Verbeel jou 'n toekoms waarin jy presies weet watter invloed 'n gegewe eetbare of drinkbare item op jou liggaam se chemiese samestelling het. Het jy geweet dat sekere voedingstowwe direk kan bepaal watter gene in jou DNA (of meer korrek, DNS) aan- of afgeskakel word? Wel, binnekort kan jy maar totsiens wuif aan medisynes (of ten minste sommige soorte). Want, jy sal dan jou dieet kan fatsoeneer volgens jou unieke behoeftes, om te verhoed dat jy in die eerste plek siek word. En, dit blykbaar nog binne die volgende dekade - sekerlik as jy in 'n eerste-wêreld land woon, met 'n paar monetêre bates om prys te gee.
In my vorige inskrywing het ek verwys na 'n artikel oor die gebruik van multivitamien aanvullings. Daardie skrywer het vertel van Ray Kurzweil wat 250 dieetaanvullingspille per dag sluk met die doel om langer te lewe. Ek is toevallig besig om (teen 'n vreeeeeslike staaaaadige pas) Ray Kurzweil se boek "The Singularity is Near" te lees. Francois M was gaaf genoeg om dit vir my te leen (is dit al twee jaar gelede? volgens my gmail argief was dit werklik in April 2008!)
Hierdie afgelope langnaweek het ek weer 'n paar bladsye onder oë gehad en toe op bladsy 211 afgekom op mnr. Kurzweil se eie verklaring oor die onderwerp. Nogal 'n heel interessante stukkie om te lees. Dit kom basies daarop neer dat hy sy liggaam se chemiese samestelling volledig manipuleer om 'n toestand te onderhou wat hom gesond hou. Die pille wat hy sluk is slegs 'n deel van die program wat hy volg. Hy kry ook ses keer 'n week binne-aarse voedingsterapie, om die regte voedingstowwe direk in sy bloedstroom in te pomp. Dit klink nogal nes 'n vreesaanjaende wetenskapfiksiefliek. Maar dit werk vir hom, en hy is bereid om al daardie moeite te doen. Lees gerus die volgende uittreksel uit die boek (hoop nie mnr. Kurzweil gee om nie):
My own story is instructive. More than twenty years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The conventional treatment made my condition worse, so I approached this health challenge from my perspective as an inventor. I immersed myself in the scientific literature and came up with a unique program that successfully reversed my diabetes. In 1993 I wrote a health book (The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life) about this experience, and I continue today to be free of any indication or complication of this disease.In addition, when I was twenty-two, my father died of heart disease at the age of fifty-eight, and I have inherited his genes predisposing me to this illness. Twenty years ago, despite following the public guidelines of the American Heart Association, my cholesterol was in the high 200s (it should be well below 180), my HDL (high-density lipoprotein, the "good" cholesterol) below 30 (it should be above 50), and my homocysteine (a measure of the health of a biochemical process called methylation) was an unhealthy 11 (it should be below 7.5). By following a longevity program that Grossman and I developed, my current cholesterol level is 130, my HDL is 55, my homocysteine is 6.2, my C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation in the body) is a very healthy 0.01, and all of my other indexes (for heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions) are at ideal levels.When I was forty, my biological age was around thirty-eight. Although I am now fifty-six, a comprehensive test of my biological aging (measuring various sensory sensitivities, lung capacity, reaction times, memory, and related tests) conducted at Grossman's longevity clinic measured my biological age at forty. Although there is not yet a consensus on how to measure biological age, my scores on these tests matched population norms for this age. So, according to this set of tests, I have not aged very much in the last sixteen years, which is confirmed by the many blood tests I take, as well as the way I feel.These results are not accidental; I have been very aggressive about reprogramming my biochemistry. I take 250 supplements (pills) a day and receive a half-dozen intravenous therapies each week (basically nutritional supplements delivered directly into my bloodstream, thereby bypassing my GI tract). As a result, the metabolic reactions in my body are completely different than they would otherwise be. Approaching this as an engineer, I measure dozens of levels of nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals, and fats), hormones, and metabolic by-products in my blood and other body samples (such as hair and saliva). Overall, my levels are where I want them to be, although I continually finetune my program based on the research that I conduct with Grossman. Although my program may seem extreme, it is actually conservative—and optimal (based on my current knowledge). Grossman and I have extensively researched each of the several hundred therapies that I use for safety and efficacy. I stay away from ideas that are unproven or appear to be risky (the use of human-growth hormone, for example).We consider the process of reversing and overcoming the dangerous progression of disease as a war. As in any war it is important to mobilize all the means of intelligence and weaponry that can be harnessed, throwing everything we have at the enemy. For this reason we advocate that key dangers—such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and aging—be attacked on multiple fronts. For example, our strategy for preventing heart disease is to adopt ten different heart-disease-prevention therapies that attack each of the known risk factors.By adopting such multipronged strategies for each disease process and each aging process, even baby boomers like myself can remain in good health until the full blossoming of the biotechnology revolution (which we call "bridge two"), which is already in its early stages and will reach its peak in the second decade of this century.Biotechnology will provide the means to actually change your genes: not just designer babies will be feasible but designer baby boomers. We'll also be able to rejuvenate all of your body's tissues and organs by transforming your skin cells into youthful versions of every other cell type. Already, new drug development is precisely targeting key steps in the process of atherosclerosis (the cause of heart disease), cancerous tumor formation, and the metabolic processes underlying each major disease and aging process.