check. Ferritin is never artificially low. Most labs say the normal range for ferritin is 20 to 400 ng/l. BUT 399 is not a healthy level. Saonen JT et. al, Circulation, 1992 - men with ferritin over 200 has increased risk of ??. Kiechl - ferritin increases risk of ??.

Donating blood regularly decreases the risk of heart attack by 86% (!). Tomainen TP et al. 1997; 314:79304.

Lower iron correlates with decreased cancer risk, 35%. Zacharsti et al., 2008 Jul 16:

Action steps:

  1. Measure ferritin level
  2. Optimal range: 12-25, not 20-400
  3. If ferritin > 50, you should take steps to lowe yout body iron level, i.e. give blood.

To lower ferritin:

  1. eat less red meat
  2. donate blood while ferritin > 50, once every 1-3 months

Fructose is worse than glucose. HFCS is worst.

Q: Can HIIT cause increase in cortisol?
A: You HIIT only for seconds. I don't know if it increases cortisol for HOURS afterwards

Metformin doesn't mimic everything than CR does, but does mimic quite a few. Amp-k (?) pathway.

Q: Opinion on supplemental testosterone or steroid therapy?
A: Of all hormones, testosterone is lowest in my patients. Raising testosterone via supplements is one of the most effective anti-aging therapies.

How understanding your sleep can help you live a long and happy live

Lark CEO Julia Hu, Julia on YouTube

Lark combined the top sleep experts with top behavioral change experts (e.g. from BJ Fogg's lab). Lark launched late June 2011.

"Dr. Celette"?

Sherry Ma trains athletes. Wristband is $99 and tracks sleep 3000 points/minute via Silent alarm. Personal sleep coach on the website. iPhone accessory, sells in Apple stores.

Sleep loss leads to:

  • loss of creativity
  • loss of will power. Will power is finite.
  • increased risk of obesity. First off, you eat more if you're awake more.
  • increased risk of accidents BY DOCTORS. Plan your surgery at a good time.

There are 12 sleep types, and each has a different way of improving. Coaching is done via push notifications to your phone.

If you get more light during morning hours, the next night, you'll feel sleepy earlier. If you want to stay awake, you need to use more light in the evening. Recommends getting f.LUX on your computer.

You can pay back your sleep debt, almost 1h for 1h. You can also sleep a lot in advance if you need to sleep little for a few days.

Another person getting dressed or taking a shower doesn't wake you up. Spike noises wake you up.

Christine Peterson used the Zeo, but didn't want to wear it every night. Lark is more comfortable than the Zeo. 68% of the June/July 2011 users are still using it. Lark emphasizes personal coaching. More precise data needs to be actionable.

DNA Testing: How and Why

Sara Gottfried, MD, Gottfried Center for Integrative Medicine, @DrGottfried

Runs a virtual genetic concierge practice.

Full genome sequencing costs $10k.

Epigenomics: You can modify the expression of your genes via diet, exercise, meditation, supplementation, stress

Genetic testing improves weight loss [screenshot #4]( Gottfried-DNA_testing_4.jpg). One third of US population is obese. Diet often doesn't work, but genotype-appropriate diet does work. Stanford Study [screenshots #5-#7]. 100 people who ate a genotype-appropriate diet over 12 months, lost 1.4 more inches, and weight: 13lbs vs. 4.2lbs for the "one size fits all diet". Over 12 months.

We know the genetic codes for a number of eating behaviors.

Action items: * PathwayFIT, $700 * 23andme

You have 20,000 genes. Testing those that affect supplement metabolizing, is worthwile.

Diet, Drugs, Supplements and Lifespan

Stephen Spindler, Professor of Biochemistry, University of California at Riverside

[slides not filmed at speaker's request, because it would preclude publication in a scientific journal]

63yo, almost 64. Doesn't take supplements, but exercises somewhat. Terry Grossman looks quite a lot younger (maybe 45-50), at 65.

Q: "Do supplements extend lifespan?"
A: The answer is, basically, we don't know, and "no" for healthy humans.

The vast majority of studies show either no association, or negative association between dietary supplements (nutraceuticals) and lifespan in healthy animals.

If you're sick, the situation is different. Many of the studies that justify taking supplements originate in treating sick animals or humans. Many of the studies are also confounded by the fact that animals eat less, and calorie restriction is known to increase lifespan. Animals eat less e.g. because they don't like the taste of the food or water after supplementation has been added. That's why Deprenyl appears to work.

Synthestat (a statin) combined with Rho?? (an ACE inhibitor) did show an increase in lifespan for mice.

There is considerable evidence that decreasing testosterone and growth hormone levels in middle-age adults is better than increasing them. These hormones are associated with higher incidence of cancer.

Oxoalacytate worked somewhat, but not quite statistically significant.

Didn't work: pomegranate extract, orthocore, biostim, Glaxo-Smith-Kline lavaza

Testosterone-reduction ?pellets? can be implanted in sex offenders so that they can leave prison

Summary: mice and drosophilas can be used to test drugs and supplements, but in healthy humans, supplements don't really help.

A vegan diet is associated with the longest lifespan. The evidence for supplementation is that it's as likely to hurt as to help. Vegan diet may also help because it's lower calorie.

We did test TA-65 and it had no effect on lifespan.

The "Bulletproof" Diet & Reconsidering Supplements

Dave Asprey, Silicon Valley entrepreneur & self-experimenter, @bulletproofexec
Dave on YouTube

[Missed talk; see instead]

Be Your Own Health Detective

Larry Smarr, Director, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, a UCSD/UCI Partnership, @lsmarr
Larry on YouTube

  • After losing copious amounts of extra body weight, he began tracking his bloodwork
  • All stats looked good except the numbers of proteins left behind by the immune system (CRP)
  • He found out that this was due to Inflammatory Bowel Disorder/Syndrome due to a bacterial imbalance in his bowels
  • He was able to track his bacteria by using YourFutureHealth online service through culturing
  • Thus, he is now restoring his colon fauna by taking personalized quantities of good bacteria
  • He is now contributing to the Personal DNA Project, will attend World DNA Day at Harvard in April 23rd? During questions, mentioned that the medical profession lacks systems thinking due to specialization.

Stem Cells, Biotech & the Unintended Consequences of Moore's Law: Current and Near-term Prospects for Extended Healthspan

John Mauldin, Author and President, Millennium Wave Securities
John on YouTube

Spoke about stem cell research and how it could enable rejection-free organ transplants/implants and potentially help cure cancer.

Debates -- Panel Discussion

Testing: What to track, when, how to interpret, which need MDs?

  • Bill: Supports testing of the DNA, telomere length; LifeLength -- measure telomeres, expensive ($700), but most accurate. 23andMe -- genome testing, very informative. Pathway Fit -- also gene testing, offer other tests than 23andMe.
  • Larry: Suggests insisting on having copies of all medical test results, scans, etc. from the current and past doctors to begin building up your data. Also recommends testing the colon as it is a prime indicator of many body-wide health issues.
  • Josh: Recommends measuring iron levels in the blood as it is very actionable. Measure body fat percentage. Pay close attention to how you feel and look, potentially keep very close track of this in a journal.
  • Larry: Arterial plaque is formed in combination of CRP and LDL. Need to check both to accurately predict predisposition to heart disease. Statin is known to lower LDL in most patients.
  • Christine: Turn to "boutique medicine" by shopping around for doctors that will be keeping up with latest research and approach your health systematically, even though you would pay more out of pocket.
  • Josh: Chronometer -- a free application that allows to help track food intake and conduct nutritional analysis.

Day 2 - Sunday, April 1, 2012

Autophagy: Triggering Cellular Trash Collection via Protein/Carb Alternation

Josh Whiton, Founder & CEO, TransLoc, Co-Founder Raleigh City Farm, @joshwhiton Josh at TEDx

[Missed first 7 minutes]

Autophagy is one of the mechanisms of Calorie Restriction

The restriction of protein may be one of the major underlying mechanisms of CR, so you could get most benefits of CR by restricting only protein. (That was the topic of a talk I gave at BIL).

Fat is one of the most innocuous things you can eat.

After CR, I switched to a paleo diet with 70% fat and got a 6-pack without doing any situps.

Paleo people look great, life extension people know a lot of esoteric things about life extension. Can we get benefits from both? has the diet protocol. * 5-6 days a week Ultra Low Carb (e.g. berries, stay clear of fructose consumption) + High Fat (e.g. 1 can of coconut milk/day, 1 stick of butter a day) + Moderate Protein = High-Fat Paleo Diet * 1-2 days a week Very Low Protein + High Fat + Moderate Carb (this is for the benefits of CR, see Dr. Ron McNerry? Consume safe carbs, e.g. bananas and as much fruit as you want. Still stay clear of gluten & bread, but have 150g of carbs or so

I don't group the 5-6 days together because I crave carbs. I go for a full 32-hour protein restriction. If you do those back-to-back (more difficult) you can do a 64-h protein restriction and benefit from autophagy.

You need to learn that macadamia nuts have no protein

Fiber doesn't count as carb.

Q: which types of fat are ok?
A: Animal fat, coconut, butter, half an avocado (1.5g of Omega-6). My total Omega-6 intake is incredibly low. Avoid canola oil.

You can go to restaurants. You can do substitution. But as you get attached to food quality, there are fewer places that carry pasture meat and free range eggs.

Sauerkraut and pickles have no calories, they're just bulky fibrous stuff. Trick: melt sauerkraut with butt: pure fat, no calories. Colonut milk + fruit is another combo.

What Works, What Doesn't, and How to Accelerate Progress

Laura Deming, Partner, Floreat Capital and Thiel Fellow, @LauraDeming Laura on YouTube

Laura is developing a venture fund for longevity research, Floreat Capital. laura[@]

Talk about:

  • resveratrol
  • metformin
  • rapamycin

Resveratrol allegedly activates sirtuin, which allegedly extends lifespan

In 11 obese men, a resveratrol pill dropped some negative biomarkers.

Conclusion: it's too early to tell on resveratrol.

Rapamycin by Rapamune

Extended mean lifespan in mice by ~30%, but not really practical for human consumption due to adverse side effects.


Most promising drug so far, and extensively tested. Extends maximum lifespan in mice by 10%, but it didn't extend lifespan in rats (but in those rats, CR didn't work either)

What do anti-aging scientists do to live longer, personally?

They do pretty badly screenshot #4. They're not taking any of the supplements, eat somewhat randomly. In a particular anti-aging lab, they all tried alternate fasting, but failed to comply.

[As usual] people who know the most about what drugs you should take, aren't doing it.

You want over 6 in the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3.

Jack Kruse will give a talk at TED about ice baths.

Correcting Hormone Levels for Peak Health

Lynne Mielke, MD, Founder, Optimal Health Spectrums [1-hour talk about 10 bioidentical hormones; no study references on slides] Lynne's video

Dr. Mielke is local so you can see her as a physician.

There's a big difference between the normal and optimal levels of hormones.

Every single (synthetic) drug hormone has been found to have dangerous side effects. "Natural" hormones like Premarin are not human hormones Bioidentical - are chemically identical to human hormones (what your body made when you were younger). This is the only kind you should take.

Why are hormones controversial? Because medical education is controlled by the pharma industry. This is not taught in medical school or residency programs. Specialists like endocrinologists don't know about BHRT.

Many studies show that BHRT lowers cancer risk because humans have a stronger immune system when hormones are adequate.

BHRT extends lifespan and healthspan - rectangularization of lifespan

Insurance will sometimes cover hormones.

There are 10 hormones that should be tested, e.g. through blood (good for baseline, covered by insurance), saliva (not covered by insurance; I don't rely on it) and urine tests. Hormones are changing throughout the day. The gold standard is the 24-hour urine test, that evens our the peaks and lows, and also shows metabolites.

The American Academy of Endocrinology says postmenopausal women should take hormones minimally to get past the hot flashes. Which makes sense, because synthetic hormones are toxic.


Deficiency can start in the 30s. Three kinds:

  • E1 - main postmenopausal hormone
  • E2 - main pre-menopausal
  • E3 - helps prevent breast cancer

Never take estrogen by mouth. Birth control pills are oral estrogen. Oral estrogen is pro-inflammatory, so predisposes women to heart attack or stroke. Women should take it as a pill.


Starts to decline around 35. Women should start testing and replacing around 35.

Also important for men, balances Estradiol and DHT.


For women: Very helpful for libido. Helps stamina, strength, motivation, weight loss. Side effects include aggression, oily skin, acne.

For men: andropause can hit as low as 40. Caused by stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, "toxins in our environment", aging.

Symptoms, questionnaire: screenshots

Supplementation avg. for men is 100mg a day, for women 2mg a day

Pellets: not a big fan of Creams and gels: 1 or 2 times a day, must be careful not to rub off on other people Shots: 1 or 2 a week

External testosterone can control the level precisely but leads to infertility (which can be combated by HCG) and testicle shrinkage.

Must test both free and total testosterone, because a portion of it is protein-bound. The free one is the only one functional.

Testosterone does NOT cause prostate cancer.


  • Adrenal hormone - precursor to Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone
  • Associated with longevity
  • Helps the immune system
  • Counteracts cortisol. Useful before going to sleep, to avoid insomnia triggered by waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Improves libido
  • Women 10-20mg, men 25-50mg


  • Made from Cholesterol; decreased by statins
  • Increases DHEA
  • Improves memory and enhances all mental functions
  • Found mainly in the brain
  • Decreases after age 40

Thyroid - T3 and T4

Most doctors only check TSH. Most hormones contain only T4, but you need T3 as well. T4 is usually not converted by the body into T3. Armour, Naturethroid are recommended.

Complete thyroid panel [screenshot] should include basal temperature. Some have thyroid resistance = normal blood levels but functionally low in thyroid.


Adrenal fatigue = sub-optimal levels

Saliva tests are recommended, 4 times one day.

Can replace with Cortef (a safe steroid; generic name: Hydrocortisone). No side effects unless you take too much.

Insufficient sleep leads to adrenal fatigue. If you feel worse after exercise, it's an indication of adrenal fatigue. Classic symptoms: low energy, feeling burned out, dragging through the day, brain fog. When Cortisol is replaces - calm, focused energy. Cortef and Hydrocortisone work within minutes.


  • Declines with age
  • Promotes REM sleep
  • Brain antioxidant
  • Protects against caner
  • Improves immune system
  • Prevents cataracts

Take it even if you sleep well.

Growth Hormone

  • Test IGF-1. Want levels over 50% above reference range.
  • Impractical for most people (daily injections, very expensive)
  • Monitored by the government - Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency has to be documented carefully before getting a prescription
  • Can cause edema, increased blood sugar
  • Cancer? Controversial.

Wrap up

Doctors won't usually test hormones levels unless you specifically ask, and will treat hormone deficiencies with synthetic drugs.

HCG Diet - uses the bioidentical hormone HCG. Essentially, it used fat from the mother to feed fetus. If you use HCG on a 500-calorie a day paleo diet, it will burn fat very rapidly: 0.5-1lbs a day, and you are not tired or hungry. You feel normal/good. Without HCG, Dr. Mielke would never recommend a 500-calorie diet. Works for men too. [Sample HCG patient - screenshot]. Diet takes 6 weeks. Christine has a relative who used it, and was very pleased. Kept the weight off. It's so effective and catching on among doctors. Cost $1000. A lot of followup. E.g. you can eat white fish but not salmon.

BHRT resources - see [screenshot #7 above]( Mielke_42.jpg)

All Men should read Testosterone for Life. Women: Stay Young and Sexy.

Bioidentical hormones are made in the lab, but are chemically identical to human hormones.

Q (Jim O'Neil): optimal level of cortisol?
A: Every saliva lab has its own levels. First-morning cortisol test via blood draw is a bad idea because a blood test is stressful in itself.

Q: difference between oral HCG pulled off by FDA and real one?
A: Real HCG is worthless after 10 minutes out of the fridge.

The 24-h urine test is the best of checking the metabolites for hormones. Checks aromatase too.

Being low in almost any hormone can cause hair loss.

Men that exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels.

There are no bioidentical birth control pills. They are by definition non-human. There's a copper IUD that has no hormones. Most insurances don't cover it.

Homeopathic drops have essentially no active hormones in them.

Just taking transdermal progesterone counteracts excessive bleeding.

You can't lose weight without hormones, and postmenopausal women are deficient. There's a strange physician perspective on this, that if men are low in hormones in middle age, that's wrong, but if women are low postmenopause, then too bad.

Insulin Sensitivity: Relation to Disease and Methods to Improve it

Max Peto, Researcher, SENS Foundation

Agrees that high iron is bad for you

Iron levels and insulin

Study [screenshot #1]. Meat eaters had poor insulin sensitivity, but lacto-ovo-vegetarians have much better sensitivty. The study did 2-3 worth of blood donations to the meat eaters. That got their iron levels down to those of the vegetarians. All subjects were adult, lean (BMI <23), healthy. Iron reduction lead to increased insulin sensitivty by 40%.

Recommendation: check serum ferritin, make sure you're not anemic, and get rid of excess iron. There are other ways than phlebotomy.

HIIT improves insulin sensitivity

Insulin sensitivity is important, and Calorie Restriction does that.

Extremely short duration high intensity interval training improves insulin sensitivity in young healthy adults. Study [screenshot #2]: these guys did 6 sessions: 4-6 sets cycle sprints. Rest for 4 minutes in between. A total of 15 minutes, 2-3 times a week, for 2 weeks.

Caution: make sure you're in good shape, start some conditioning first, do some stretches.

Sitting is killing you - The truth about sitting down

[infographic]: sitting 6-9h a day increases risk of death up to 40% [of unspecified causes], EVEN IF you exercise

Sitting expends about 1 calorie a minute, as if you're almost dead. After two hours, LDL drops 20%.

Tried a standing desk. Noticed focus got better, but feet hurt a lot. Secret weapon: a treadmill desk. Works for 4-6 hours, burns <1600 calories.

Stress Reduction & Mood Management: the Chemistry of Smiling, Breathing, Gratitude & Forgiveness

Fred Luskin, Senior Consultant in Health Promotion, Stanford University; Director, Stanford Forgiveness Projects; Fred on YouTube

[slow talk, no slides]

The director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project

Claim: "Going to synagogue adds 8 years to life expectancy."

[Incorrect claims on intercessory prayer having some actual effect (debunked), and that more attractive people wouldn't be happier (debunked)]

Extroverts tend to be happier and live longer, thanks to the social support.

Happiness depends 50% on genetics (there's a set point of happiness), 40% on lifestyle, and 10% on life experiences. Almost everybody returned to their setpoint within 2 years, whether they became amputees or won the lottery [this is confirmed by Dan Gilbert].

Panel Debates

Larry Smar, Dave Asprey, Bill Andrews, Steven Fowkes

Supplements: Benefits, downsides, how to select & judge

Bill: pharma scientist, not trained in supps, but user of them. "Nature wants us dead so that our children can repopulate the world." Find an expert. e.g. John Anderson from Isagenix. Recommends TA-65 and the Isagenix supplements.

Larry: FutureHealth tests. Red cells should be tested. Locally-grown organic food is the best way to get supplements. "I take fish oil, trying to get down Omega 6." Hard to eat enough fish without getting mercury poisoning. Zinc is harder to test for.

Dave: It is entirely possible to cultivate self-awareness and feel if supplements are helping you or not. Libido is a great indicator [Larry nods]. supps that matter most: Mg (take later in the day), Vitamin D3. You can need way more than the recommended 1000 IU/day. Measure your blood for $45. CoQ10 (avoid ubiquinone, take ubiquinol) and depanone?, and PQQ (mitocondrial energizer). Take folate or folenic acid, NOT folic acid.

Steven Fowkes: Disagrees with both the last points. There's a lot of controversy. Some years ago, antioxidants were the rage, but later, studied showed that more antioxidants were detrimental. This was a general lesson. There are 7 diff. forms of folic acid in the body, and the body converts among them.

Supplements allow us to do things very rapidly. E.g. Mg and Se can be changed naturally only in months; Manganese only in years. If you notice improvements after taking Mg [e.g. less tension and headaches, and improved slep], then you can quickly tell if it helps.

Longevity MDs: Finding, working with, insurance issues

How to find longevity MDs if you don't have personal connections? Look at:

Larry: FIRE YOUR DOCTOR if they're not doing a good job for you. Many people don't realize they can do this. Avoid hyperspecialists, unless you have what they know about.

Dave: fired his doctor because he had no idea about some supplement. Went to the Life Extension Foundation and found the 3 closest ones. Look at the length of the appointment of the doctor. If they don't specify 30' or 60', avoid. The very best doctors avoid dealing with crappy insurance companies.

Steve: You can have more than one doctor. You can go to a compounding pharmacy [Dave nods], you can ask who in my area prescribes that? You can go to a testing company, ask who in my area uses them.

Bill: most doctors are cattle herders. The docs you really want to see, are those who speak at conferences like these. E.g. Terry Grossman. Also, the experts don't have to be doctors; a lot of researchers aren't.

Christine recommended a doctor that does a half-hour phone consultation [?? - review video]

It's Not That Hard: Calorie Restriction Why & How

Brian Delaney, President, CR Society Int'l and Author, The Longevity Diet
Brian on CNN

Talk will be available at

CR Society

CR means reducing energy-intake of diet, while keeping intake of everything else at healthy levels.

We think CR works because evolutionarily, periods of famine decrease the desire to reproduce.

It appears that benefits to CR are linear to the degree of restriction.

CR'd animals are very close to starvation. CR'd females (in many species) become infertile. Some rodents need to be caged individually, because they would attack each other due to hunger.

It's too hard:

  1. Implementation problems (selecting foods etc.)
  2. Possible downsides


  1. You don't have to measure and track food all the time, but doing so at the beginning is a very good idea.
  2. Downsides:
    • feeling too cold - posible
    • looking too scrawny - yes
    • muscle loss - you can't be really buff on severe CR. There's no permanent muscle loss.
    • bone loss? Possible, because bone adapts to how much you weigh
    • cessation of menses - none of the women
    • low testosterone - all the men. But what is the clinical significance of low testosterone on CR? Men may be less interested in sex.
    • social challenges - if you eat more socially, you can compensate at your next private meal
    • hunger - important challenge. CR-mimetic diets like CCD or the Whiton diet, are good alternatives.

The only major theoretical problem is how to measure the level of restriction.

Possible benefits of CR:

  • health and longevity benefits greater than any other studied intervention
  • weight loss
  • better sleep
  • enjoy food more

Asprey: what makes you think that restricting calories gives all these benefits, vs. restricting some TYPES of calories, or other things that come with calories?
A: I base my research on mouse data. We need more research.

Q: Asker gets sick more often when eating less.
A: there might some shortage of other nutrients. The idea is to restrict energy, but make sure to have all the nutrients you need.

Nature's "Designer Drugs" for Anti-Aging

Kitty Wells, Co-founder, SpicePharm Former tech exec turned Spice Geek, @TheSpiceGeek

Background: information systems, virtualization, so used to distilling large amounts of information

1000s of articles on PubMed about spices and their constituents, with research on how they work

Fruits, vegetables and spices contain bioactive phytonutrients

Nutrigenomics: bioactives in the food can turn on and off transcription factors in damaging or protective genes

Turmeric is one of the most studied spices, with 5000 articles on it. Key component is curcumin. Has 350+ bioactives.

Ginger has 500+ compounds, including 30 anti-inflammatories

Cinnamon is also extremely well studied, with 300+ bioactives

Nature's "Designer Drugs" are "Pleiotropic" (have multiple effects) and are remarkably non-toxic. vs. synthetic pharmaceuticals target one specific issue ("silver bullets") and have unexpected side effects.

Research on spices shows they act on most mechanisms of aging, except declining stem cell activity. Curcumin was studied to inhibit telomerase in specifically breast cancer cells (not in general).

Fast-track tickets to aging:

  • free radical damage
  • insulin resistance
  • chronic inflammation
  • glycation

Kitty had arthritis in both knees.

Just living involves free radicals (often mutagenic), and mitochondrial decay (which starts after the age of 25)

Indirect antioxidants fuel your body's own production of MORE POWERFUL antioxidants. You can take alpha-lipoic acid and ?carnitin?, but your body should make the others.

Super-Antioxidant spices screenshot #11.

Chronic inflammation

It's such an integral part of aging, there's a term "inflamm-aging" [screenshot]

Spices: Anti-inflammatory bioactives [screenshot]. Best: superstars [screenshot]

Curcumin (in turmeric) is the pleiotropic anti-inflammaging all-star: inhibits NFKb, and induces NRF2. There are similar compounds in other spices, which had been used by Chinese doctors for thousands of years.

Insulin resistance is an issue not just for diabetics [screenshot]. Consequences: fatigue, brain fog, carb craving, weight gain, high blood pressure. There's a vicious circle among blood sugar, cortisol, and insulin, which leads to mitochondrial decay. High insulin tells your body to store fat.

Spicy Best Friends increase sensitivity to insulin (screenshot):

  • cinnamon - superstar [screenshot]: reduced fasting blood sugar in pre-diabetics and diabetics. Declared "statistically significant" now.
  • fenugreek - you need a tablespoon
  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • galangal

Mechanism of action: up-regulates genes and activates enzymes activating cell membrane insulin receptors (re-sensitizes pathways in muscles). It's also a great anti-inflammatory)


Cause: high-glycemic diet. Eating too much sugar causes wrinkles. High-temperature grilled food. HFCS.

Spices that inhibit AGEs: [screenshot]

Action items

  • Add more spice to your diet
  • they're an acquired taste
  • eat whole foods, well spiced, brightly colored, mostly plants
  • Fast & easy prep: salads, smoothies, soups, lightly steamed

Activate NRF2: beta-carotene, alpha-carotene etc. [see last screenshot].

Spices have a shelf life of at least 6 months if you keep them in the dark. If you buy them as whole seeds or spices, they last for years.

Whole Foods has a good turnover. The ones in the grocery stores are irradiated, so look for organic.

You need to learn to use teaspoonfulls at a time.

Cinnamon: from 500mg to 1g (1/4 to 1/2 spoon) per day, to sensitive your insulin. Ceylon Cinnamon (sweeter, much friendlier for your liver), or Cassia Cinnamon (! if you take this one every day, it can damage your liver). Your taste buds are good at telling when you're eating too much.

Raw vs. dry vs. powder vs. cooked spices. Raw are best but hard to get (ginger, turmeric). Dry spices are still very powerful.

SpicePharm sells drinkable spices. They'll start a webinar series. "Spice elixir"

Emergency Measures & Near-term Actions

Todd Huffman, Brain imaging & neuroscience researcher, Founder 3Scan
Todd on YouTube

The aging toolset is very complicated Death is a process, not an event

The aging toolset is very complicated [screenshot #1].

Death is a process, not an event. [screenshot #2]

Near-term Emergency To-Do List:

  • quit smoking, exercise
  • talk to family and doctor about cryonics
  • sign up before terminal illness
  • document your personal wishes: Living Will + Durable Power of Attorney
  • engage with the cryonics community / volunteer
  • move to Arizona (Alcor's headquarters) when the time comes

Alcor is the leading cryonics organization. Two problems:

  1. Getting in - there's a workflow, at standby, stabilization, transport, cryoprotection, cooling, long-term care
  2. Getting out - hard, but you have more time for that problem to be solved

It's very hard to sign up for cryonics if you have a terminal illness, because you can't get insurance.

Todd has tatooed on his side instructions for cryopreservation. The tattoo firmly cements his decision. Most people just wear the bracelet. Christine wears a necklace.

Give power of attorney to a fellow cryonicist younger than you.

Q: has there been research on restoring neural cultures in Petri dishes, which would show function?
A: There has been research using hippocampus slices. Neurons could still transfer sodium & potassium. This speaks volumes about function. These results haven't been published yet, so I can't talk much about them, but if you email me, I can connect you with the researchers.

Exercise for Longevity: Finding Your Personal Optimum

Alex Lightman, Author, Entrepreneur & Futurist
Alex on YouTube

Alex is #2 on Klout about "exercise"

Lifespan = years until you're declared dead Healthspan = years you can stay out of assisted care. Stanford study FRIES showed that runners had 7 more healthspan years Fitspan = years that you can learn and do new and challenging exercises and sports

Exercise improves number of red cells, blood viscosity, and maximum oxygen uptake, resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, maximum pumping capacity, heart muscle stiffness, blood pressure, calcium content and strength of bones, LDL, HDL, body fat, insulin levels, except sex hormone levels (slight decrease, except for heavy-weight squats)

What exercise does for the brain is VITAL

Highly recommends the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

VO2Max is the most underutilized tool for the longevity community.

Linear Decay Functions [screenshot #3] - all 4 are reversed by vigorous exercise.

60% of the body mass is oxygen, 18% Carbon, 10% hydrogen. Highest VO2Max for humans is 95. Only 5 members of the audience knew their VO2Max. 20 is the lowest for healthspan. 30 is the lowest for fitspan.

We lose 1 to 0.1 point of VO2Max from age 28 onward, each year until death (avg. 0.4, more if you're overweight or sit a lot), unless you exercise. Some initial improvement comes from loss of body fat.

Sarcopenia: from the age of 30, we lose 1% of lean muscle mass per year.

Osteopenia: from the age of 30, women lose 1% of bone mass per year. After 40, women lose 2.5% of bone mass from hips and spines.

For neurogenesis (creation of new neural stem cells or brain cells), you need to exercise more than Terry Grossman advises: bring your heart rate to 75% or more of Maximum Heart Rate for 45 minutes a few times a week. AND, learn something NEW within three weeks.

Only 1/3 of Americans exercise, and they only burn 100 calories a day. Americans are consuming an extra 800 calories a day since the '50s and extra 500 calories a day since the '70s. 78% of Americans are overweight. 35% are obese.

Overexercising happens only if you do it over 12 hours a week.

What limits your VO2Max is not lactic acid or anything, but your brain is afraid of hurting your heart and doesn't recruit all the muscles.

Exercise Debate: How Much is Best?

Alex Lightman (50yo), Dave Asprey, Bill Andrews, Steven Fowkes, Dr. Ted ??

Dave: for 2 years: 4000 cal/day, no exercise, 5 hours of sleep. Developed a six pack. In the last two years, did exercise. 15% (or 50%?) of calories are burned by how you breathe (can train), how you think. HIIT once a week, for 20 minutes, will give you maximum longevity and benefits. Running daily will lead you to an earlier death.

Steve: exercise is not just about muscle, but also about energy systems (metabolic). By periodically going in an out of ketosis, I can do two days without eating anything without crashing and burning, which I couldn't do when I was in college.

Ted: Why not paleo exercise? There are about 6 tribes left in the world, and anthropologists studied them. They walk/jog 10 miles a day, and sprint occasionally to catch prey. There's resistance training to haul back prey for an average of 6 miles a day, every other day (they rest for a day after a hard hunting day). So 3-10mi/day walking/jogging is what we evolved to do. Marathons are going to kill you (26 mi is too much).

Bill: I run marathons. Got into ultramarathons. Participants looked much younger than their age. It's not genetic, because many got into it when at 50, their doctor told them they should exercise or die. Marathons are a sprint. After you pass the finish line, you can't walk for a week. But ultramarathons are fun. You can walk when you want. You can stop and take pictures. It's fun. The more you do it, the better you get. I typically do 5-6 hour marathons. There are two studies showing that the more intense your endurance (?), the longer the telomeres. If you run a marathon really fast, you'll have inflammation for a long time [Dave nods]. But you can train your body not to develop inflammation.

Alex: ran up to 100mi a week. Be a citizen scientist about it. See what works for you. It's not the running that gets you, but the steady state at high intensity for a long time [Dave nods]. If you only do these intervals, you're not going to get neurogenesis [Dave doesn't nod]. Don't drink a lot of Gatorade.

Dave: very flexible, can put foot behind head, without much exercise. RestWise uses SpO2 meters to determine the state of overtraining.

Interview: Inflammation, Supplements & Brain Protection

Steven Fowkes, CEO, Nanopolymer Systems; Director, Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute Steven's Google TechTalk on nutrients for mental performance

Inflammation is under-appreciated. E.g. Alzheimer's disease: it's about 90% about your energy systems and 10% about mercury. People who eat most fish (highest exposure to mercury) has the lowest incidence of Alzheimer's.

It doesn't appear that eating fish oil has that much of an effect on the function of the brain, but there's a downside on the health of the brain.

We no longer have a varied food intake (as in, binge on a hunt, then fast a day because there's no food).

Pregnenolone is great for people with neurological disorders (neurodegenerative diseases) to escape the immediate effects.

Nanocainase - good for anyone with cognitive issues. Have a coagulopathy profile (thickness of blood). Inflammation can cause blood to get thicker. Steven has issues with converting short-term memory to long-term memory. Nanocainase cured him in two days. Back then, he paid $500. Nowadays, you can buy nanocainase for $20, take one on Monday, two on Tuesday, and at the end of the week, you'll know if it does anything for you.

Open-field frisbee is a fun social exercise, and it involves sprints. It also never gets boring.

Closing remarks


Volunteers: Monica Anderson (AV), Alexis Bright (volunteer coordinator), Desiree Dudley, Olya Lapina, Alexandra Carmichael, Jolly (photographer), Tom O'Neil (web design), Lucid Sound and Pictures (videographer), Marcia Seidler.

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