Gnomedex 09 – Christine Peterson – Life Extension for Geeks

Approach has been personal – what should I do extend life?

Have a group in the Bay Area called the Quantitative Self – measuring everything about our lives.

Permanent health, or health squared is a better term than life extension.

We’re made out of meat – eventually things start to go wrong with meat. And our computational substrate is fragile gray pudding which you can’t back up. Would you hit a soccer ball with your laptop? And that’s backed up!

We just want a pill – but there isn’t one and won’t be one soon.

The FDA doesn’t view aging as a disease. Leon Kass, Bush’s Chairman of President’s Council on Bioethics said that to even want to extend health and life was a bad idea.

A couple of ways to come at it – soft way and hard way. Someday we may have machines that can fix the body, but in the short term we’re stuck with biological approaches.

Is your doctor your friend in life extension goals? Probably not, because they’re not trained at all in that approach.

Many things help: Stress reduction, physical risk reduction, mood improvement, sleep, sex, laughter, biomarker testing, supplements.

Start with stress reduction – gains are huge and gives you energy to tackle everything else. When you reduce stress you make changes in your brain. In three months you can turn on or off over 500 genes.

You’re doing an experiment, with you as a population of one. Get a baseline. If you’re in your 20s get a baseline now, when you’re as healthy as you can get. Kronos in Phoenix is one place you can get this done, but it’s not cheap. Life Extension Institute can provide mail order blood tests. Get your insurance in orer before you find out anything bad.

Supplements – Keep detailed records – what did you take, what were the effects? Figure out what to take – levels of confidence: pure theory and speculation vs. evidence. Supplements can do damage!

Medical studies are often done poorly because it’s expensive or sometimes impossible to do double-blind studies. Often rely on patient-reported histories.

You need an advisor – MDs (many won’t give supplement advice), the FDA,, Kronos,,, Fantastic Voyage by Kurzweil & Grossman, Life Extension Foundation, Ray Kurzweil’s personal program, with extensive testing. Not for amatuers – work with a professional, get tested. Watch out for additive effects. Watch out for human hormones – they are powerful and can be risky.

Eat less calories. Be very slow and gradual. If you lower calories, don’t come back up.


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