Are we born to die young

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  • #3
wolram
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A quick search came up with this list of chemicals used in food.
http://phys.org/news/2010-01-chemical-additives-food.html

This just one on the list.

BHA (BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE) AND BHT (BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE)

These antioxidants are similar but non-identical petroleum-derived chemicals added to oil-containing foods as a preservative and to delay rancidity. They are most commonly found in crackers, cereals, sausages, dried meats and other foods with added fats. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer considers BHA a possible human carcinogen



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2010-01-chemical-additives-food.html#jCp

Now i can not even eat cereal.:mad:
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
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Our modern day food is killing us,

Is it? Or are we just eradicating all the things that used to kill us younger?

Something has to kill us.
 
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  • #5
wolram
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Is it? Or are we just eradicating all the things that used to kill us younger?

Something has to kill us.

What things are you alluding to Dave?
 
  • #6
DaveC426913
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What things are you alluding to Dave?
Well, mostly disease and infection, but also malnutrition, famine, exposure, childbirth, etc.

As we lower the rates at which people die of specific things, we live longer and longer. Much longer than our DNA is evolved to handle. What's left is cancer.

Think of a line of production cars over years that keeps getting improved everytime they find something wrong. Engines seizing? Improve engine maintenance. Axles breaking? Thicker axles.
Eventually, cars will last longer and longer until there's something we just can't easily fix.

"Chassis rusting out is on the rise!" they cry.
Well, true, but only because cars are not breaking down due to seized engines or broken axles. All cars would have eventually stopped working if they lasted long enough, but they didn't last that long. That does not mean that rusting chassis are an recent epidemic.
 
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  • #7
wolram
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Well, mostly disease and infection, but also malnutrition, famine, exposure, childbirth, etc.

As we lower the rates at which people die of specific things, we live longer and longer. Much longer than our DNA is evolved to handle. What's left is cancer.

Think of a line of cars that keeps getting improved everytime they find something wrong. Engines seizing? Improve engine maintenance. Axles breaking? Thicker axles.
Eventually, cars will last longer and longer until there's something we just can't easily fix.

"Chassis rusting out is on the rise!" they cry.
Well, true, but only because cars are not breaking down due to seized engines or broken axles.

I agree that many life limiting causes are being eradicated, but why add others that take there place.,
 
  • #8
DaveC426913
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I agree that many life limiting causes are being eradicated, but why add others that take there place.,
They're not being added, they were always there.

Every car had a chassis that was rusting slowly. It's just that most cars stopped working before that chassis rusted out. That doesn't mean rusting chassis are new.

This is an never-ending cycle. 10 years ago, the thing that was killing us was sun exposure, we fixed that with sun block education. We live fractionally longer as a race.
 
  • #9
wolram
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I think BHA (BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE) AND BHT (BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE) was not there all the time along with many others. Dave.
 
  • #10
DaveC426913
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I think BHA (BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE) AND BHT (BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE) was not there all the time along with many others. Dave.
:shrug:
Neither were many toxins, such as automobile emissions, volatile plastics and chemicalized paints.

Perhaps I am off-topic. Your opening post and title seem to be about dying young and cancer, it seems different than what you're talking about now - which seems to be about new chemicals.
 
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  • #11
Jonathan Scott
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This recent fuss about bacon etc. is very unhelpful. I've heard many times over the years that nitrates and nitrites can undergo reactions which form nitrosamines, which have been known to be carcinogenic for tens of years. The relevant reactions are promoted by very high heat but inhibited by vitamin C (which is now normally added along with the nitrates), and it seems that they probably occur only in the presence of certain "precursor" chemicals.

As many vegetables contain just as much nitrates and nitrites, it seems that the main difference with bacon and similar is the cooking temperature. There is apparently a mild but statistically significant correlation between consumption of processed meats and colorectal cancer, which is the basis of the new WHO status as "carcinogenic" for processed meats. However, this isn't necessarily a causal link, and even if there is such a link it may well be that the presence of the "precursor" chemicals is more relevant than the consumption of processed meats, but statistics are not available for that.

I am not an expert on the above, most of which was obtain from older news reports and recent Googling, but I'm hoping I don't need to be. I don't eat much bacon anyway, and I'm not keen on salty food, but I do like the odd ham sandwich.
 
  • #12
wolram
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May be you have a good analogy Dave, the rusting chassis is the body dying of cancer, it is just that the chassis is rusting prematurely.
 
  • #13
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What things are you alluding to Dave?

That anyway ultimate the death rate is 100%?
 
  • #14
Dr. Courtney
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Is it? Or are we just eradicating all the things that used to kill us younger?

Something has to kill us.

I think this is the right answer.

Because of food preservation and production enhancements, we are no longer dying as often of starvation and food poisoning.

Increasing average life spans always means encountering new ailments that will be harder to solve.
 
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  • #15
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As many vegetables contain just as much nitrates and nitrites, it seems that the main difference with bacon and similar is the cooking temperature.
I was googling around recently after I read the new condemnation of bacon and ran into a whole separate justification for it, which is it's fat content. Dioxins(so called) accumulate in fat, and are carcinogenic. There have been incidents where pigs (and other animals) have been fed dioxin contaminated feed, and that concentration gets passed right into the person who eats the animal. It's advised to limit yourself to lean meat.
 
  • #16
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The FDA has always been slow to act on proven dangers in food ingredients. The recent FDA ban on trans fats is a good example. Based on the scientific evidence ,the ban should have happened over twenty years ago.

Then in 1990 a clinical study shook the ground. It found that eating trans fat led to higher levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol. It also spurred a whirlwind of follow-up research, including a study by the USDA, which the food industry hoped would exculpate trans fat, but did just the opposite. Consuming it, study after study found, was associated with increased risks of heart disease.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ost-important-change-in-our-food-supply-ever/
 
  • #17
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I was googling around recently after I read the new condemnation of bacon and ran into a whole separate justification for it, which is it's fat content. Dioxins(so called) accumulate in fat, and are carcinogenic. There have been incidents where pigs (and other animals) have been fed dioxin contaminated feed, and that concentration gets passed right into the person who eats the animal. It's advised to limit yourself to lean meat.

Zoobyshoe: What goes into animal food is sickening. For instance Beef cattle feed is allowed to have 20% chicken manure in it.

Poultry litter can be used as a feedstuff, but it presents special consumer issues that must be addressed. There are currently no federal or Missouri regulations governing the use of poultry litter as a feedstuff; however, certain common-sense guidelines apply. Poultry litter should not be fed to dairy cattle or beef cattle less than 21 days before slaughter. The reason for this prohibition is that the residues of certain pharmaceuticals used in poultry production may be present in poultry litter.

http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G2077
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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May be you have a good analogy Dave, the rusting chassis is the body dying of cancer, it is just that the chassis is rusting prematurely.
But it isn't: life expectancies continue to rise.
[edit]
Indeed, the rate of increase should increase over the next few decades as smoker rates drop and lung cancer/emphysema rates drop.
 
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  • #20
gleem
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In general the poor have always got the short end of the stick. Poor food, poor living conditions, poor health care. more stress less choices, the worst life has to offer. What may be the playing field leveler is genetics since some people rich or poor live significantly longer than the the average. But life span is limited in any event because DNA is continually be degraded by replication errors eventually leaving the organism non viable.
 
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  • #21
DaveC426913
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May be you have a good analogy Dave, the rusting chassis is the body dying of cancer, it is just that the chassis is rusting prematurely.
But it isn't.
Uh, Russ in post 20 and Dr.Courtney in post 17 seem to have made my point.
Essentially, increasing life spans.

Look at a super simplified example. if the ideal "average" cancer kicked in at age 50, all across the human race's history, very few people would have died of it, since they didn't tend to live past 40 or so. Eliminate what they were dying of (disease, famine, etc.) and suddenly everyone's living to 80. And they're all dying of cancer - but at age 50 to 80. It would be folly to say "cancer is on the rise". It would be more accurate to say 'death is on the decline'.
 
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  • #22
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Zoobyshoe: What goes into animal food is sickening. For instance Beef cattle feed is allowed to have 20% chicken manure in it.
http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G2077
That was unknown to me and is kind of horrifying, but to be fair, it's not 20% manure that's allowed but "poultry litter," which means the stuff they put down on the floor of chicken pens to absorb the chicken pee and poo.

Common bedding materials include wood shavings, sawdust, peanut hulls, shredded sugar cane, straw, and other dry, absorbent, low-cost organic materials.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poultry_litter

From your link, there's a certain amount of processing to make it more edible by cows, and we have to remember cows have their own strange kind of digestive system.

That said, it's still a repulsive concept to humans. You have to wonder what kind of demented farmer first tried this.
 
  • #23
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Eliminate what they were dying of (disease, famine, etc.) and suddenly everyone's living to 80. And they're all dying of cancer - but at age 50 to 80. It would be folly to say "cancer is on the rise". It would be more accurate to say 'death is on the decline'.
This came up in a thread a year or two back and made perfect sense to me. However, later I wasn't able to find any links that support it. Claims that cancer is on the rise seem to link rising cancer rates to other things.

Do you have any links that lay a higher incidence of cancer to increased longevity due to the elimination of other causes of early death?
 
  • #24
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Well, the chances of cancer increases with age. The longer people live and the older they grow, the more their chances of getting cancer.
Cancers are age-related, much more frequent in the old than in the young. A University of Colorado Cancer Center review published July 2 in the journal Oncogene argues against the conventional wisdom that the accumulation of cancer-causing mutations leads to more cancer in older people, instead positing that it is the changing features of tissue in old age that promote higher cancer rates in the elderly.

Journal Reference: J DeGregori. Challenging the axiom: does the occurrence of oncogenic mutations truly limit cancer development with age?Oncogene, 2012; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/onc.2012.281 [Broken]
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120702134732.htm
 
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  • #25
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...But life span is limited in any event because DNA is continually be degraded by replication errors eventually leaving the organism non viable.

Except there are animals which have evolved to be resistant to aging and cancer. Naked mole rats, for example, live an extremely long time and show very little signs of aging. Further, they are nearly immune to cancer, so much so that there is no known case of cancer in a naked mole rat.

Cancer and other aging-related diseases are not necessarily an inevitability. In fact, it's very likely that we will one day produce a cure for aging, or at least very good treatments for it that delay death and increase life span dramatically.

I do think that the leading cause of rising cancer rates is that we've cured many other early killers, but that doesn't mean that the huge variety of chemicals we're exposed to, that didn't exist only a hundred years ago, isn't also contributing. I personally avoid almost all processed foods - I don't eat anything that didn't grow in the dirt or wasn't carved from an animal (when I have a choice), but I do worry about what kinds of toxins and carcinogens I'm ingesting that may be contaminating meat and vegetables.
 

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