A woman visited me of late who told me that her doctor discovered that she had very high cholesterol- over 300. He was quite alarmed, and he immediately ordered tests, including a carotid artery ultrasound. This is actually a very good test because it’s safe, non-intrusive, not terribly expensive, and it tells you whether you have blockages in your carotid arteries. And she doesn’t have them.

So, here she has high cholesterol, and who knows how long she’s had it, and yet, her carotid arteries are clear. And she is 72 years old.

But undaunted, her doctor kept testing, and he ordered a coronary calcium CT test. This is I do NOT recommend because it involves a colossal amount of ionizing radiation. However, she did it, and the result showed that she does not have plaquing in her coronary arteries.

Let me qualify that by saying I didn’t see her test results. She just said that he said her coronary arteries are clear. Chances are great that she has some coronary plaquing because nearly everybody does.  But, she doesn’t have clinical heart disease, and he told her so. And remember, he was looking for it.

So, there you have it: this woman with sky-high cholesterol does not have heart disease.  And I think it tells us something, that there is no direct correlation between the level of cholesterol in the blood and the degree of heart disease.

And as one variable- the level of blood cholesterol- it doesn’t make sense that, by itself, it should lead to heart disease. Heart disease is a process that involves many things- not just cholesterol. We know it involves arterial inflammation. We know it involves specific irritants, such as tobacco smoke, which is highly atherogenic. And there is no cholesterol in tobacco. We know it involves certain biochemical abnormalities, such as high homocysteine. We know that excess iron leads to heart disease. And so on, and so on.  We are talking about a very complex pathological process, and it is not a simple matter of having too much cholesterol in your blood, and therefore, it sticks to your arteries. That’s not the way it works.

The level of cholesterol in the blood is probably a very minor factor in most cases.  Think about it: If your cholesterol is above 200, today, you are considered to have high cholesterol, and thousands upon thousands of doctors will put you on a statin drug automatically. But, if your cholesterol is say 150, that considered to be fine.

But, why should a 25% difference in the cholesterol level have any bearing on whether plaquing occurs? If there is a tendency for plaquing to occur, there is plenty enough cholesterol at 150 to support the process.  And just because you have more than 150, why should it matter? We are not talking about a passive process in which cholesterol is just sticking. An arterial plaque is a complicated thing that contains not just cholesterol but inflammatory cells, macrophages, fibrin, calcium, and more. The idea that the level of cholesterol in the blood drives the process, the result of a gradient, is ridiculous. It can’t possibly be as simple as that.

And I believe that’s why pharmaceutical treatments that force the blood level of cholesterol down have been so disappointing. The benefit, the protective effect, the actual mathematical reduction in risk, say from taking stains, is miniscule.

And what little reduction of risk there is may be do to effects that have nothing to do with cholesterol. It’s known, for instance, that statins have anti-inflammatory effects, and that may account for the very slight benefit- if there is any.  

But, even if there is a slight benefit, we know that statins increase the risk of diabetes and the risk of cancer. Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the three big killers. So, if statins increase the risk of 2 out of the 3, what good are they?

There is some irony here because even though I am opposed to the villainizing of cholesterol, I still think that the healthiest way to eat is a plant-based diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, green salads, raw nuts, and includes some beans and legumes.  And I am not opposed to eating whole grains either, although I put them on a lower tier. But, the point is that none of these foods contain cholesterol. So, if you eat that way exclusively, you won’t be getting any cholesterol in your diet. Plus, all the fiber in these foods, tends to prevent the cholesterol excreted by your liver from being reabsorbed.  And the result is, that you are probably going to wind up with a pretty low cholesterol.

So, the irony is that I accept that lower blood cholesterol, when it results from this kind of eating, is fine; it’s healthy. But, it is NOT necessarily healthier because the cholesterol is lower. It’s healthier because the diet is healthier. It does a lot of good things for your body, and more important things than lowering your cholesterol.

But, what if you eat that way, and your cholesterol is still high? Say, because you are one of those people whose body makes a lot of cholesterol. Should you take a statin drug then? I wouldn’t. I really truly wouldn’t.

And I’ll admit that it’s not an issue for me because my cholesterol has never been high. It typically runs around 150 or 160. And I do eat a mostly plant-based diet and only rarely make exceptions.  But, I would NEVER, under any circumstances, take a statin drug- even if my cholesterol were to rise.

I have a lot of experience with therapeutic fasting, and we know that fasting reverses heart disease, that plaques will undergo some reversal as a result of the fasting process. However, while fasting, the blood cholesterol level goes up, and I’ve seen it go way up- well over 300. I’ve seen it close to 400.  And, we know why it goes up during fasting. It goes up because the body is breaking down fat from fat cells, which contain a lot of cholesterol, which has to be moved out. And, as the body dissolves plaques, that cholesterol has to be moved out as well.

So, paradoxically, during fasting, even though your body is actively reversing arterial plaque, your blood cholesterol is high. If high blood cholesterol automatically pushes the heart disease gradient, then fasting should worsen heart disease, yet, we know, it doesn’t. We know, beyond a doubt, that it helps heart disease, and it’s one of the best things you can do for heart disease.

So, the idea the high cholesterol means more heart disease is just one of those truisms that isn’t true. Yet today, many doctors, solely on the basis of a high blood cholesterol alone, will put a patient on a statin drug- for the rest of his life.

I tell you, it’s crazy. It’s an example of “group think” of the worst kind.

I guarantee you that no matter what my cholesterol does in the future, and I test it every year, I will never, under any circumstances, take a statin drug or any other medical drug to lower it. I consider that a racket, the cholesterol racket, and I would never want to be involved in it on the dispensing side or the consumption side.  

Even among medical doctors the stupidity reigns, as they keep prescribing drugs to suppress fever. This is 2018; almost 2019. So, how could doctors be so stupid about something as primal as fever?

Fever is NOT dangerous, and it is NOT part of the problem. It is part of the solution. The body creates the fever, not the disease-causing agent. It does it on purpose. It does it because it wants it. Fever helps the body fight the infection. It helps the body kill bacteria.

Medicine knows it. Researchers know it. But, doctors still prescribe fever-reducing drugs to patients. I suspect that in large part it’s because the patients ask for it. And that’s especially true of parents who are petrified every time their child has a fever. But, make no mistake: suppressing the fever is bad; it does harm and not good, and I mean from the very act of lowering the fever. But in addition to that, the drugs used are all toxic. Giving aspirin to children is a bad idea since it is so corrosive to the lining of the digestive tract, and it can cause Reye's Syndrome in some children. Acetaminophen damages the liver and quite severely. Acetaminophen poisoning is a major cause of liver failure. And liver transplants have had to be done on patients who overdosed on Acetaminophen- and not always for that long either. Combining Acetaminophen with alcohol increases the damage to the liver, and unfortunately, when people are in pain, they often take both. They may wash the acetaminophen down with a good stiff drink. Another drug often used for fever is Ibuprofen, and it is damaging to the kidneys. And you should know that kidney damage is irreversible. And the truth is that all the painkilling drugs are nephro-toxic. There have been plenty of people who have had to start kidney dialysis because of having taken painkillers for years- for things like backaches, arthritis, etc. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a harmless painkiller. 

Scientists know that fever enhances infection-fighting lymphocytes, particularly a type of lymphocyte known as CD8T cells, and that these cells are more active, more robust, and more effective against bacteria in a warmer environment. You can even demonstrate it and see it in a smear of blood under a microscope.

But, can’t fever cause brain damage?  I know that that is a widely held belief, both in Medicine and among the public, but what is it based on? There is absolutely no doubt that mild fevers, moderate fevers, and even moderately high fevers to NOT cause brain damage. The only question is whether extremely high temperatures (like 106 or 107) cause brain damage. But, since such fevers are always treated and brought down with drugs, how do they really know that they cause brain damage? Where is the clinical evidence for it? Where are the brain-damaged kids who got that way from experiencing high fevers? I haven’t met any. Have you?

I will tell you outright that I think it is a complete myth that fever causes brain damage. It certainly could if there was no limit on how high a fever can get. But, there is a limit; a built-in limit. And that’s why we never hear about anyone having a fever of 112 or 120.  It takes a lot of metabolic activity to generate fever, and that metabolic activity would reach its limit before the fever reached the point of doing brain damage. I am telling you that brain damage from fever is just a myth.  And even if you can cite a case in which someone with a high fever wound up with brain damage, how do you know the damage was due to the fever and not to the infection that induced the fever or to drugs that were given? 

I am stating unequivocally that on an evidentiary basis, there is nothing there.  It’s just a belief, an old wive's tale. Doctors always treat extremely high fevers, so how do they know that if they didn’t do it that brain damage would result? I say that it’s far more likely that when there is brain damage, that it's due to the infection or to the drugs.

Let me put it this way: I would NEVER take a drug to reduce my fever. I am NOT afraid of fever.

That is not to say that people with high fevers aren’t in trouble. But, they are in trouble from whatever caused the body to respond with fever and not from the fever itself.

But, let’s remember that 98% of the time, we are talking about low to moderate fevers, and it is absolutely insane to suppress those fevers with drugs. And that it is still being commonly done in 2018 is a sickening thought. How can such medical ignorance and misguided care abound in the 21st century?  


This article by Marlowe Hood appeared on August 23, 2018. It's great that a study has confirmed that the effects of alcohol are linear, just as are the effects of most things. It has been known for many decades, and nearly a century, that alcohol is a carcinogen, a mutagen, a universal toxin, and a "protoplasmic poison" as Herbert Shelton used to call it. The idea that a little bit of alcohol is good for you was never a reasonable claim or expectation. It was really just wishful thinking. And, it was politically motivated. You see, we live in an insane world where if one person wants to come home from work and relax by drinking a glass of wine, he or she can, but if another person prefers to smoke a marijuana cigarette, he or she is subject to arrest, prosecution, incarceration, forfeiture of their assets, etc. How do you justify that? You justify it by claiming that, unlike marijuana and other illicit drugs, a little bit of alcohol is good for you. And that's why most of the studies purporting that alcohol is a health boon were sponsored, directly or indirectly, by the U.S. government. 

In the insane "War on Drugs" alcohol had to become a health food. 

Most people drink, at least a little. So, what should they do? They should start by casting aside the delusion that a little bit of alcohol is good for you. The less alcohol you drink, the better. The ideal amount is zero, and if you can't get to zero, then get as close to zero as you possibly can.  Keep striving to get lower and lower and lower in your consumption of alcohol, until you are at zero. That is the intelligent thing to do in light of what we know. 

In Nature, alcohol is produced by bacteria, but ultimately, it kills them too. Why do you think alcohol can be used as an antiseptic? Alcohol is toxic to all living things, and it certainly does not belong in anyone's health program. Alcohol is anti-life.

Dr. Ralph Cinque

 

*         *         *         *         *          *        *         *        *         *         *         *         *         *         *         * 

Even an occasional glass of wine or beer increases the risk of health problems and dying, according to a major study on drinking in 195 nations that attributes 2.8 million premature deaths worldwide each year to booze.

"There is no safe level of alcohol," said Max Griswold, a researcher at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington and lead author for a consortium of more than 500 experts.

Despite recent research showing that light-to-moderate drinking reduces heart disease, the new study found that alcohol use is more likely than not to do harm.

"The protective effect of alcohol was offset by the risks," Griswold told AFP in summarising the results, published in medical journal The Lancet on Friday.

"Overall, the health risks associated with alcohol rose in line with the amount consumed each day."

Compared to abstinence, imbibing one "standard drink" -- 10 grammes of alcohol, equivalent to a small beer, glass of wine or shot of spirits -- per day, for example, ups the odds of developing at least one of two dozen health problems by about half-a-percent, the researchers reported.

Looked at one way, that seems like a small increment: 914 out of 100,000 teetotallers will encounter those problems, compared to 918 people who imbibe seven times per week.

"But at the global level, that additional risk of 0.5 percent among (once-a-day) drinkers corresponds to about 100,000 additional deaths each year," said senior author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington and a director at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

- 'Less is better, none is best' -

"Those are excess deaths, in other words, that could be avoided," she told AFP.

The risk climbs in a steep "J-curve", the study found.

An average of two drinks per day, for example, translated into a 7.0 percent hike in disease and injury compared to those who opt for abstinence.

With five "units" of alcohol per day, the likelihood of serious consequences jumps by 37 percent.

The "less is better, none is best" finding jibes with the World Health Organization's long-standing position, but is at odds with many national guidelines, especially in the developed world.

 

 

 

 

It's October 1, and like clockwork, the government and media are coming on strong, encouraging everyone to get a flu shot, and I find it surreal. They have absolutely no idea how effective it is, and worse: they don’t know if it is effective at all.

You would think that they would test it. Say, assemble two groups of 1000 people, striving to make them comparable, to eliminate variables and differences other than the flu shot. Then, compare outcomes: what percent of each group comes down with the flu. 

Be aware that they know very well that the vaccine is not 100% effective. Each and every year, there are people who get the flu shot and also get the flu. They have a term for it: vaccine failure.

So, the question is: how does the incidence of flu among those vaccinated compare to the incidence among those unvaccinated?

You’d expect the vaccinated to do better, right?  But, it has never been tested. They refuse to do it.

They refuse because they say it would be unethical- since everyone needs it. But then, when you suggest comparing the vaccinated to the unvaccinated-by-choice, they make up excuses why they can’t do that either. They say it’s apples and oranges, but that’s ridiculous. Only about 40% of adults get the flu shot, so among the 60% who don’t, I’m sure they could find a suitable control group.

But then they say that since the control group would be unvaccinated, and knowingly unvaccinated, that the test would lack “placebo control.” That’s true, but the placebo factor is probably miniscule when it comes to flu. There are some conditions, for instance, depression, where the placebo effect is powerful. If a person thinks she is taking something that can make her feel better, she’s likely to start feeling better. The same goes for sleeping pills. If you think a pill is going to help you sleep, it may ease your anxiety about not sleeping, and hence, you sleep better. And, it is well established that placebos even make pain more tolerable.   

But, with the flu. I don’t see how a person thinking he’s been protected will have any effect on whether or not he gets the flu. So, the placebo effect should hardly matter at all here. 

And, if there is a beneficial placebo effect from vaccine, then it is going to improve results for those vaccinated. It’s not going to improve results for those who got nothing.  So, if the results of the test are going to get skewed, it will be in favor of the vaccinated. So, it can only make the vaccine look more effective than it is.  

So, there really is no valid excuse for not testing the flu vaccine and finding out exactly how well it works.

And, I would also like to see long-term studies to see how people who take the flu shot annually fare compared to those who don’t, in terms of longevity, cancer incidence, dementia incidence, and more. What we really need is a comprehensive, longitudinal study of health outcomes from taking annual flu shots.  

But, that kind of study is extremely expensive because it goes on for so long, and there might not be money to do it.  But, the first one, in which flu incidence is compared over one flu season, would not expensive, and it could easily be done. And, there is no excuse for not doing it.

But, they don’t do it. They have never done it. And, they never will to do it.  And that’s because they can’t risk blowing up the whole scam.  If the unvaccinated group did better OR if both groups did the same (showing no effect at all) OR if the vaccinated group did better but only slightly better- any of those outcomes would be disastrous for the flu vaccine industry.  Without a hell of a lot of protection shown, something night and day, you really couldn’t justify doing it.

According to WebMD, 5 to 20% of Americans get the flu each year. So, let’s average that to 12.5%, which would be 1 in 8.  Well, if vaccinated people had an incidence of 10% and unvaccinated had an incidence of 15%, would it be worth it to get the shot? If you got the shot, you’d have a 1 in 10 of getting the flu. If you didn't, you'd have a 1 in 7 chance. Would it be worth it to risk the known and potential adverse effects of the flu shot for that? I certainly don’t think so.

So, the flu vaccine would have to win, and win big to be justified. But, they know very well that in any given year, there is no guarantee of it and not even a likelihood of it.

Plenty of times, they have been forced to admit that the flu vaccine didn’t work very well in a particular year because the “committee” chose the wrong strains. After all, all they can do is take their best guess. But, why should I put any stock in their guesses?  

Here is what we know: We know that the flu vaccine is never completely effective, that there are vaccine failures each and every year.  Therefore, you can’t be sure of not getting the flu by getting a flu shot.  And second, there is no reliable information on how effective it is at reducing risk or if it is effective at all.  

And what about the risk of harm from the flu shot? On the CDC website, it states that if you think you have been injured by the flu shot, you may be able to receive compensation from the federal government.  So, drug companies make flu vaccine, for profit, and if it harms people, it’s the taxpayers who have to foot the bill and compensate the victims.

About 40%, of U.S. adults get the flu vaccine, but close to 60% of children get it.  Why is it higher for children? It’s probably because schools and pediatricians push it so hard.  And it really bothers me about the pediatricians because: what the hell do they know? All they know are the platitudes; the talking points. They certainly don’t know that they are providing something that is safe and effective.  They are just falling in line and being good little dispensers. 

It's a matter of faith for them, the doctors, just as it is for the public. And don’t think for a second that every M.D. believes in flu shots. There is a female M.D. not far from me who tells her patients that if they want a flu shot, they will have to go elsewhere. She doesn’t take the flu shot, and she doesn’t give it.  

And there are other doctors like her, although you wouldn’t know it from watching tv.  From the media, you would think that every M.D. in the country is gung-ho about flu shots and subjects himself and his family to them.

The bottom line is that the flu shot contains heavy metals such as mercury as a preservative, aluminum salts, formaldehyde, viral proteins, chicken egg proteins, gelatin, antibiotics, and other highly allergenic substances.  To take an injection of it on nothing more than the theoretical hope that it will lower your risk of getting the flu an unspecified and undetermined amount is a very bad gamble, and if you take it, you should stay away from race tracks and betting halls. 

 

 

 

 

 

 October: it’s Flu Shot time. Are you going to get one?

Already, the government and media are coming on strong, encouraging everyone to get a flu shot, and I find it surreal. They have absolutely no idea how effective it is, and worse: they don’t know if it is effective at all.

You would think that they would test it. Say, assemble two groups of 1000 people, striving to make them comparable, to eliminate variables other than the flu shot. Then, compare outcomes: what percent of each group comes down with the flu. 

Be aware that they know very well that the vaccine is not 100% effective. Each and every year, there are people who get the flu shot and also get the flu. They have a term for it: vaccine failure.

So, the question is: how does the incidence of flu among those vaccinated compare to the incidence among those unvaccinated?

You’d expect the vaccinated to do better, right?  But, it has never been tested. They refuse to do it.

They refuse because they say it would unethical- since everyone needs it. But then, when you suggest comparing the vaccinated to the unvaccinated-by-choice, they make up excuses why they can’t do that either. They say it’s apples and oranges, but that’s ridiculous. Only about 40% of adults get the flu shot, so among the 60% who don’t, I’m sure they could find a suitable control group.

But then they say that since the control group would be unvaccinated, and knowingly unvaccinated, that the test would lack “placebo control.” That’s true, but the placebo factor is probably miniscule when it comes to flu. There are some conditions, for instance, depression, where the placebo effect is powerful. If a person thinks she is taking something that can make her feel better, she’s likely to start feeling better. The same goes for sleeping pills. If you think a pill is going to help you sleep, it may ease your anxiety about not sleeping, and hence, you fall asleep. 

But, with the flu. I don’t see how a person thinking he’s been protected will have any effect on whether or not he gets the flu. So, the placebo effect hardly matters at all here. 

And, if there is a beneficial placebo effect from vaccine, then it is going to improve results for those vaccinated. It’s not going to improve results for those who got nothing.  So, if the results of the test are going to get skewed, it will be in favor of the vaccinated. So, it can only make the vaccine look more effective than it is.  

So, there really is no valid excuse for not testing the flu vaccine and finding out exactly how well it works.

And, I would also like to see long-term studies to see how people who take the flu shot annually fare compared to those who don’t, in terms of longevity, cancer incidence, dementia incidence, and more. What we really need is a comprehensive, longitudinal study of health outcomes from taking annual flu vaccination.  

But, that kind of study is extremely expensive because it goes on for so long, and there might not be money to do it.  But, the first one, in which flu incidence is compared over one flu season, would not expensive, and it could easily be done. And, there is no excuse for not doing it.

But, they don’t do it. They have never done it. And, they never will to do it.  And that’s because they can’t risk blowing up the whole scam.  If the unvaccinated group did better OR if both groups did the same (showing no effect at all) OR if the vaccinated group did better but only slightly better- any of those outcomes would be disastrous for the flu vaccine industry.  Without a substantial benefit, without a lot of protection shown, something night and day, you really couldn’t justify continuing it.

According to WebMD, 5 to 20% of Americans get the flu each year. So, let’s average that to 12.5%, which would be 1 in 8.  Well, if vaccinated people had an incidence of 10% and unvaccinated had an incidence of 15%, would it be worth it to get the shot? If you got the shot, you’d have a 1 in 10 of getting the flu. So, if you were in a group of 100, the risk would be of you being among the 10 who got it. But, without getting the shot, the risk would be of you being among the 15 who got it. So, we’re just talking about avoiding the risk of 5 more out of 100. Would it be worth it to risk the known and potential adverse effects of the flu shot for that? I certainly don’t think so.

 So, the flu vaccine would have to win, and win big to be justified. But, they know very well that in any given year, there is no guarantee of it and not even a likelihood of it.

Plenty of times, they have been forced to admit that the flu vaccine didn’t work very well because the “committee” chose the wrong strains. After all, all they can do is take their best guess. But, why should I put any stock in their guesses?  

Here is what we know: We know that the flu vaccine is never completely effective, that there are vaccine failures each and every year.  Therefore, you can’t be sure of not getting the flu by getting a flu shot.  And second, there is no reliable information on how effective it is at reducing risk or if it is effective at all.  

And what about the risk of harm from the flu shot? On the CDC website, it states that if you think you have been injured by the flu shot, you may be able to receive compensation from the federal government.  So, drug companies make flu vaccine, for profit, and if it harms people, it’s the taxpayers who have to compensate the victims.

About 40%, of U.S. adults get the flu vaccine, but close to 60% of children get it.  Why is it higher for children? It’s probably because schools and pediatricians push it so hard.  And it really bothers me about the pediatricians because: what the hell do they know? All they know are the platitudes; the talking points. They certainly don’t know that they are providing something that is safe and effective.  They are just falling in line and being good little dispensers. 

It's a matter of faith for them, just as it is for the public. And don’t think for a second that every M.D. believes in flu shots. There is a female M.D. not far from me who tells her patients that if they want a flu shot, they will have to go elsewhere. She doesn’t take the flu shot, and she doesn’t give it.  

And there are other doctors like her, although you wouldn’t know it from watching tv.  From the media, you would think that every M.D. in the country is gung-ho about flu shots and subjects himself and his family to them.

The bottom line is that the flu shot contains heavy metals such as mercury as a preservative, aluminum salts, formaldehyde, viral proteins, chicken egg proteins, gelatin, antibiotics, and other highly allergenic substances.  To take an injection of it on nothing more than the theoretical hope that it will lower your risk of getting the flu an unspecified and undetermined amount is an extremely unwise gamble, and if you take that gamble, you need to stay away from race tracks and betting parlors because you are hopelessly inept at distinguishing a good bet from a bad one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is widely recognized in medical science that caloric restriction is the most proven technique of life extension. Under experimental conditions, it has worked in species large and small, including mammals. I don’t think it has ever been tested experimentally in humans, but there isn’t much doubt that it works.

And many people are acting on it, either through caloric restriction on a daily basis or intermittent fasting.  I am seeing a lot about this online, including on Youtube.

But, I actually have an uneasy feeling about it- even though I doubt that it works. What I question is: is it worth it restrict your calories to the point of becoming underweight, where you actually scrawny-icize yourself in the hope that you will live longer?

Realize that if an overweight person, that is, a fat person, was to restrict calories and thereby reduce their excessive body fat, that obviously is an unmitigated, unqualified good.  So, if you want to use caloric restriction to get to a healthy level of leanness, that’s fine. But, what if you’re already sufficiently lean? Would it pay to restrict calories and get leaner in the hope of living longer?

Well, in my opinion, there is a healthy weight for everybody, where you look the best and feel the best and have the best proportions and the most energy, etc. So, to get below your healthy weight, especially significantly below it, makes no sense to me, and it is an extreme thing to do.

And, it doesn’t come without risks of its own. You have less reserves in the event that you had a terrible trauma and couldn’t eat normally. If you are already bone-thin, what’s going to happen to you then? Your bones may get weaker from being so light. And if you get below your ideal weight, its very likely that you will lose muscle as well. And the truth is that Nature is working against us that way. There is a natural tendency to lose muscle mass just from getting older. And if you want to prevent it, you really have to work at it. The vast majority of people do experience sarcopenia- the age-related loss of muscle. It’s a cousin to osteoporosis- and you know how common and widespread that is.

So, in my opinion, the only practical and sensible thing is to restrict calories to the extent that it helps you maintain your best and ideal weight. And even if you got slightly thinner than that, you could get away with it and still have a high quality of life. But, if you deliberately make yourself thinner than that through eating restriction, you are doing something very extreme which may backfire.

Life isn’t just about quantity; it’s about quality. And it’s a higher quality of life in many ways if you maintain your best weight, where you look your best, feel your best, and act your best. You are not going to live forever no matter what you do, so you have to keep your priorities straight. To cause yourself actual wasting in the hope of living longer is, again, a very extreme and radical thing to do.

So, I never think in terms of restricting calories as an objective. I think in terms of maintaining my ideal weight and proportions, and strength and energy. And for me, it comes in right around 135 pounds at my height of 5’6”.

Would I prolong my life if I maintained my weight at, say, 125 pounds? I very well might, but I’m not interested. And that’s because I wouldn’t look as good (and of course, I look great) I wouldn’t be as strong, I wouldn’t feel as good about my masculinity from being so scrawny, and when I looked in the mirror I wouldn’t be seeing myself. I’d be seeing this very skinny guy. I would almost feel foreign to myself. So, why would I want to live like that? I wouldn’t want to even if I could be guaranteed to live longer, and of course, there are no such guarantees.

But, I would like to add that the awareness of the effectiveness of caloric restriction is something that we should at least use to keep ourselves from eating junk. For instance, if you are tempted to eat ice cream before going to bed, that’s surely extra calories that you don’t need,  and restricting them can only do you good and not harm.

But, even though I don’t practice it as taught, I still enjoy reading about caloric restriction experiments, and I am they will continue. One amusing perspective is that if you restrict calories on a daily basis, you won’t enjoy as much food on a daily basis, but because you will live longer, you will consume and enjoy more food over the course of your lifetime than you otherwise would have. Is that true mathematically? I don’t know, but it is amusing to ponder.