The missing BS detector

I have never been accused of adopting the “Popular Opinion”. Moreover, I make it a point to try to disabuse people of false notions.  The problem is of course touched upon in the blog below, “The Connectivity Trap”, because we have created a totally open forum for human interaction. We have also created a totally open forum for BS.

No one is policing the comments, or stopping the nonsense. For better or worse, I occasionally try.  I thought you might enjoy a week in the life of Dr Dave, as he battles misconceptions and untruths, especially those that smack of “agendas”.  Agendas are fine, if they are based on fact, but otherwise…

The following was a response to what seems to come up endlessly on the internet.  ‘Turning on telomerase increases your cancer risk so TA-65 is dangerous.’  Simply put, this is nonsense.  Here is why:

Randall! Please stop automatically associating cancer with telomerase activation. The only time that has ever happened is when viral vectors are used to insert the telomerase gene into genomes, where it is not present, as in certain genetically engineered forms of mice. Long telomeres reduce cancer risk (JAMA Dec 2010).  Because cancer hijacks telomerase for its own purposes, people mistake telomerase activation as a de facto cancer risk.  It is not.  Studies with TA-65 and other non-commercial telomerase activators have not shown any increase in cancer. People are misconstruing the fact that cancer hijacks telomerase as a risk for cancer, when turning it on in non-cancer cells.  First off, cancer turns on telomerase by gene amplification, mutation, recombination and other methods that do not involve TA-65 or other “derepressors”.  Adding TA-65 to pre-malignant cells, or cancer xenografts (Perry, et. al), does not increase the speed or toxicity of the cancer. Basically, cancer is cancer and adding telomerase activation does not make it more cancerous.  In pre-malignant villous adenoma cultures, the same thing was found – no increase in the rate of cancerous transformation.  TA-65 does things no other single supplement can and has been proven in human trials, as well as cell cultures and animal studies (See Blasco, Maria in pub med). Is it expensive? What are your life and your health worth?  Has anyone else taken anything that can reduce hair loss, gray hair, improve the immune system, bone density, sex drive, eyesight, reduce skin damage, blood pressure, insulin and glucose levels and do so in a proven clinical human trial, not just someone out there claiming it does, in “their experience”. We look forward to even more potent telomerase activators in the future.  After 3+ years of taking TA-65, I will be in the line for the next one, and the next one etc., etc. I wish I could find a way to get people to do more research, before they volunteer their expert opinions on internet forums.  Dave Woynarowski MD, author The Immortality Edge

Next, we have a corollary statement: If turning on telomerase causes cancer (which of course it does not!) then short telomeres must be good.  This statement was extracted by someone who knows nothing about telomeres and is based on an internet hit citing anti-cancer therapy with telomerase inhibitors.  This was a real case of true, true and unrelated!

Statement: Short telomeres protect against cancer.

Short telomeres do not protect against cancer.  Nor do long telomeres or telomerase expression, when turned on in non-cancer cells, promote cancer. Telomeres shorten with each cell replication. Cancer cells are replicating at rates far above most non-cancer cells. They start with short telomeres and their telomeres get shorter as the cancer advances. Cancer hijacks telomerase to lengthen its own, already short telomeres, out of necessity.  Cancer cells would essentially commit suicide, if they were not able to recruit telomerase to maintain enough telomere length, to continue to survive and replicate. Studies have shown (JAMA Dec 2010) that long telomeres are protective against cancer and short telomeres are correlated both with incidence and severity of cancer.

The cancer telomere/telomerase association stems from the fact that 80+% of human cancers do hijack telomerase and use it for their own viability.  The other 15+% use a recombination known as ALT. Cancers can also use both, so the current research into telomerase inhibition as an “anti-cancer” therapy will likely be a temporizing measure at best. The effects of telomerase inhibition on the immune system and stem cell health are also issues.

Bottom line, long telomeres appear to protect against cancer, short telomeres appear to promote it. Shortening telomeres in pre-existing cancers may buy the victim some time but the consequences are not yet clear.  So far, telomerase activation (in the absence of viral vectors, which are known to increase cancer incidence on their own) has not shown any increase in cancer in cell culture animal studies and human studies (Rejuvenation Research Sept 2010). This does not stop people from propagating that myth, however.  Dave Woynarowski MD, author The Immortality Edge

And finally, an erudite internet doc has posted his attack on the Paleo diet while promoting, guess which agenda. His article is entitled “Epigenetics- the Death of the Paleolithic Human” and shows lack of even a basic understanding of the word epigenetics.  Personally, given this individual’s stature, I find that hard to believe and wonder if it was not deliberate! Perhaps this was the result of the infamous “copywriter intervention” that is so prevalent when people become internet superstars.

Epigenetics is the de facto reason for many papers and speculations. It is not, however, the creation of new genes. It is not the creation of altered pathways to handle the high loads of Omega 6 fatty acids in pure vegetarian vegan diets, as an example.  I recently tested Omega 6 to 3 ratios on 60 Vegans and found all were abysmally low on Omega 3 – dangerously so, if one believes Dr Land’s and Dr Simopoulos’  data. The gene for lactase persists a few months longer now than it did thousands of years ago. We have blue eyes in the population, as well as several blood dyscrasias thought to prevent death from malaria past reproductive age.

That is about it as far as mutations that could be cited as evolution. If there are not genes for altering fatty acid metabolism, processing phytic acid, keeping lactase far into adulthood and genetically controlled immune responses to the presence of gluten, then no manner of epigenetic silencing or expression shifting will make these healthy foods for humans.

Perhaps Dr Bland knows of these mutations and the rest of us do not. That would lend a lot more credulity to his “epigenetic” argument. These genes have not yet been sequenced in the human genome, so far as I know.  Interestingly, short term, both Paleo and Vegan style diets yield similar reductions in what are routinely considered unhealthy biomarkers and there are no conclusive long term studies to define the most “healthy” human diet. Ron Rosedale’s data was based on Paleo style eating, but his study was short term.

If one uses the epigenetics argument, then any information from the “China Study” is suspect, as is most population-based information, including that used to justify Paleo, since our American population clearly has different epigenetic expression than rural China or Kitaava for that matter.

We can toss the term epigenetics around to justify our agendas as much as we like, until we understand it better. These days, merely saying the words epigenetics, telomerase, stem cells and so forth, creates a “WOW” factor among the lay public and garners attention. I wish, before saying these words, we would be more cognizant of what we do and don’t know and admit that to the public. I suspect Dr Bland is very clear on what epigenetics really is. Personally, I am willing to admit I was not around 50,000 or 100,000 years ago, so there is still room for new information. Just because an argument sounds smart doesn’t mean it is.  Where are those new genes, Doc?  David Woynarowski MD

I want to personally thank Dr Mehment Oz’s research team for calling attention to things I have done for the past decade. Their attendance to raspberry ketone, Omega 3 testing and L Carnosine in the past few weeks and touting them as “new discoveries” has lent credence to my work!

Dr Dave

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  1. Pingback: Fighting a losing battle with cancer « Dr Dave Unleashed Blog

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