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    Apr 03, 2011 11:09 PM GMT
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    Apr 03, 2011 11:21 PM GMT

    OMG!!! Soylent Green already????
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    Apr 03, 2011 11:32 PM GMT
    A few thoughts on this:

    1. I'm skeptical of using longevity and life expectancy as a sole measuring stick for human health. Would a 20-something year old soldier in top physical shape who is killed in battle be considered less healthy at the time of death than an obese guy that dies of heart disease in his 40s?

    2. I don't think a wide arsenal of available medicines is necessarily a bad thing. What I don't agree with is that it promotes unhealthy lines of thinking by providing a certain safety net. After all, why modify lifestyle choices to prevent diseases X, Y, and Z, when one has the option to just pop a pill and feel better?

    3. I don't mind GMOs and the advancement of agriculture. What concerns me, however, is deviating too far from the nutrition the human body has evolved to ingest.
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    Apr 03, 2011 11:58 PM GMT
    Early detection is the key to surviving many things like cancer etc. More people are getting screened for these things more often than in the past, which is extending people's lives today. But obesity (along with poor nutrition and eating habits) and smoking are probably the 2 biggest killers because these things lower our immune system and make us more suseptible to diseases.
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    Apr 04, 2011 12:10 AM GMT
    wildtype87 saidA few thoughts on this:

    1. I'm skeptical of using longevity and life expectancy as a sole measuring stick for human health. Would a 20-something year old soldier in top physical shape who is killed in battle be considered less healthy at the time of death than an obese guy that dies of heart disease in his 40s?

    2. I don't think a wide arsenal of available medicines is necessarily a bad thing. What I don't agree with is that it promotes unhealthy lines of thinking by providing a certain safety net. After all, why modify lifestyle choices to prevent diseases X, Y, and Z, when one has the option to just pop a pill and feel better?

    3. I don't mind GMOs and the advancement of agriculture. What concerns me, however, is deviating too far from the nutrition the human body has evolved to ingest.



    Popping pills usually have side affects and don't always make you feel better. They are sometimes neccessary, but I still believe the less meds we can become dependent on, the better you will feel. I'm a firm believer in chiropractor services who can help your body function the way it was intended without meds. They can often cure sinus infections without any meds. Many times when we become ill and don't feel good, it is because our body is out of alignment and by adjustments, the body can be restored to complete health. Pain and many other symptoms are often a result of poor alignment.
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    Apr 04, 2011 12:48 AM GMT
    I thought the gains in lifespan was mainly due to improvements in sanitation and control/eradication of communicable diseases.

    Medicines, as a whole, have more an effect on quality of life.


    As to whether GMO is better or worse than organic foods, I don't have the answers. There's a lot of misinformation on both sides as the effect on agribusiness could be huge.
    I'm more likely to trust small locally farmed organic food as being healthful. Some places aren't as blessed with climate and stability to do so.
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    Apr 04, 2011 1:23 AM GMT
    People in the past lived shorter lives (on average) due to a mix of heavy physical labour, poor nutrition, lack of basic hygiene knowledge and lack of antibiotics and vaccines. Many illnesses that today can be cured or prevented (or have been eradicated, like smallpox) simply had no cure in the past. So I don't think "medicine" in that sense has been bad for us.

    However, a lot of drugs and medical procedures today exist as a reaction to our modern lifestyle. Cancer treatment have made immense leaps during the past 50 years, which is a good thing. On the other hand, cancer prevalence is much higher now than ever before in human history. I read in a history journal recently that cancer didn't really rear its ugly head until the advent of the Industrial Revolution, if skeletons and mummys are anything to go by. It's a man-made disease.

    Also, I do think that a lot of drugs are being unnecessarily pushed on us because med companies are more interested in profit than the greater good of humanity.
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    Apr 04, 2011 1:45 AM GMT
    I think there can be good and bad to GMOs. Case in point.

    Western family brand was sued because corn GMed specifically for livestock was being used in tortilla chips. In humans it can cause severe allergic reactions apparently did, which is how they got caught.

    Here; some related history from 2000

    Nothing like a little Starlink, eh?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/11/02/tech/main246366.shtml


    "(CBS) The Food and Drug Administration Thursday released the following list of products made with StarLink, the genetically modified corn that was banned from use in human foods because it may cause allergies, that have been recalled from supermarket shelves and restaurants.

    The FDA's recall notice read: "The products appear to contain Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies tolworthi Cry9C protein and the genetic material necessary for its production in corn (trade name: StarLink) — a pesticide which is not allowed for use in foods for human consumption."
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    Apr 04, 2011 3:44 PM GMT
    I think we're living longer than ever, average lifespan in the us is 78.4 years in the world 68.9! Considering 1900's it was 48.3...that's some impressive changes in the world!

    Life expectancy graphs here: http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=sp_dyn_le00_in&tdim=true&dl=en&hl=en&q=average+lifespan+world#met=sp_dyn_le00_in&tdim=true
    and article with chart here: http://www.ajcn.org/content/55/6/1196S.full.pdf

    In regards to something like cancer, it seems that we hardly even identified it until the 1930's...but that's more because we didn't understand it in the way we do now than that it's become 'more prevalent'. http://cancer.about.com/od/historyofcancer/a/cancerhistory.htm

    It seems the average age of cancer, in general, is in the 60's and 70's: http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2003/results_single/sect_01_table.11_2pgs.pdf

    I guess my thought is since we're living so much longer than we used to don't we really just see more of the cumulative diseases taking us out instead of the communicatable bacterial one's? People who had poor immune systems an/ord are easily susceptible to disease (genetic/lifestyle diseases) would be wiped out when the were young without all these advances.

    All this isn't to say that we can't live more healthy as a society (US particularly). Obesity is as high as 34.4% in some states! (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html) and Diabetes (estimates at 8% of the population now) are rampant. Most of this is caused not my 'food science' like Genetically Modified crops but by the food products like Twinkies, Jolt Cola, etc...which is really a learned behavior/choice.

    I don't think all that bad stuff is all a result of the 'food science' but more in how we make our food. I don't see how we can feed the populations of the world without crop resistant seeds. I don't think there's anything wrong with splicing salmon genes into tomato's for cold resistance...problems can probably definitely arise, but we have to become more efficient in feeding the population somehow.

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    Apr 04, 2011 3:56 PM GMT
    The centenarians of Dominica would tell you otherwise...



    Dominica boasts a remarkable concentration of very old people in good health and they've begun to arouse the interest of medical science.
    Diet and lifestyle are clearly all-important but are there other factors at work here too: quality of life perhaps, the support of families, something in the genes even?


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/caribbean/news/story/2007/04/070403_foocdominica.shtml

    http://www.dominica.dm/site/documents/healthandwellness/Centenarian.pdf

    http://www.avirtualdominica.com/centenarians.cfm

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