Longevity is a pipe dream

HU-274840647

This pandemic has certainly screwed any idea I ever had about a long life, in fact it already feels long.

I was impressed that Olivia de Haviland lived to be 104 and I wondered if there was secret to it.

I had an old friend who believed that eating a certain amount of dirt was good for you, he also grew his own garlic mixed it in a bucket with butter and this was at the table for every meal. He is 89 but the garlic ended our friendship but not him.

in the next lot over is a strawberry farm run by man who just had his 90th birthday he has worn the same shirt since the snow melted. I am not saying his longevity is due to his unique approach to hygiene but what if?

is there a secret? Do you have one to share?

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seagrass_gw

Bourbon...

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steve2416

I've noticed the ones they show on TV (that are over 100) always seem anorexic and I've always read that only really skinny people seem too last that long.

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Marigold

I try to put a positive spin on things. ie. when I can't leave my house, I am happy to look out the windows of others. https://www.window-swap.com/?fbclid=IwAR2WNRGp0EAxTK4tU63imXcpfmY8k3XipE5VtHKB5iuWPH3xPr9KJOd8CQc

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

People start to lose their appetite as they become extremely elderly and rely on less calories but I wouldn’t say “anorexic,” as I’m sure during the majority of their lives their eating habits and weight were normal. The few relatives I have who lived to 95+ were quite thin in their old age but very typical weight all their lives. Great grandma described herself as “fat” though she was never that. True anorexia is very difficult on a person’s organs, bones, teeth and wouldn’t contribute positively to longevity, I would imagine.

I think people who live that long are just too damn stubborn to die!!

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Marigold how cool!!

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George Davis

The reason we got weaker as a people is because we got too "clean". Each generation is getting weaker because we don't live in Nature's cycle. Example: When our grandparents were growing up they were shi4ing in outhouses. After a year that was dug out and spread on the fields. What the chickens, hogs, cows and horses left laying around was added too. That waste mixture then fed the food they grew. Year after year that cycle was respected and repeated. The bacteria, soil fauna added their juices to the mix. That how we evolved. But then we started using minerals to fertilize our food instead of our own waste. That's why we're weaker as a people. We took the convenience of bag fertilizer over our own waste and the difference is telling. You know you can grow every kind of plants using your own urine. Just take a vitamin. (takes the place of cows, hogs and cows.)

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cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)(zone 7, Northern VA)

Olivia de Havilland certainly wasn't slim.


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vedabeeps

Genetics. My Grandfather just turned 99 a few weeks ago. Almost everyone on that side of the family lives to 100.

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bpath(5b)

Luck. Among my parents and grandparents generations, people have died either young ( 58-64), middle (75), or old (90+). If you don't succumb to cancer, there's no telling what will be your end.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I'm hoping longevity is due to orneriness -- heaven knows I've had enough practice.

My nickname as a kid was testa dura -- hard-headed. Thanks, Dad!

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Moxie(Z4 St. Paul, MN)

When I was a child my maternal grandmother said, "Only the good die young. At the rate you're going, you'll live forever!"

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patriciae_gw(07)

Life is a winnowing process. Back in the day sickly children died before age five. Or maybe just the not so robust. Once you lived to five you had a pretty good chance to live to be forty five and if you lived to forty five you had a good chance to live to be sixty and so on. The stats are fairly the same now only ratchet those numbers upwards. We live longer these days than at any point in the history of man. Very few first world children die before the age of five for instance. If you live to be sixty five now you have a very good chance to live to be eighty five. If you live to be eighty five you are in the running for ninety five and so on.

The old mom lived to be just shy of ninety two. She was not thin by any stretch of the imagination. DH will probably top that by a few years possibly because he is spare. Still he has some high blood pressure. Time will tell.

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wildchild2x2

I think mental toughness plays a role. People used to accept that things were not always what they wished they would be but worked with what they had. Food was food and work was work and you were happy you had those things.

The people I personally have known who lived to be hundred or near that age didn't obsess over things. They allowed themselves to enjoy life. They got their exercise working. When things began to hurt they kept moving as well as they could. they were the last to depend on canes and walkers much less scooters. They didn't let fear or what-ifs drive them. They took care of themselves but didn't run to the doctor seeking a pill to fix every little ailment. They used drugs for real illness, not some constantly moving borderline maybe.

Now we have several generations of anxiety driven, nervous nellies with their silly food fetishes, germaphobia and general fear of living. Existing in a cubicle, going to the gym and eating like a rabbit or worse. Go to the gym everyday but don't their own housework or yard work. All the things most of our previous generations did they have services for. At the other end of the scale we have special parking for pregnancy and obese people riding around on electric carts along with able bodied people claiming some disability or other just to be able to park closer to a store.

If the trend to longer lifespans continues it won't be due to our lifestyle.



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elvis

steve2416

I've noticed the ones they show on TV (that are over 100) always seem anorexic and I've always read that only really skinny people seem too last that long.

Mom was never thin, in fact, she was fat until age 80, then less heavy, but not thin, certainly. She was 97 1/2, lived in a cabin in the woods, where she died. So that's not it. Same with Aunt Belle, who lived to be 98, not thin.

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maifleur03

My husband has two aunts who are in their mid 90s. One I would consider fat the other has been under 100 pounds most of her life. They come from a long line of people who if they did not die young lived in their 90s. When I was checking that sides ancestry the oldest person was a woman who died at 106 in the 1600s.

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Annie Deighnaugh

The secret is to choose your parents wisely.

Early and pre-natal nutrition and food security play a big role.

But very important you don't get run over by a bus...that really screws up anything else you may want to try.

;)

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palisades_

The secret is to choose your parents wisely.

Now, that is the true pipe dream :)

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linaria_gw(zone 7 (about))

I read a magazine article a while ago (a proper one, like national geographic) on this theme


they explained a couple of studies, compared their findings,


it was a couple of factors, in a nut shell, you can influence somen, other factors not at all

genetics, yes,


young parents and be rather a first/ second child than last (ok, that was a bigger issue like 40 y ago)


keep your mind agile by interacting with people, cultivate a passion/ hobby that taxes your brain power


move (humans a re basically semi apes that manage to walk on their hind legs, designed to walking and running, not "couch potatoing")


balanced mixed diet,

there are some findings that point to being slim/ slightly underweight prolongs your life span ( among others an experiment with mice, if you wanna know... ;-) )



and an inner resilince which seems to be a character thing



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Annie Deighnaugh

Diet wise, getting 50-55% of calories from carbs seems to be optimal.

https://www.businessinsider.com/amount-of-carbs-to-eat-for-a-long-life-2018-8

In fact, the researchers concluded that a 50-year-old who eats within the 50-55% carbs margin could expect to live for another 33.1 years, while someone the same age who gets just 30% of their calories from carbs would be expected to live roughly 29.1 more years.

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mr1010

The studies of the folks who lived on the island in Meditterainean showed that the oldest- 100-105, walked miles up hills each day to visit town, ate healthy diet, lots

of healthy veggies, some drank wine everyday, many still smoked everyday.

An interesting book has been written to chronicle their lives. Blue....something.

But the key was lots of daily exercise and healthy diet and moderation.

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HamiltonGardener

I think genetics.

Most of the women on my mothers side of my family lived into their 100’s, my grandmother is currently mid 90’s. The men also lived to a ripe old age, if they didn’t die in accidents or war. Other than that, our hearts just keep pumping like a well oiled machine.

But, we came from farm families and fishermen and Indian reservations.

Not much “leisure time” or money. If you got sick and your body wasn’t able to keep up, you died. Your immune system wasn’t robust enough, you died. Couldn’t keep up physically or mentally, good luck trying to find a wife to have offspring.

I think natural selection was running strong through my Native genetics right until recently and even in the White genetics, they were not “upper class” families that could afford time away from their work.

Might have just bred the strongest genes.

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bpath(5b)

There‘s longevity, and there’s the type of life you will be living. My father said, you never know how your old age is going to treat you. And, “getting old ain’t for wimps.”

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Annie Deighnaugh

There are 2 kinds of aging...there's genetic aging which we can't do anything about. But there's metabolic aging which is a result of poor diet, overuse, over stress, and environmental factors such as smoking or working in a coal mine or such. Schwartzbein used to talk about a balance...we do things that break the body down like stress and exercise...we do things that build the body up like eating and sleeping. We need to balance those things for optimum health. If we abuse our bodies, we will age faster.


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Kathy

Covid has certainly cut many old people’s life off before it would have been otherwise. Sounds like a plan an evil government would sic on its old people doesn’t it?

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Ann

"The people I personally have known who lived to be hundred or near that age didn't obsess over things. They allowed themselves to enjoy life. They got their exercise working. When things began to hurt they kept moving as well as they could. they were the last to depend on canes and walkers much less scooters. They didn't let fear or what-ifs drive them. They took care of themselves but didn't run to the doctor seeking a pill to fix every little ailment. They used drugs for real illness, not some constantly moving borderline maybe."

I like this one.

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palisades_

In Darwinian point of view, Covid could be a main catalyst in the natural selection process during this pandemic - taking out the old, the sick, and the young before mankind attempt to intervene once again. Perhaps the silver lining is that societies won’t have to spend more resources to care for the old and sick people in most cases.

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Rory (Zone 6)(6)

Natural selection would only have an impact on those who are still able to reproduce. Old people dying after they have reproduced is not natural selection. Their genes are already passed on.

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palisades_

True that old people mostly don’t pass their genes over, but such selective process also helps to direct better resources to develop more robust and healthier offsprings.

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HamiltonGardener

What palisades said...

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queenmargo


Kathy

Covid has certainly cut many old people’s life off before it would have been otherwise. Sounds like a plan an evil government would sic on its old people doesn’t it?

and CHINA released this onto the world.


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queenmargo

Kathy

Covid has certainly cut many old people’s life off before it would have been otherwise. Sounds like a plan an evil government would sic on its old people doesn’t it?

and Cuomo sent the virus infected back into the nursing homes.

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elvis

Yes, I doubt any of us will ever understand that. I daresay he regrets doing that.

What's done is done.

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Ziemia(6a)

A death by Covid is cruel. For the individual and for their loved ones and their care givers. The efforts to prevent an earlier death is very, very costly. I do not see any of that as a silver lining. And I always look for the silver lining.

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maifleur03

I keep wondering what some of the people will say when it is found that China did not originate the virus. Tests are starting to be done in waste treatment samples since in Spain it has been found from 2019. Not certain how long samples are kept in other states and countries but here it is three years.

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Kathy

The govt regulates nursing homes yet they did nothing to provide PPE or resources for the virus except blame the governors. Trump takes no responsibility for his lack of a plan but he wants to take credit when an area does good. That is not a leader, that is a con man.

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linaria_gw(zone 7 (about))

Palisade and Hamilton gardener,

not exactly sure how you meant it, bit if you argue that someones kids get "better" because they are not bothered by caring for ol' grandparents, you are back to pushing the old ones down the ice shelf on a sledge.


in order to have an effect on a genpool or society the selection would need to "work" on several generations, preferably with "large litters" of 8 youngsters or more


apart from that there are so many other factors in the "fitness" or health of a person/ group that this is grossly oversimplified


I highly doubt that Covid 19 will improve the overall health of any population, we are living in a civilization for a while now where no one is still wrangeling a Brontosaurus for their dinner,


and again to clarify the Darwinian fitness: he never meant "strongest" but the ones best adepted


which always depends on the situation, can be smart, talkativ and slight in built as this saves calories...


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HamiltonGardener

Linaria

Not sure why you are referencing me. I didn’t say a darn thing about COVID or killing off old people to make kids stronger.


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palisades_

not exactly sure how you meant it, bit if you argue that someones kids get "better" because they are not bothered by caring for ol' grandparents, you are back to pushing the old ones down the ice shelf on a sledge.

Not sure why you came up with that argument as yours is no way in Darwinian spirit. He did not think a family member would push their elders over the ice shelf, but rather he looked at external factors that acted on and influenced their evolution. Take a simple example in a pond with an over populated school of fish. With high number of fish so food is scare, and the water is more polluted. There comes along fish Covid that knock out many of the weak and old fish, they then would become easy preys for other species. Those fish that survive would have cleaner water, more available food to breed and grow healthy....

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Tito Milian

Steve2416- the low calorie diet seems to allow more active years , but there are no reserves.

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texanjana(8)

Good genes.

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AITG



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maifleur03

My old doctor echoed what Tito wrote above. He wanted his older patients to be a little larger because when older people become ill their bodies do not have the reserves of fat that are needed to fight off disease. This is especially true when people do not want to eat or drink when sick. If nothing is nourishing the body the body will attack itself. Once that starts it is almost impossible to stop.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“I highly doubt that Covid 19 will improve the overall health of any population...”

People who lived through the Black Plague probably thought the same. I bet 100% of people would have taken a vaccine for it if one was available.

But having lived through it, their genes mutated in a way that could be inherited by their offspring and now those offspring may have a greater resistance to HIV. https://www.nature.com/news/2005/050307/full/news050307-15.html

We are trading temporary health for long term weaker human bodies. I’m not saying that is a terrible thing, but it is true whether we think it’s good, bad, or neither.

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chisue

I value quality of life more than endurance. I sure don't want to endure additional years in pain or with a vacant mind.

We want to live well...feel *vital*. However, although obesity is one of the three major causes of illness and early death, it's now a 'norm' in the US. We also confuse 'more' with 'better' in other forms of consumption -- even medical services.

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patriciae_gw(07)

I am always interested to see those who think being exposed to pathogens makes for a stronger gene pool. Being exposed to pathogens damages your body and you might live as many people did in the past with chronic diarrhea or urinary tract problems, digestive issues, damaged kidneys or liver. Frankly you get puny weezened people who are as much as a foot shorter than people today.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

patriciae the data is pretty conclusive; being exposed to a wide range of microbes even in utero and during birth/breastfeeding does improve a person’s immune system.

No one would willing choose the symptoms of Black Plague. But if going through it and surviving means that humanity is not as susceptible to something as devastating as HIV that is a very bright silver lining in my opinion.

Chronic intestinal upset was and still is more related to bad diet and parasites than bacteria and viruses. Stunted growth is a result of poor or restricted diet, but up to (down to?!) a point that is mostly aesthetic. There is nothing inherently less healthy or strong about a person who is 5’ tall as opposed to a person who is 6’. And people who grow to 7’ and over regularly have a lot of pain in their joints and stress on their organs.

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ubro(2a)

Perhaps the silver lining is that societies won’t have to spend more resources to care for the old and sick people in most cases.

There is no, I repeat no silver lining that involves more resources for the rest of us at the expense of the lives of the old and sick. These are people, mothers, fathers, grandparents and are loved. Families do not wish to see them die no matter the economic status of the country.

IMO labeling them as some nameless group of 'old and sick' devalues their worth and contributions to this world.

Why is it that much of Western society sees aging as a fault, something to avoid and fight against?

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palisades_

There is no, I repeat no silver lining that involves more resources for the rest of us at the expense of the lives of the old and sick. These are people, mothers, fathers, grandparents and are loved. Families do not wish to see them die no matter the economic status of the country.

Yes there is that silver lining, and it’s just a reality of life. Of course no one wish to see them die from the pandemic. We check ourselves everyday to make sure our aging parents who are staying with us do not get Covid that we may inadvertently bring home from work or elsewhere.

IMO labeling them as some nameless group of 'old and sick' devalues their worth and contributions to this world

‘Old and sick’ are neither labels nor nameless. They are ordinary English words to describe a state in a natural progression of human life which the Buddha spoke frankly to his students, that they must accept sickness, old age and death without fear or fight, certainly something Western societies could take note.

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wildchild2x2

The Black Plague study is interesting. My brother caught the plague while serving in Vietnam. I wonder if the use of antibiotics makes a difference, if the genetic mutation still would take place. I also wonder if being Russian also made a difference in his recovery. At the time they were adamant he caught via fleas from rats since he was based near the shipyard. He was misdiagnosed with the flu at first.

But the article seems to be speculative rather than conclusive.
I do agree that surviving illness makes us more resilient and strengthens immunity however. I will even go so far that although I am NOT an anti vaxxer I sometimes wonder why so many in my kids' generation are coming up with chronic illnesses that were not something you heard about in 30/40 somethings when I was their age. It doesn't seem to be related to obesity either. Fit looking people with lupus, rheumatic conditions, MS, vestibular migraines etc. All sorts of mostly hidden disabilities. I wonder if surviving the measles, mumps etc. offered some unknown protections to other illness to my generation.

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chisue

wildchild -- I'd blame a lot of current chronic illnesses on pollution -- air, water, food. We're 'sanitized' to death, and we're sold a lot of empty calories while living like sloths.

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Kathy

I’m not so sure surviving Covid makes us healthier. There seems to be a lot of long term maladies if one survives a serious case. I just read about one man treated for 3 months. He lived but he has to learn to walk and talk again. I realize ventilators can cause harm to recover but there are others with long term lung damage and other problems which seem to be quite varied. I have a feeling it will be years before we know the extent of the virus.

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patriciae_gw(07)

And all the while living longer than ever before.

Immunity is gained from defeating the thing you got. Your immune system learns to recognize what ever it was you were exposed to and defeated it. If you are exposed to and survive anthrax it will do nothing for your exposure to Small Pox. As a matter of fact repeated exposures to disease will weaken you in your systems like kidney and liver function leaving you more vulnerable to disease when you get exposed. Healthy people gradually gain exposure and eventual resistance to most common mild pathogens as they live but you still want clean water to drink and uninfected foods. We bathe and wash our hands. A read of old diaries and studies of survival rates in the past will curl your hair when it comes to the loss of children to disease. Adults got and died frequently from "fevers". Who knew what they were from. A pre vaccine world is a very scary world. Medical care today is certainly a factor in survival but children still die of Measles.

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Kathy

I think I am biased because I have people near me who don’t wear a mask because they claim it will make their immunity stronger.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Vaccination definitely allows us temporary better health and longer lives!

But genetic mutation that will allow inheritable resistance to mutating viruses over generations and millennia requires the stress of enduring severe illness, and having only those who did survive pass their mutated genes along.

It’s the difference between surviving within an ecosystem because of the ability to manipulate that ecosystem (antibiotics and vaccines) and evolving with the ecosystem as all organisms change concurrently (genetic mutation).

We can say that we are making people healthier and stronger for their individual lifetimes, but the effects on the human race in terms of evolutionary history are impossible to know.

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linaria_gw(zone 7 (about))

re "improving health" by surviving a disease:


I heard a pediatrician in an interview, he said quite dryly that stuff like measels pre vaccination would "weed out" "week children", so, yes, if you survived this, you were likely to survive other blights, but not because the -in this case- measels "steeled" you, but because you were blessed with a lucky genetic recombination from mom and dad.


he stressed that especially measels weaken a kids immune system for a long time and make it more likely that it gets other seroiuse diseases like pneumonia or others, or (about 1 in 1000) with much delay a fatal meningitis


---

re "sanitized to death"

while clean drinking water and safe food (like, not rotten, without E. coli etc) is a good thing, there seems to be a benefit in a not-too-clean household.


there was a study looking at kids & hay fever. Kids growing up on German dairy farms were less likely to develop hay fever then others growing up in urban Germany.


----

the corona virus expert Christian Drosten from Germany hinted at the possibility that in countries like India the outcome of a Covid 19 infection might be different as endo-parasites like worms (in human guts) keep the immune system from over reacting. And there were problems regarding that when immune cells attacked lung tissue with virus in it (Europe, US). (that was a couple of weeks ago, did not hear an up date on this issue)

-----

and food is a factor as well, I heard a discussion by some GPs, suggesting that the recommended body temperature for healthy adults should be lowered by about 0.3 C as they now are sure that only some decades ago people`s bodies were almost constantly occupied with spoilt/ bad food and running a higher, slightly raised temperature.

--------

so with a lot of nuances, "if"s and "it-depends", some dirt and some exposure to germs and soil seems to be benefical (like others suggested earlier: mild wild pathogens)

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patriciae_gw(07)

Super sanitizing has a different effect. It selects for sturdier pathogens. If your cleaner kills 99% of what ever the ones that survive have been selected for their resistance to your cleaner. It is the same with antibiotics. That does preselect and eventually create a stronger pathogen.

If we are learning anything from all this scientific explanation exposure it is the actual lack of solid information on things like immune systems. Get an immune system disease and you will not be surprised by that. Doctors today are good at things they can see and they can see a lot but when you get into the realms of complex microsystems it is all poking in the dark. We are lucky in so many ways though.

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chisue

Another reason for a larger population of 'health compromised' (?) people is that we currently save more marginal infants and children, individuals who would not have survived in the past -- or would not have been visible in society.

We prolong life/postpone death in people of all ages, but we less often restore health. The 3-year-old who survives a cancerous tumor gets more years, but is often damaged by the treatment, requires ongoing medication (with side effects), or the cancer recurs. We're pretty cavalier with the term, 'cured'.

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