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The Politics of Transhumanism – Changesurfer

Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:41 am

The Politics of Transhumanism

Version 2.0 (March 2002)

James J. Hughes, Ph.D.

Originally Presented at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of ScienceCambridge, MA November 1-4, 2001

For more information please contact: James Hughes Ph.D. Public Policy Studies, Trinity College, 71 Vernon St., Hartford CT, 06106, 860-297-2376,[email protected], http://www.changesurfer.com

Transhumanism is an emergent philosophical movement which says that humans can and should become more than human through technological enhancements. Contemporary transhumanism has grown out of white, male, affluent, American Internet culture, and its political perspective has generally been a militant version of the libertarianism typical of that culture. Nonetheless transhumanists are becoming more diverse, with some building a broad liberal democratic philosophic foundation in the World Transhumanist Association. A variety of left futurist trends and projects are discussed as a proto-democratic transhumanism. The essay also discusses the reaction of transhumanists to a small group of neo-Nazis who have attempted to attach themselves to the transhumanist movement. For the transhumanist movement to grow and become a serious challenge to their opposites, the bio-Luddites, they will need to distance themselves from their elitist anarcho-capitalist roots and clarify commitments to liberal democratic institutions, values and public policies. By embracing political engagement and the use of government to address equity, safety and efficacy concerns about transhuman technologies, transhumanists are in a better position to attract a larger, broader audience.

When it comes to political memes, transhumanism in its purest form doesn’t have any fixed niche. Instead each host or group of hosts link it to their previous political views. (Sandberg, 1994)

Since the advent of the Enlightenment, the idea that the human condition can be improved through reason, science and technology has been mated with all varieties of political ideology. Partisans of scientific human betterment have generally been opponents of, and opposed by, the forces of religion, and therefore have generally tilted towards cosmopolitan, cultural liberalism. But there have been secular cosmopolitans, committed to human progress through science, who were classical liberals or libertarians, as well as liberal democrats, social democrats and communists. There have also been technocratic fascists, attracted to racialism by eugenics, and to nationalism by the appeal of the unified, modernizing nation-state.

With the emergence of cyberculture, the technoutopian meme-plex has found a natural medium, and has been furiously mutating and crossbreeding with political ideologies. One of its recent manifestations has adopted the label transhumanism, and within this sparsely populated but broad ideological tent many proto-ideological hybrids are stirring. Much transhumanist proto-politics is distinctly the product of elitist, male, American libertarianism, limiting its ability to respond to concerns behind the growing Luddite movement, such as with the equity and safety of innovations. Committed only to individual liberty, libertarian transhumanists have little interest in building solidarity between posthumans and normals, or in crafting techno-utopian projects which can inspire broad social movements.

In this paper I will briefly discuss the political flavors of transhumanism that have developed in the last dozen years, including extropian libertarianism, the liberal democratic World Transhumanist Association, neo-Nazi transhumanism, and radical democratic transhumanism. In my closing remarks I will suggest ways that a broader democratic transhumanism may take shape that would have a better chance of attracting a mass following and securing a political space for the kinds of human self-improvement that the transhumanists envision.

This is really what is unique about the Extropian movement: the fusion of radical technological optimism with libertarian political philosophy one might call it libertarian transhumanism. (Goertzel, 2000)

In the 1980s, a young British graduate student, Max OConnor, became interested in futurist ideas and life extension technologies while studying philosophy and political economy at Oxford. In the mid-1980s he became one of the pioneers of cryonics in England. After finishing at Oxford in 1988, having been impressed with the United States dynamism and openness to future-oriented ideas, OConnor began his doctoral studies in philosophy at the University of Southern California. At USC he began mixing with the local futurist subculture, and soon teamed up with another graduate student, T.O. Morrow, to found the technoutopian journal Extropy.

OConnor and Morrow adopted the term extropy, the opposite of entropy, as the core symbol of their philosophy and goals: life extension, the expansion of human powers and control over nature, expansion into space, and the emergence of intelligent, organic, spontaneous order. OConnor also adopted the new name Max More as a sign of his commitment to what my goal is: always to improve, never to be static. I was going to get better at everything, become smarter, fitter, and healthier. It would be a constant reminder to keep moving forward” (Regis, 1994).

In early issues of Extropy magazine More began to publish successive versions and expositions of his Extropian Principles. In the early 1990s the Principles resolved down to five:

1.BOUNDLESS EXPANSION: Seeking more intelligence, wisdom, and effectiveness, an unlimited lifespan, and the removal of political, cultural, biological, and psychological limits to self-actualization and self-realization. Perpetually overcoming constraints on our progress and possibilities. Expanding into the universe and advancing without end.

2.SELF-TRANSFORMATION: Affirming continual psychological, intellectual, and physical self-improvement, through reason and critical thinking, personal responsibility, and experimentation. Seeking biological and neurological augmentation.

3. DYNAMIC OPTIMISM: Positive expectations fueling dynamic action. Adopting a rational, action-based optimism, shunning both blind faith and stagnant pessimism.

4.INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGY: Applying science and technology creatively to transcend “natural” limits imposed by our biological heritage, culture, and environment.

5.SPONTANEOUS ORDER: Supporting decentralized, voluntaristic social coordination processes. Fostering tolerance, diversity, foresight, personal responsibility and individual liberty.

In 1991 the extropians founded an email list, taking advantage of the dramatic expansion of Internet culture. The Extropian email list, and its associated regional and topical email lists, have attracted thousands of subscribers and have carried an extremely high volume of posts for the last decade. Most people who consider themselves extropians have never met other extropians, and participate only in this virtual community. There are however small groups of extropians who meet together socially in California, Washington D.C. and Boston.

In the first issue of Extropy in 1988 More and Morrow included libertarian politics as one of the topics the magazine would promote. In 1991 Extropy focused on the principle of emergent order, publishing an essay by T.O. Morrow on David Friedmans anarcho-capitalist concept of “Privately Produced Law”, and an article from Max More on “Order Without Orderers”. In these essays Morrow and More made clear the journals commitment to radical libertarianism, an ideological orientation shared by most of the young, well-educated, American men attracted to the extropian list. The extropian milieu saw the state, and any form of egalitarianism, as a potential threat to their personal self-transformation. Mores fifth principle Spontaneous Order distilled their Hayek and Ayn Rand-derived belief that an anarchistic market creates free and dynamic order, while the state and its life-stealing authoritarianism is entropic.

In 1992 More and Morrow founded the Extropy Institute, which held its first conference in 1994. At Extro 1 in Sunnyvale California, the keynote speaker was the controversial computer scientist Hans Moravec, speaking on the how humans would be inevitably superceded by robots. Eric Drexler, a cryonics promoter and the founder of the field of nanotechnology, also addressed the conference. Also in attendance was journalist Ed Regis (1994) whose subsequent article on the Extropians in Wired magazine greatly increasing the groups visibility. The second Extro conference was held in 1995, Extro 3 was held in 1997, Extro 4 in 1999, and Extro 5 in 2001. Each conference has attracted more prominent scientists, science fiction authors and futurist luminaries.

In the wake of all this attention, the extropians also began to attract withering criticism from progressive culture critics. In 1996 Wired contributor Paulina Borsook debated More in an on-line forum in the Wired website, taking him to task for selfishness, elitism and escapism. She subsequently published the book Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High Tech (2001). Mark Dery excoriated the extropians and a dozen related techno-culture trends in his 1997 Escape Velocity, coining the dismissive phrase body-loathing for those, like the extropians, who want to escape from their meat puppet (body).

The extropian list often was filled with vituperative attacks on divergent points of view, and those who had been alienated by the extropians but were nonetheless sympathetic with transhumanist views began to amount a sizable group. Although Mores wife, Natasha Vita-More, is given prominent acknowledgement of her transhumanist arts and culture projects, there are few women involved in the extropian subculture, and there have been women who left the list citing the dominant adolescent, hyper-masculine style of argumentation. In a February/March 2002 poll more than 80% of extropians were male, and more than 50% were under 30 years old (ExiCommunity Polls, 2002). In 1999 and 2000 the European fellow-travelers of the extropians began to organize and meet, and the World Transhumanist Association was organized with founding documents distinctly less libertarian than the Extropian Principles. In the latter 1990s, as transhumanism broadened its social base, a growing number of non-libertarian voices began to make themselves heard on the extro email lists.

Responding to these various trends and presumably his own philosophical maturation, More revamped his principles in 2000 from Version 2.6 to Version 3.0, and from five principles into seven: 1. Perpetual Progress, 2. Self-Transformation, 3. Practical Optimism, 4. Intelligent Technology, 5. Open Society, 6. Self-Direction, and 7. Rational Thinking. In Version 3.0, More adapts the previous, anarcho-capitalist Spontaneous Order into the much more moderately libertarian:

5. Open Society Supporting social orders that foster freedom of speech, freedom of action, and experimentation. Opposing authoritarian social control and favoring the rule of law and decentralization of power. Preferring bargaining over battling, and exchange over compulsion. Openness to improvement rather than a static utopia.

6. Self-Direction Seeking independent thinking, individual freedom, personal responsibility, self-direction, self-esteem, and respect for others

In a more extensive commentary on his 3.0 principles More explicitly departs from the elitist, Randian position of enlightened selfishness, and argues for both a consistent rule of law and for civic responsibility.

..for individuals and societies to flourish, liberty must come with personal responsibility. The demand for freedom without responsibility is an adolescents demand for license. (More, 2000).

He also argues that extropianism is not libertarian and can be compatible with a number of different types of liberal open societies, although not in theocracies or authoritarian or totalitarian systems. (More, 2000).

However, as a casual review of the traffic on the extropian lists confirms, the majority of extropians remain staunch libertarians. In a survey of extropian list participants conducted in February and March

of 2002, 56% of the respondents identified as “libertarian” or “anarchist/self-governance,” with another 15% committed to (generally minarchist) alternative political visions (ExiCommunity Polls, 2002).[1] In the recommended economics and societyreading list that More attaches to the 3.0 version of the principles, the political economy readings still strongly suggest an anarcho-capitalist orientation:

Ronald H. Coase The Firm, the Market, and the Law

David Friedman The Machinery of Freedom (2nd Ed.)

Kevin Kelly Out of Control

Friedrich Hayek The Constitution of Liberty

Karl Popper The Open Society and Its Enemies

Julian Simon The Ultimate Resource (2nd ed.)

Julian Simon & Herman Kahn (eds) The Resourceful Earth

(More, 2000)

As the Julian Simon readings suggest, most extropians also remain explicitly and adamantly opposed to the environmental movement, advancing the arguments of Julian Simon and others that the eco-system is not really threatened, and if it is, the only solution is more and better technology[2]. There are occasional discussions on the extropian list about the potential downsides or catastrophic consequences of emerging technologies, but these are generally waved off as being either easily remediable or acceptable risks given the tremendous rewards.

This form of argumentation is more understandable in the context of the millennial apocalyptic expectations which most transhumanists have adopted, referred to as the Singularity. The extropians Singularity is a coming rupture in social life, brought about by some confluence of genetic, cybernetic and nano technologies. The concept of the Singularity was first proposed by science fiction author Vernor Vinge in a 1993 essay, referring specifically to the apocalyptic consequences of the emergence of self-willed artificial intelligence, projected to occur with the next couple of decades. In a February-March 2002 poll of extropians, the average year in which respondents expected the next major breakthrough or shakeup that will radically reshape the future of humanity was 2017. Only 21% said there would be no such event, just equal acceleration across all areas. The majority of extropians who expected a Singularity expected it to emerge from computing or artificial intelligence, a medical breakthrough or an advance in nanotechnology (ExiCommunity Polls, 2002).

Among millenarian movements, belief in the Singularity is uniquely grounded in rational, scientific argument about measurable exponential trends. For instance, singularitarians such as Ray Kurzweil (Kurzweilai.net) map the exponential growth of computing power (Moores Law) and memory against the computing capacity of the human brain to argue for the immanence of machine minds. However, the popularity of the idea of the Singularity also stems from the transcultural appeal of visions of apocalypse and redemption. The Singularity is a vision of techno-Rapture for secular, alienated, relatively powerless, techno-enthusiasts (Bozeman, 1997).[3] The appeal of the Singularity for libertarians such as the extropians is that, like the Second Coming, it does not require any specific collective action. The Singularity is literally a deus ex machina. Ayn Rand envisioned society sinking into chaos once the techno-elite withdrew into their Valhalla. But the Singularity will elevate the techno-savvy elite while most likely wiping out everybody else.

For instance, responding to a challenge from Mark Dery about the socio-economic implications of robotic ascension, Extropian Board member Hans Moravec responded the socioeconomic implications are largely irrelevant. It doesnt matter what people do, because theyre going to be left behind like the second stage of a rocket. Unhappy lives, horrible deaths, and failed projects have been part of the history of life on Earth ever since there was life; what really matters in the long run is whats left over (Moravec quoted by Goertzel, 2000). Working individually to stay on the cutting edge of technology, transforming oneself into a post-human, is the extropians best insurance of surviving and prospering through the Singularity.

In the last couple of years the neo-Luddite movement has grown in coordination and political visibility, from movements against gene-mod food, cloning and stem cells, to President Bushs appointment of staunch bio-conservative ethicist Leon Kass as his chief bioethics advisor and chair of the Presidents Council on Bioethics (PCB). Kass in turn appointed fellow bio-Luddites to the PCB, such as Francis Fukuyama, author of the recent anti-genetic engineering manifesto Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (2002).

Despite faith in the inevitability of the millennium, the neo-Luddites have sufficiently alarmed the extropians that in 2001 Natasha Vita-More announced the creation of the Progress Action Coalition (“Pro-Act”), an extropian political action committee. The groups announced intention is to build a coalition of groups to defend high technology against the Luddites.

Speaking at the event, artist and “cultural catalyst” Natasha Vita-More, Pro-Act Director, said the fledgling organization aims to build a coalition of groups that will take on a broad range of neo-Luddites opposed to new technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, ranging from Bill Joy to Greenpeace, Jeremy Rifkin’s Foundation for Economic Trends, the Green party, and the current protestors at the BIO2001 conference in San Diego. (Angelica, 2001)

The group is still being established, but the set of scientific and cultural members, supporters and fellow-travelers that the extropians have collected could be leveraged for considerable political effect. Engaging in actual political campaigns to defeat anti-cloning or anti-stem cells bills would inevitably force the extropians to grapple with partisan politics and the ways in which the state actively supports science, further attenuating their anarchist purity. Conversely, the groups stigma as an elitist, kooky cult centered on the thinking of one man may make it difficult to attract mainstream biotech or computer firms as backers and supporters of their political project.

According to an account by Max Mores wife, Natasha Vita-More, the term transhuman was first used in 1966 by the Iranian-American futurist F.M. Esfandiary while he was teaching at the New School for Social Research. The term subsequently appeared in Abraham Maslows 1968 Toward a Psychology of Being and in Robert Ettingers 1972 Man into Superman. Like Maslow and Ettinger, F.M. Esfandiary (who changed his name to FM-2030) used the term in his writings in the 1970s to refer to people who were adopting the technologies, lifestyles and cultural worldviews that were transitional to post-humanity. In his 1989 book Are You Transhuman? FM-2030 says

(Transhumans) are the earliest manifestations of new evolutionary beings. They are like those earliest hominids who many millions of years ago came down from the trees and began to look around. Transhumans are not necessarily committed to accelerating the evolution to higher life forms. Many of them are not even aware of their bridging role in evolution.

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The Politics of Transhumanism – Changesurfer

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

Multiple Sclerosis Stem Cell Treatment – StemGenex

Posted: January 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm

UNDERSTANDING MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the disease is thought to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide, that number may be a significant under estimate since MS is not a reportable disease and no centralized reporting system exists at this time. Also, MS can be difficult to diagnose. Since there is no single test for MS, the diagnosis can be missed, delayed or even incorrect.

In MS, the immune system malfunctions destroying the myelin which is the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Often times, the myelin is compared to the insulation coating that surrounds electrical wires. When the surrounding protective myelin is damaged and the nerve fibers are exposed, the messages traveling along the nerve become slow or potentially blocked. In some cases, the nerve becomes damaged.

Adult stem cells are potentially the most diverse and effective healing agents ever known and have been proven to treat an astounding variety of conditions, ranging from injuries to chronic, debilitating diseases. Over million adult stem cell treatments and counting have been perform and many have improved health and quality of life for patients with unmet clinical needs.

Groundbreaking research related to adult stem cell therapy for slowing MS disease and for repairing damage to the nervous system has shown much progress. At StemGenex Medical Group, our staff has personally witnessed how the use of adipose-derived stem cells (from fat tissue) have improved the quality of life of many patients seen for Multiple Sclerosis. Weve felt inspired by how these patients have responded to StemGenexs integrated healthcare approach to treating MS.

Stem cells are highly potent healing agents in the body and have shown therapeutic effects through a wide range of modalities. We frequently hear from patients who are extremely grateful for the relief and improved quality of life they have experienced following stem cell therapy for Multiple Sclerosis.

In any type of treatments for MS, it is essential to address the underlying cause of autoimmunity through modulating the immune system in addition to repairing damaged neurological tissue.The primary causes contributing to the progression of Multiple Sclerosis is due to the bodys autoimmune attack against the central nervous system causing damage to the nerve fibers and their protective myelin sheath, resulting in demyelination. Groundbreaking research indicates adipose-derived stem cells have the potential to address these two main causes that contribute to the progression of Multiple Sclerosis by inhibiting the immune attack against the central nervous system and stimulating regeneration damaged tissue in the body. Adipose-derived stem cell treatment has the ability to address both fundamental causes of the disease by selectively homing to areas in the body of damaged tissue and repair function and healing.

According to research, adipose-derived stem cells have the potential to be excellent candidates for Multiple Sclerosis for two main reasons:

Woman Battling Multiple Sclerosis Sees Improvements from Stem Cell Therapy

We often hear from patients who are extremely grateful for the relief they have experienced following adipose-derived stem cell treatment. Patients have reported the following improved quality of life benefits associated with Multiple Sclerosis:

Through customized, targeted stem cell treatment plans, our goal is to offer patients access to adult stem cell treatment that has the potential to significantly improve ones quality of life. Stem cell therapy consists of a very simple and brief liposuction procedure where the patients adipose (fat) tissue is extracted from patients body in our AAAHC accredited surgical center by accomplished board certified physicians. Through our proprietary protocols, the adipose tissue is then processed by laboratory technicians in our on-site state-of-the-art laboratory. The stem cells are then comfortably infused back into the patients body, which takes place in a comprehensive one-day outpatient procedure in our distinguished stem cell treatment facility.

Currently, Multiple Sclerosis medications only offer treatment and therapy for the symptoms of the disease. These drugs may help with symptoms, but only at the expense of serious, often life-endangering side effects.

Unfortunately, there is no standard medical treatment for the two main causes that contribute to the progression of the disease which include the bodys autoimmune attack against the central nervous system, and the resulting demyelination. Majority of MS drugs focus on addressing symptoms for only one of the primary causes of progression. Current MS drugs are designed to suppress, alter, or slow down the activity of the bodys immune system; however, these drugs do not address the regeneration of the lost myelin.

Stem cell therapy has been shown to help both primary causes of the disease progression by repairing and regenerating damaged tissue, modulating the immune system and slowing down inflammation. In the near future, it is anticipated that stem cell treatment will potentially surpass conventional drug therapy.

Adipose-derived stem cells, also known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown therapeutic benefits for treating Multiple Sclerosis. Adult mesenchymal stem cells are found in several places throughout the body including adipose tissue, also known as your fat tissue. Adipose tissue includes a variety of cell types which includes the stromal-vascular fraction (SVF). The SVF contains an abundant amount of stem cells called adipose-derived stem cells and also contains high concentrations of other very beneficial components (T-regulatory cells, preadipocytes, endothelial precursor cells, anti-inflammatory macrophage) with robust anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.

Known to be very potent, adipose-derived stem cells have the capacity to differentiate into various specialized cells in our body. They have the unique ability to produce additional cells which help other stem cells function properly and have the ability to selectively hone into areas in the body of injured tissue and repair functionality.

Committed to the science and innovation of stem cell treatment, StemGenex sponsors a clinical study registered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Multiple Sclerosis. The study Outcomes of Data of Adipose Stem Cells to Treat Multiple Sclerosis has been established to formally document and evaluate the quality of life changes in individuals following adipose-derived stem cell treatment.

If you are interested in learning more about the Outcomes of Data of Adipose Stem Cells to Treat Multiple Sclerosis clinical study, contact a StemGenex Medical Group Patient Advocate at 800-974-1335 or Click Here to provide your contact information.

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Multiple Sclerosis Stem Cell Treatment – StemGenex

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

18 Amazing Foods for Longevity

Posted: January 12, 2018 at 9:43 pm

By Dr. Mercola

One of your most basic health principles is to eat real food. This will radically reduce your exposure to the tens of thousands of chemicals added to processed foods, most of which are not even on the label.

Many are still under the illusion that whole grains are good for you, but while this may have held true for your grandparent’s generation, it’s not true today. The thing that people tend to forget is that virtually all grain products you buy today have gone through industrial processing.

Grains have also been altered through time, and growing methods differ significantly from even a generation or two ago. We also prepare grains differently these days.

Sprouted whole organic grains may be the lone exception to my recommendation to avoid grains, but all those whole grain loaves of bread, whole grain pastas, and whole grain cereals they’re actually processed foods, and are best replaced.

You can read more about these issues in Authority Nutrition’s article,1 “Modern Wheat Old Diet Staple Turned into a Modern Health Nightmare.” That said, even among whole foods, some stand out as VIPs above others.

Health.com2 recently published a list of 18 foods packed with health-promoting compounds like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals known to play a role in longevity.

With the exception of whole grains and beans, I largely agree with their selection, which I’ve added to here.

Basic of basics: drink plenty of pure water. I believe the single most powerful intervention you can make for your health would be to stop drinking sodas and juices, and replace them with pure water.

Staying well-hydrated can also counteract many common ills, from minimizing wrinkles to reducing your risk for blood clots. Severe dehydration has even been shown to reduce your cognitive function and performance to a similar degree as alcohol, making you more prone to car accidents and other mishaps.

Certain types of tea and coffee can also have health-promoting benefits. Green tea, for example, has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease and cancer3 when consumed at least three times a week.

Drinking four to five cups of green tea daily has also been shown to promote weight loss. Participants who drank this amount of green tea for four months lost an average of two pounds more than those who didn’t drink green tea.

Coffee while it could do more harm than good if consumed in excess or with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, milk, or creamers also has an impressive list of redeeming qualities, including longevity.4

Research suggests coffee can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, and certain cancers. It also helps increase the metabolic activity and/or numbers of beneficial Bifidobacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

The caveat here is to make sure your coffee is organic, as conventional coffee tends to be heavily sprayed with pesticides. Ideally use whole-bean black coffee the darker the roast, the better. Roasted coffees are higher in neuroprotective agents than green (unroasted) coffees.

One study5 found that dark roast coffee restored blood levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and glutathione more effectively than light roast coffee. The dark roast also led to a significant body weight reduction in pre-obese volunteers, whereas the lighter roast did not.

Another beverage that can do harm or good depending on the quantity and quality is red wine, which has been linked to health benefits such as reduced blood pressure, cancer prevention, and anti-aging.

Resveratrol is the primary ingredient in red wine that gives it its health promoting qualities, and in my view, there are healthier sources for this potent free radical scavenger than wine, considering all alcoholic beverages also have a neurotoxic influence.

Whole foods, such as muscadine grapes, for example, are a better choice. Muscadine grapes have the highest concentration of resveratrol in nature because of their extra thick skins and numerous seeds where it is concentrated.

Recent research6 shows that resveratrol, taken in concentrated doses, may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. According to these findings, resveratrol appears to reduce the buildup of amyloid-beta in the brain by shuttling the protein to other areas in the body.

One large-scale, 30-year long study found that people who regularly ate one ounce of nuts at least seven times per week were 20 percent less likely to die for any reason, compared to those who avoided nuts in their diet.

Eating nuts at least five times a week corresponded to a 29 percent reduction in mortality risk due to heart disease; a 24 percent reduction for respiratory disease; and an 11 percent reduction for cancer.

Raw nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, which you need more of once you start cutting non-vegetable carbs out of your diet. They also contain plenty of valuable vitamins and minerals, and make for an overall great snack when energy levels are flagging.

All nuts are not necessarily created equal though. My favorite nuts are macadamia and pecans, as they provide the highest amount of healthy fat while being on the lower end in terms of carbs and protein.

Berries of all kinds contain concentrated amounts of disease-fighting phytochemicals known to boost your immunity, prevent cancer, and protect your heart.

They’re also lower in sugar than many fruits so they’re less likely to destabilize your insulin levels, making them another great contender for a quick guiltless snack.

Then there’s chocolate. Provided you stick with dark chocolate, gut bacteria will break down and ferment its components, turning them into anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit your health.

In fact, research has linked dark chocolate consumption to over 40 distinct health benefits, including longevity. As noted in the featured article:7

“A 1999 Harvard study of 8,000 men discovered that those who ate chocolate as many as three times a month lived a year longer than those who didn’t.”

The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value; ideally, your chocolate or cocoa should be consumed raw (cacao).

Besides nuts, three other foods that rate among the highest in terms of healthy fats include salmon, avocado, and coconut oil.

If you want to maximize health benefits from fish, avoid farmed fish, particularly farmed salmon, and even more specifically genetically engineered farmed salmon especially if you’re seeking to improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

Look for “Alaskan salmon,” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed. Canned varieties are an inexpensive alternative to pricier salmon steaks.

Clinical research has revealed a number of health effects of avocado consumption, linking it to reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as appetite suppression and improved weight management. It also enhances your body’s absorption of other nutrients.

Researchers have found it can help optimize cholesterol levels within as little as one week, and contains compounds that appear to inhibit and destroy oral cancer cells, along with others that protect against liver damage. Besides eating it “as is,” you can increase your avocado consumption by using it as a fat replacement in baking; add it to soups, dessert whips, and countless other recipes.

MCFAs are also immediately converted to energy a function usually served in the diet by simple carbohydrates so like avocados, coconut oil is an ideal replacement for unhealthy grain carbs. It can be added to smoothies, or used in virtually any dish calling for butter or oil. When it comes to cooking, coconut oil is ideal as it can tolerate high heat without oxidizing.

Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds. Some plant chemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens, while others regulate the rate at which cells reproduce, get rid of old cells and maintain DNA. Leafy greens are basic staples with not-so-basic health benefits.

Researchers at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s Molecular Immunology division discovered8 that a gene, called T-bet, which is essential for producing critical immune cells in your gut, responds specifically to leafy green vegetables. Those immune cells are thought to play an important role in controlling inflammatory diseases, and may even prevent the bowel cancer.

According to the featured article,9 eating one cup of cooked greens per day cut middle-aged people’s risk of dying in the next four years in half, compared to those who didn’t eat any leafy greens. Other power players in the vegetable kingdom include the following:

Sunflower seed and pea shoots, for example, are both typically about 30 times more nutritious than organic vegetables, and are among the highest in protein.

Fermented foods are also potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals, including some pesticides.

According to a 14-year long Harvard study, eating a bowl of quinoa a day may lower your risk of premature death from diseases like cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes by 17 percent. While it’s often used as a grain replacement, quinoa is technically a seed, related to chard and spinach.

It’s high in healthy fats and antioxidants, and is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. Just be sure to soak it for a few minutes, or ideally overnight, before you cook it.

Last but not least, herbs and spices of all kinds are potent superfoods, so go ahead and spice things up! Garlic is well-known for its healing powers, and studies have demonstrated more than 150 beneficial health effects of garlic, including a reduced risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and various cancers.

Keep in mind that garlic must be used fresh to give you optimal health benefits. To stimulate the process that catalyzes the formation of allicin which is responsible for many of its therapeutic effects compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer with other veggies.

The running thread linking a wide variety of common health problems from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and cancer is chronic inflammation. The key to reducing chronic inflammation in your body starts with your diet, and as you can see, the vast majority of the foods listed above tend to have anti-inflammatory activity.

The same cannot be said for processed foods, which as a general rule tend to be pro-inflammatory, courtesy of ingredients like added sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, soy, and processed vegetable oils (trans fats), and can contain some of the tens of thousands of chemicals that snuck through the GRAS loophole and are not even required to be listed on the label, despite the fact they’ve never previously been tested for safety in humans.

Replacing processed foods with real foods can make a significant difference in your overall health and weight, and ultimately determine how long you’ll live.

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18 Amazing Foods for Longevity

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

South Shore Neurologic Associates, PC

Posted: January 12, 2018 at 9:42 pm

*Please be advised*The only way to contact your provider is through our phone systemsIn order to reduce wait times, we have instated voicemail boxes for each providerYou can find the extensions here(If you are experiencing a medical emergency seek immediate attention)

South Shore Neurologic Associates, PC is a comprehensive Neurologic care facility which is dedicated to alleviating the symptoms of neurological illness, neurological injury and chronic pain through excellence in patient care, advocacy, service, education and research. We have been providing neurologic care for people living in Suffolk County, Long Island since 1980. We have expanded our practice over the years to set standards in neurologic care on Long Island; through research and innovative treatments while providing comprehensive and personal patient care at our offices in Islip, Patchogue, and Riverhead as well as affiliated hospitals.

We are currently affiliated with Southside Hospital in Bayshore, Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Patchogue, and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.

Our seventeen Neurologists are supported by a professional staff with specializations in Neuroradiology, Infusion Nursing, Clinical Research, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Pain Management, and Acupuncture.

Originally posted here:
South Shore Neurologic Associates, PC

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

Mendelsohn & Maltese Neurology Consultants

Posted: January 12, 2018 at 9:41 pm

Office Hours

Monday: 10:00 – 6:30 pm

Tuesday: 9:00 – 4:30 pm

Wednesday: 9:00 – 4:00 pm

Thursday: 9:00 – 5:00 pm

Friday: 9:00 – 1:00 pm

Saturday: closed

Sunday: closed

We are closed daily for lunch from 12:15 – 1:15 pm.

Dr. Todd J. Maltese

Dr. Laura M. Davids

650 Hawkins Avenue, Suite 7

Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

Phone: (631) 737-0055

Fax: (631) 737-0076

In June 2016, we modernized our practice with a completely electronic medical records system. To access your electronic health records, please visit our Patient Portal by clicking HERE.

We would like to welcome Dr. Laura Davids, M.D., to our practice. She joined us in September 2016 after completing her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She looks forward to continuing our office’s tradition of quality, patient-focused care.

We manage a wide variety of neurologic ailments, with the treatment plan tailored towards each patient’s needs.

To learn more about each of our providers, please click HERE.

We accept most major insurance plans. Click HERE for a list of the insurances that we accept.

Most new patients can be seen within 1-2 weeks. Please call today to check our availability.

Please call 631-737-0055 during our regular business hours to schedule an appointment.

Mendelsohn & Maltese Neurology Consultants

See the original post:
Mendelsohn & Maltese Neurology Consultants

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

University of Michigan Stem Cell Research | Treatment and …

Posted: January 12, 2018 at 9:41 pm

Even as research continues on stem cells in U-Ms laboratories, some patients and research volunteers at the U-M Health System already receive stem cell-related therapies.

Every year, more than 200 children and adults receive transplants of stem cells at U-Ms nationally known Blood and Marrow Transplant program. Most of them have leukemia, lymphoma or other cancers.

Since December 2011, this care has had a new home: a state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient floor within the building that also houses the new C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital and Von Voigtlander Womens Hospital.

These transplants of stem cells taken from the bone marrow or blood of the patient or a donor can save the life of a child or adult.

To learn more about U-Ms program, visit this page.

To find out how you can donate your own marrow or blood stem cells to help a patient at U-M or one of the nations other stem cell treatment sites, visit the National Marrow Donor Programs Be the Match site.

When an idea is ready to make the jump from the research laboratory to the clinic or hospital, its time to do a clinical trial. These tightly controlled tests allow patients to be our partners in developing new treatments and tests.

Many clinical trials at U-M have studied new options for blood and marrow stem cell transplant patients. Some of these studies have led to important new discoveries about how best to treat patients with leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma worldwide. You can learn more about this research here.

Today, our researchers are starting to explore ways to use another kind of stem cell knowledge in fighting other diseases.

Our years of laboratory research on cancer stem cellsthe small number of cells that drive tumor growth and spread, and that are resistant to current treatmentsare now being translated into clinical trials to see how these cells can be stopped. The first trials are now under way.

Tomorrow, even more trials for other diseases could be available, as our laboratory research into other types of stem cells progresses.

To see a list of U-M stem cell trials that are currently seeking participants, visit http://www.umclinicalstudies.org and enter stem cells into the search box at the top of the page.

To learn more about how we protect the health and safety of people who take part in all types of clinical trials at U-M, visit this page.

Originally posted here:
University of Michigan Stem Cell Research | Treatment and …

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith


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