Extend Your Life Now -- Part 2

Continuing our countdown of easy things you can do now to extend your life. 
Brain with Alzheimer's (left) vs. normal brain (right)
Fasting can help protect against brain diseases, scientists say

Researchers at the National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore said they had found evidence which shows that periods of stopping virtually all food intake for one or two days a week could protect the brain against some of the worst effects of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other ailments.

"Reducing your calorie intake could help your brain, but doing so by cutting your intake of food is not likely to be the best method of triggering this protection. It is likely to be better to go on intermittent bouts of fasting, in which you eat hardly anything at all, and then have periods when you eat as much as you want," said Professor Mark Mattson, head of the institute's laboratory of neurosciences.

"In other words, timing appears to be a crucial element to this process," Mattson told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.

Cutting daily food intake to around 500 calories – which amounts to little more than a few vegetables and some tea – for two days out of seven had clear beneficial effects in their studies, claimed Mattson, who is also professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Okay, well this one is simple, if perhaps not truly easy. How hard would it be to go without eating (or eating an extremely small amount) one or two days a week?

Or let's put the question another way -- how hard would it be to try to live with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's? 

Personally, I'm ready to try to do what it takes -- even some "hard" things -- to avoid them.

UPDATE: On Google+, Randall Parker ties this topic in with the discussion of the economic benefits of life extension:
A longer period of youthful brain function would do the most to make us more productive. Delay brain aging for a few decades and productivity would rise enormously as people accumulated more skills and did much more mental work.
Let's keep our brains working. If the economic incentives aren't enough for you, having a fully functioning brain is also a great way to enjoy things that might take place in your later years (grandchild's wedding, technological singularity, etc.) that degenerative brain diseases would cause you to miss.

If you're serious about getting started with life extension, don't miss Christine Peterson's Personalized Life Extension Conference. Here's our recent interview with Christine for those who missed it.


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