This article on anti-ageing and life extension was prompted by what I consider to be a ridiculous concept of embracing a prescription pharmaceutical drug with its unwanted, undesirable effects which come with a few more benign 'benefits'. The author was convinced that an anti-diabetic drug, Metformin, might deliver positive outcomes with respect to ageing.
Click the image below to see the original story or read on for my comments.
Drugs or Food – Is this a choice?
Using a drug for health is like painting over rust on a major structural component. Eventually the structure will fail and you will have wasted your money.
Also, the idea that we can create a drug as a synthetic compound and expect that it can replace a whole food as a source of critical nutrients is ridiculous.
Let's look to the world’s longest living culture (the Australian Aborigines) who survived and prospered in some of the most inhospitable regions on the planet for over 65,000 years.
Remember that over this time their survival strategies facilitated continuous occupation of this continent through Ice Ages, extended droughts, extensive wildfires, even the occasional tourist who brought diseases against which the Indigenous clans encountering the visitors had no protection.
It was only the poxy British invaders and the government of the day moving smallpox-infected blankets between Aboriginal campsites and direct, repeated massacres of men, women and children that finally reduced the indigenous population to 10% of what it was.
Yet some of the remaining people who can identify with their traditional lands and have existing links to Country are still able (and willing) to generously share their ancestral knowledge on wild foods and the land management practices that supported them.
In traditional times, pre-invasion by the British, there were 600 language groups reflecting the clans who were caretakers of their Country. Aborigines lived free of the diseases of nutrition and depending on the harshness of the environment, many Clan Elders lived well into their 60s and 70s while retaining full mental capacity and even being the repositories of detailed, intricate oral histories going back many generations. At the same time, only 20% of Europeans could expect to live as long.
Three independent studies in 1908, 1971 and 2016 into the paleoethnopathology of traditionally-living, Indigenous Australians, Africans and Americans revealed some enlightening facts:
The incidence of cancers was very rare to non-existent. There was no sign of ischemic heart disease, no evidence of symptoms of metabolic syndrome (including gout) and few conditions of most of the diseases of nutrition.
Mental diseases were rare and Elders were also polyglots, speaking their own language and that of their 3 or 4 neighbouring clans and clans across the Top End communicated with the Macassan traders who visited our shores for trepang and other foods. Then in the 1780s, Australia's First Nation People also added English from the invading British.
Their intimate knowledge of traditional survival stretched back 4 or 5 generations which allowed them to live through Ice Ages, extended droughts, widespread wildfires and expansive floods. Their skills embraced the plant and animal species on which they relied and acknowledged the carrying capacity of their specific Country, from arid lands to closed forests to wet tropical coasts.
Their in-depth oral traditions encompassed food calendars, the cycles of the seasons (some clans defined 5 seasons, not just the European 4), species protection, land management including ecological niche management, flood irrigation, riverine fish traps, fire suppression and fire-stick farming with mosaic burns and timing of fires regulating their intensity and impact. Traditional occupation of every micro-climate across Australia meant that there was no wilderness, in fact, none of the 600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages had a word for wilderness.
Aborigines out-performed, out-lived and were in better health than Europeans in the 1700s when they were invaded by the British apart from a few coastal clans who were unfortunate enough to be ‘visited’ by the Dutch, Portuguese and French before this time. These tourists left the pox and other venereal diseases and no doubt were not welcomed to the shores.
However, as the evidence for their superior general health accumulates, it is plain that their foods were protective and supportive in ways that some people are rediscovering.
Australian wild foods can do everything that Metformin does but without the vast list of side effects (as with any drug). It does this naturally, biochemically and specifically, through the action of components that have been bred out of modern foods through agriculture and which appeal to our now-inappropriate taste drives rather than our ideal nutrition.
There is no such thing as a super-drug ... or a superfood
This certainly applies to replacing a range of whole foods from your diet with either a single food or a single drug. Either will pollute (over-dose or overwhelm) non-target biochemical pathways and do more harm than good in the long term.
You may know that Aborigines not only had a far more varied food resource (some 2500 foods across the continent varying between 150 and 650 different foods per clan per annum) but these foods were spectacular nutritionally.
Research is now demonstrating the type of foods we biologically need to live our best life. Wild foods are rich sources of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, anti-allergens, anti-rogue cell (anti-proliferatives, pro-apopotics, anti-carcinogens, anti-mutagens), immune boosters, adaptogens, organic acids, organ protectants (brain, heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lungs, blood vessels, lymphatics, skin, sexual organs), live enzymes and enzyme regulators, good sugars, bioavailable minerals and more.
And each of these component classes is encyclopedic.
Take anti-inflammatories for example:
Modern lifestyle medicine now recognizes that metabolic inflammation or metaflammation is the underlying cause of most of the diseases of ageing.
Even the way that our red blood cells stick together in chains limiting circulation and a single dose of a range of wild foods as a supplement has been shown to disperse the cells in less than 30 minutes so that they can again pass through capillaries.
Most of our tissues survive as if we were cockroaches depending on diffusion for nutrient, waste and gas exchange. Little wonder we age so quickly.
Our modern diet lacks enzymes from foods and many of these active proteins clean internal scar tissue from our circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Good sugars include those which are core to many antioxidant molecules and in comparison, bad sugars are fructose and sucrose (which is half fructose).
Organic acids include ellagic and gallic acid are now in the spotlight as protective of DNA and RNA via telomere support. They also enhance our microbiome population (species, numbers and vitality), mental function and more.
Give me Wild Foods so I can Cheat Death
I could go on and on but the gist is that an anti-ageing solution is already here and it is not a drug with side effects. It is an all natural food mixture with the only effect being better health (in the widest possible sense), more energy (physical and mental), carbohydrate craving suppression, better microbiome support and proliferation and a whole lot more. Coincidentally, it is called LIFE (Lyophilized Indigenous Food Essentials™).
Here's a short rave on longevity and lifespan.