The Personalized Life Extension Conference 2012 presented lots of ideas, with occasionally some science to back them up.
A lot of the advice backed up by the best science won’t be followed. In spite of the title of Brian Delaney’s Calorie Restriction talk, he didn’t have a solution to the problem of feeling hungry. When Max Peto reminded us of the dangers of sitting, the percentage of people who remained seated only dropped from maybe 97 to 95. There were vendors pushing food that had higher than optimal sugar content, and I think at least one pusher had some success.
I’ve been cutting back drastically on my vitamin/supplement consumption, and Stephen Spindler’s talk (arguing that most apparently good results in other animals were due to supplements inducing calorie restriction) has me thinking about cutting back farther to just fish oil and vitamin D.
The telomere guys still haven’t come up with a good theory for why evolution didn’t do the apparently easy thing and make some telomerase available to non stem cells, so I’m still assuming there’s some tradeoff such as cancer.
The most interesting talk was by David Asprey, describing an “upgraded paleo” diet – high fat, with careful attention to the quality of the fat. He has more ideas than he has time to communicate them.
Unfortunately he seems too busy throwing out new opinions to document the evidence behind them (or maybe the evidence is hiding somewhere on his poorly organized website). But in most cases he has a plausible paleo-like theory, and I’m generally confident they’d be little worse than a placebo, so I’m trying some of them.
At the moment that involves consuming more of some paleo-like foods that I’d already been starting to add to my diet. Grass-fed (Kerrygold) butter is possibly the most important, and coconut products are also rather high on the list. The butter tastes better than my dim recollection of butter from malnourished grain-fed cows. Coconut milk works well as a substitute for milk in dishes such as chowder and cream of onion soup.
Josh Whiton had an intriguing idea about trying to get the benefits of calorie restriction via a very low protein diet once or twice a week (with a paleo-like diet the rest of the time).