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Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw

approaching an illness. We don’t have to fight everything, he told me, and in fact, he says that he’s “thrilled and ecstatic” that he’s dying. What do you think of his response to cancer?

Durk: Well, you know, that’s a personal value judgment that he makes. He’s not fighting the cancer, he’s just looking forward to death.

Sandy: We only just heard about the fact that he had terminal prostate cancer– and that it had metastasized all over his body- – within the last month. It may be that after having made quite a bit of effort to have something done about it, and to find an effective treatment over a period of time, it’s now gotten downto where he seems to have exhausted all possibilities. I certainly hope that he’s tried to find an effective treatment.

Durk: It’s interesting to note that some of the earliest experiments with LSD in human beings that resulted in published scientific papers, were on terminal cancer patients. It altered their view of things. I mean, they were going to die, but instead of being terribly depressed by it, they were able to accept it andmake the best of what they had for as long as they had it, which is definitely better than just being horribly depressed.

Sandy: Absolutely. But, nevertheless, it’s not our nature to just give up, and say, okay great, I’ll enjoy the dying experience. I wouldn’t be inclined to give up until the day I die. (laughter)

Durk: In fact, if we had given up when Sandy was diagnosed with terminal cancer many, many years ago, she’d be dead by now. We did some fairly heroic things, and they worked. The case history is all written up in Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach.

David: What types of life extension advances do you foresee in the future?

Durk: There’s an awful lot of work being done in the area of phytochemicals. If you take a look at incidences of various age- related diseases around the world, you find that there are very dramatic differences. For example, let’s take cancer. Cigarette smoking is a very major cause of cancer of lungs, bladder, and so forth. Now, if you take a look at Japanese males, the percentage of Japanese males in Japan who smoke is much higher than the percentage of males in America that smoke, and yet you do not have a higher death rate in Japan from lung cancer.

Sandy. It’s lower, considerably lower.

Durk: So the first thing that scientists thought is that maybe the Japanese have a greater genetic resistance to smoking-induced lung cancer. Well, the way you test for that is you take a look at Japanese who have come over to America, or second-generation Japanese in America.

Sandy: Who adopted a western style diet.

Durk: And you find that they croak just as much as Caucasians do in this country from lung cancers if they’re smokers. So that wasn’t the answer. They’re not genetically resistant. The next thing you take a look at is– what else are they putting into their bodies, other than the tobacco smoke, that might make adifference?

Sandy: You look at the difference between the diet they were eating in Japan, and compare that to the diet they adopted when they came to this country, and assumed essentially the same risk of lung cancer as people living here.

Durk: One of the important factors that was found to be different– and there’s several– is apparently green tea poly- phenols. Green tea is very popular in Japan, and nowhere near as popular over here. The polyphenols in green tea are structurally and functionally very similar to the synthetic anti-oxidant BHT,which is one of the first compounds that was shown to extend the life span of experimental animals. It’s interesting to note that you get a bigger increase in thelife span of experimental animals that are genetically prone to die of cancer than those that are relatively long life span animals and which don’t generally die of cancer.

Sandy: BHT is a synthetic phenolic anti-oxidant.

Durk: But unlike BHT, where very few people have taken large amounts for a long period of time, the green tea polyphenols have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people for thousands of years, and if that was going to make your liver turn green and fall out we would have known about it a long time ago. In 

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