Basic Question

Patricia – yes I have trouble going to bed when my mind seems to run 24/7. Feel lucky, I kept myself from posting a novel. You are right, everyone must work out for the reason that motivates them, everyone is different. I personally hate lifting weights, but like how I feel at the end of a workout, and I like how I have grown. I also like the fact that on the days I don’t work out, that extra muscle burns more calories then the joggers I see in agony every morning.
Tricky – There is an ongoing study on reduced calorie diets on monkeys. I believe that it has run for 30 years. At least one of the “control” monkeys allowed to eat all he wants has diabetes, yet all the low cal monkeys are much healthier, and act younger then the normal ones. This is proven over and over in every organism studied. I believe that the actual lifespan increase is 40%. Metabolism is only one of the theories. They also believe that the reduction of insulin levels may be a factor. But for the reasons you cite for not wanting to go on a reduced calorie diet are the same reasons I won’t go on one.
char-dawg – Sorry, but free-radicals are a form of oxygen. It is just short one electron leaving it unbalanced, and will take an electron from any source it can. Even DNA. Vitamin C is an antioxidant because it supplies that electron easily. Try cutting an apple in half, and pour a little orange juice on one half, and not on the other. After a little time you will notice that the dry piece will brown more significantly then the other piece.
Are we having fun yet?

Sorry Mage, but your science is flawed.

A group of monkey being fed by scientists over a period of 30 years is a controlled test in an idealised environment. Diabetes is not a common occurence in wild monkeys and only occurs when the animals are fed the type of crap that humans regularly put into themselves. In fact diabetes wasn’t pervalent in our society until the last couple of decades, it’s progress linked with our eating habits.

The monkeys that were fed a reduced cal diet were topped up with a large supply of nutrients and vitamin supplements as they were being denied there normal food supply. Even still I can bet that they were weaker and more fragile than wild monkeys of similar age and nature. Did they have to hunt and fight for food, were they subject to all the trials and tests natural to their species, I think not! Also were they exposed to natural conditions their health would vastly deteriorate. The only way reduced cal can improved longevity is if you live isolated away from as many people as possible, never expose yourself to new strains of bacteria or viruses and be terrifed of getting any form of injury or damage. God help you if you were to kiss someone and lets not get near the dangers associated with sex!

As for Singlet oxygen causing an apple to turn brown this is just not true. Oxygen itself does this by reacting with an enzyme which in turn is activated and converts polyphenols to phenol oxidase, the brown mush. The effect of dabbing orange juice or vitamin C solution is that it delays the oxygen reacting with the enzyme. It is an anti-oxidant. The vast majority of oxidation is done by oxygen itself and not a radical reaction. The equilibrum that exists between the neutral molecule and the singlet state is massively, massively towards the neutral molecule. To create singlet of oxygen in any concentrations necessary to perform reactions takes a photosentiser and light to trigger the reaction. Yes, I’m sure that some amount of free radical destruction is there, but the main is oxygen itself.

And finally if you want to look at the effect of a reduced calorie diet on humans in a complex environment, subject to complex real world problems of bacteria, bugs and diseases, why don’t you just look at a population in famine or near famine conditions. Older by decades than their actually age, low calorie longevity is a joke.
Life expectancy? lets not go there.

Don’t talk about monkeys.

Lots of times action is generally better than inaction. As previously stated, either way you’ll die from some cause at the end of life. I just want to prevent it, or control its coming the best I can, since Providence has the real final say. Die healthy I say!!

I was going to respond, but Tricky has done a much better job than I could have. Well said!

Just as additional point, though: If you're trying to argue that free-rads are responsible for an apple's turning brown rather than simple exposure to a corrosive (oxygen), it doesn't do any good (from a scientific POV) to cut off the corrosive and then say, "See!" You could cover the apple with anything (saran wrap, milk, orange juice or whatever) and the effect would be the same (less and/or slower browning). It doesn't prove anything one way or the other - if anything it supports the opposing viewpoint.

Also, I'm curious about those monkeys. A 40% increase? I don't know how long monkeys live, but let's say 25 years. So on the low cal diet they would now live to be 35? That seems pretty far-fetched. Can you supply the name of the study, along with a link (if possible)?

here’s that link

I tried to find the specific study I mentioned, and either was mistaken about the 30 years, or didn’t have the luck of locating that specific study. I am surprised at how many studies with rhesus monkeys and squirrel monkeys there were though. The study I was referring to was shown on the discovery channel or the learning channel about 6 months ago. I don’t think they were rhesus monkeys in that study though. Information on the study started in 1987 is located here:

The reason they use a controlled environment is so they can change one thing and compare it with the animals in the exact situation without the change. No it is not the real world, but that is why a control group is used. If just being in a lab adds years then the control group would have the same effect. If not then it most likely was the diet. Replication of a study is required for firm evidence. And with the first study occurring in the 1930’s If is firmly established that a properly restricted diet, and yes properly supplemented to prevent vitamin deficiency, extends life. Not accepting this study for not being a real world experience invalidates almost all studies. Even T-mag has suggested that if you want to see of something works for you or not, then follow a diet and exercise routine, then change the one item (say diet, a supplement, different routine, etc…) then see the effect it has.

I should make sure that you understand that I am not advocating a calorie restricted diet, especially for bodybuilders, and definitely nor for me, just stating that is works. In the link to Scientific American that someone posted, there was a picture of Michael Cooper who has been following a restricted calorie diet, and I am pretty sure nobody here is going for the Michael Cooper look.

As far as the prevalence of diabetes in wild animals, I don’t think that there are a lot of animals getting their blood sugar tested regularly, and I am lacking knowledge of any regular sampling if insulin sensitivity in the wild. Yes, the crap that humans eat has made diabetes a major problem, although I don’t think that it has gone up as much as people think. More people then ever are tested now, and it is being caught more often because of this.

I never did say that oxygen wasn’t responsible for oxidation, nor that enzymes didn’t speed up the process, but free radicals are responsible for the browning of an apple. Check out the second paragraph in this teachers guide from Scientific American Frontiers at
(Then again read the whole thing.)

As far as famine compared to restricted calories, often famine comes on suddenly, and people go from a lot of food to none, whereas a calorie restricted diet is still eating good quality food regularly. Any person or animal using such a diet is only supposed to cut calories below normal, not vitamins and minerals. Also many of the studies have calories at 30% of normal, not nothing. Although the researchers have also been studying up to a 60% reduction in animals. The Scientific American article somebody posted (who posted that anyway?) did list a group of people (Okinawans) who do consume a diet 30% less then a normal Japanese diet resulted in 40 times the number of people making it to 100. I do believe that would qualify as evidence of the effects in a “complex environment.”

About using orange juice to slow down the oxidation of apples, I didn’t mean to leave the apple covered in a bucket of juice. The USDA has this quote : “Dipping fresh-cut fruit in vitamin C enhanced the antioxidative action of POD. The amount of PPO, which is responsible for browning reactions, was very low in cantaloupe melon compared with other commodities such as lettuce and apple.” The link :

About the increase in longevity, the National Institutes of Health had a press release that reported that a 30% decrease in calories resulted in a 30% increase in longevity. If you still doubt this (ta-dah) the link:
One study I looked at had a 43% increase in longevity in mice (or rats), but I didn’t look to see what the specific caloric restriction was on that study.

Now I have rebutted each one of your arguments, and provided a varied source of links to reputable sources. Now if you don’t think free radicals are a problem in the body, check this quote from Wayne State University: “While oxygen is of the most vital importance to life, its metabolism in the body presents some difficulties. Most of the oxygen entering the cell leaves as CO2 ; the remaining molecular oxygen is converted to water in the mitochondria via the addition of 4 electrons (see figure 8). For 95% of the remaining oxygen, this occurs in one step, but the other 5% undergoes the addition of one electron at a time. With the addition of one electron, an unstable reactive oxygen species, or a free radical, is formed. It is the unpaired electron, at this initiation stage, which confers the free radicals’ instability and potential for cellular damage. Several species of biological free radicals exist, but the primary radicals include superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl ion.” The link:

Finally if you think that antioxidants are not taken to fight free radicals, then you should tell John M. Berardi :

Isn’t debate fun?

How exactly do people keep their paragraph spaces? Mine keep dissapearing and turning into one long paragraph.

Here’s a dumb answer: I had a simple theory as a child, that small things like mice have fast heart rates and die quickly, whereas elephants being bigger beat more slowly and live longer. I know that’s not science but there may actually be something in it…If you exercise it will cause damage, but that might only be for say 1 hour out of 24, so you get a net benefit in the other 23. Also it helps dump stress, and you tend pay attention to nutrition more than the average person. I believe the ‘use it or lose it’ maxim applies to more than just muscle. Giving your whole system a bit of throttle in the fast lane once in a while helps keep things ticking sweet. However, huge amounts of muscle beyond the genetic intention must surely exact a price somewhere. Race tuned engines aren’t built to plod for a hundred years.

Life extension due to caloric restriction has nothing to do with metabolism or free radicals or oxidation or insulin or anything of the like. A lot of studies are currently being done on how the mechanism of calorie restriction works to extend life. What they are finding is that even short term caloric restriction (such as, say severely restricted for 4 months) has a profound effect. The effect is at the gene level. Aging predominately affects our genes and DNA. And it is these changes to gene expressions that result in the symptoms of aging. For reasons not totally understood yet, even short term caloric restriction “resets” gene expresions within our DNA. These many varied and critical gene expressions have been measured before/after caloric restriction. Research has shown that you don’t need to be on continual caloric restriction to receive the benefits. 4 months of caloric restriction every few years appears to provide enormous benefit to keeping our genetic expressions from aging. For a review of some of the research on going, see the following link: Vitamins and Supplements Rooted in Science - Life Extension dec2001_cover_spindler_01.html

Phase#1 and Patricia and a few others hit the nail on the head. Training hard and challenging yourself physically is not about life extension, but about the quality of life your living now. Most of the best things I have achieved in my life can be directly linked to training. I would never have been the captain of my university football team, become a firefighter and married my beautiful wife, among other things, if I had not taken up lifting. Learning to challenge myself physically has given me the confidence to go after the other things in my life I felt were important. It’s not just the physical benefits, but the mental and emotional ones too. Being strong physically has allowed me to be a more emotionally open, honest and secure person. It’s such a fantastic journey I can’t understand why everyone does’nt do it. For such a relatively small time investment the returns cannot be measured. Most of the men in my family don’t live past 70. I expect I won’t either. If I do it’s a bonus. I will tell you though that I plan on being as big and strong and active as I can in those 70 years. I’ll be happy if I have the big one while I’m attempting a 1rm on the bench press at 69years of age. Stop worrying about how long you’ll live and jump into life now with both feet.

I would advise you not to work out. It is very dangerous for the heart and will shorten your life. Most people are better off being skinny and weak. You’ll achieve your dreams and have a lower metabolism. In this civilized day and age, big strong muscles are useless at best and a handicap at worst. Who wants tight fitting clothes or to be seen as aggressive by the opposite sex? Technology will make your life effortless and fufilling, so save time and skip the gym!

You have to put this tag: “<” “p” “>”. I can’t write it as it is suposed to be, because then it will be interpreted as a comand to do a paragraph.

Restless: Thanks for the help, now my posts can be read more easily.

T-Bam: I believe that that theory (heartbeats) was one of the popular ideas in the 1800’s. My belief about large muscles is that if you gain them in a healthful way then it may help extend life, but doing foolish things like those listed in the Dead Pool articles. I think that limited use of steroids could actually help extend life if used properly, although I don’t think I would ever use anything beyond mag-10. I wouldn’t trust anything I purchased illegally even through a friend.

Heb: I do know that one of the theories is that there is a gene that kicks in during the stress caused by a drop in calories. The thought is that we are genetically programmed that way so that if there is a major famine then a few of the people who survive can live long enough that they can reproduce once the famine has subsided. (This is just a theory as to the reason, and may be way off.) Had trouble reaching the article following your link, but did a search and fount what may have been the article at : Vitamins and Supplements Rooted in Science - Life Extension (The page listed a recent redesign of their site.) I believe it was Discovery channel where one researcher said it could also be a combination of factors. In my search for my last post here I found research about the success of fasting every few days causing a similar but less powerful effect on mice.

I decided to steer away from Life Extension Foundation links because I thought that the National Institutes of Health, and PBS might bring a little more respect. I have started to wonder if a 30% might start from a maintenance level for bodybuilders since they have a higher metabolism then the average person. The normal calorie restricted diet designed for humans is almost imposable for anyone to follow for even short periods of time, but at bodybuilding levels, if a person has a maintenance level of 4000 calories, then 2800 calories might be enough to produce the effect over the shorter period. Berardi designed his don’t diet around 15% below maintenance, I think that a diet at 30% below maintenance could be designed as a cutting phase. This is the first time I actually would think that calorie reduction would be possible for a lot more people. This is just my thought, so I can’t back this up in any way.

Magnus: I have a lot of respect for firefighters, I could never do what you do. Mostly because I don’t like it too hot. It starts getting warm, and that air conditioner goes on. Everyone must choose what is right for them. Some people want to jump out of planes, climb mountains, and run with the bulls. I wouldn’t mind doing one of those. Some people would never want to do those things. It is the same with training. One friend of mine tells me that life is too short to spend training and eating right, he just wants to enjoy life. He is about 300 pounds of you care. You are doing what is right for you and enjoying the process, that is great. As for me, I want to enjoy life as much as possible. I plan on doing things that extend my life, but I won’t go on the extreme diet calorie restriction requires. But I will eat right, and get as healthy as possible, in ways that don’t get too extreme. I am not afraid of death, I just plan on kicking his ass as long as possible. Oh yes, I hope you have a lot of slow work days.

Rafael: I understand your sarcasm, but barbells are a form of technology. (Early 1900’s technology, but technology.) Tribex is a technology, Mag-10 is a technology. I believe in technology making things easier, and quicker. But I don’t think that there will ever be any completely easy technology, especially in exercise and diet. Some people are so lazy they want to buy those electronic stimulation devices because they are too lazy to move their own muscles. But those things don’t work. If I bought Mag-10, drank it every day, and just sat on the couch all the time, I doubt that I would gain an ounce of muscle. It just doesn’t work like that. With all the computers around, we still have to be able to think. The reason I am here is because of what I can learn, and improve myself. Can I get bigger then I am now? Can I get leaner? Can I get stronger? Can I learn to post short messages?