LD: Can I tell you something? I’m tired of aging… and deteriorating. I’m worn out from all of the cellular damage that the cursed free radicals are causing. And I don’t like the way my cells are dividing these days, either – my telomeres are getting shorter and shorter. That’s why I’m losing at the ping pong club.
Ed: Live with it. Senescence is inevitable, but I’ve read that there are things you can do to lower your risk of physical and cognitive decline.
LD: Hey, I can read, too. And I’ve read that to combat these degenerative and, ughh, what you’re calling inevitable changes, that you can live longer by taking some curcumin supplements. Hey, the research seemed conclusive; the fruit flies taking these pills lived longer and didn’t seem to suffer from depression.
Ed. Maybe they took the capsule form. And I’m sure you made some of this up, right?
Lao Du: Only the part about depression. I really don’t know if fruit flies get depressed. Probably they do – when someone puts them in a jar or something. In regard to halting aging, I figured, based on this incontrovertible evidence, that if I were to ingest a few such pills in the morning that I wouldn’t be serving into the net in the afternoon. I’d finally be able to tell my diary that I was winning. Winning all the time!
I’ll tell you the truth, in the beginning I wasn’t totally convinced about the power of curcumin to help me prevail in a ping pong competition, but I needed to do a little more digging. Ya know – some scholarly research. And, guess what? I found out that roundworms did better on the stuff, too! Alrighty then! Well, that’s all I needed – corroborating the fruit fly data with the roundworms. Removed all doubts, as far as I was concerned. I was gonna slow the cellular aging process and have tremendous Methuselah longevity, just like the fruit flies … and the roundworms. And I was gonna reach 11 points before my opponents. Just needed a little curcumin, is all.
Ed: Eh, Lao Du, I hate to tell you this, but fruit flies usually live only 40 to 50 days. They can live a little longer if a scientist fools around with a particular gene on one of their chromosomes.
LD: Jeese, you are a brutal killjoy. Okay, okay, so maybe the turmeric aint gonna do the whole trick. But then, guess what? Doesn’t matter, because I bumped into another scientific article in another even more prestigious journal, which said I needed something more potent. To halt my mental decline (I dunno where my keys are half the time), this report written by specialists (doctors, dieticians, pharmacists), said I needed to take some resveratrol because that was the one with the most antioxidant potential. This authoritative report was unequivocal: Mitochondrial function was restored and the nematodes in the study were living longer.
LD: Yeah, I looked it up. And for your information, they’re worms - not toads! But listen to this: They no longer were suffering from acne, wrinkles and dry skin after some transdermal patches were applied. Okay! That’s for me, I said to myself, so I added it to my medication list.
ED: Wait, wait, let me see if I’m getting this right. You’re saying that they put transdermal patches on nematodes and fruit flies? And that you’re taking these supplements because these critters weren’t getting wrinkles and acne?
LD: Yeah, so?
Ed. No, nothing. Just that this may be a sign suggesting a real mental decline – and not in the fruit flies!
LD: Oh, so you think I’m losing it? Is that what you’re saying?
Ed: Well … if the shoe fits.
LD: It doesn’t fit, I can assure you, on either foot! As a matter of fact, I happen to eat a lot of kale and blueberries, which everyone now knows are the superfoods.
Ed. And what, pray tell, do you drink these days? Still doing Diet Coke? Guzzling down those two liter bottles?
LD: Well, some of the time. I mean you can’t eat pizza without it, ya know.
Ed. No, I didn’t know that. Did you ever try Kombucha?
LD: Come what?
LD. Never heard of it. And I’ll tell you straight out that I would never drink something sounding like that, anyhow. Sounds like a dirty word.
Ed. I’ve got a little dirty secret for you. Kombucha has been around for millennia. It’s fermented tea. It’s probiotic. Contains bacillus.
LD: I don’t care. It still sounds like a dirty word, and I aint about to imbibe nothin’ sounding disgusssssting like that. Maybe you gotta be an imba-cillus to take it.
Ed. I drink it. And I know where my keys are.
LD: Good for you. But, say, Mr. Genius, what are you doing for wrinkled skin, huh?
Now For The Real Skinny: Food For PwP (people with Parkinson’s Disease)
This encapsulated information is from the National Institute of Health (i.e., reliable medical information). Their principal recommendation in order to slow down the progression of PD, is to follow a Mediterranean diet consisting of “fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, fish (not fried), olive oil, wine, coconut oil, fresh herbs and spices.” On the no-no list (foods “associated with more rapid PD progression”) are “canned fruits and vegetables, diet and non-diet soda, fried foods, beef, ice cream, yogurt and cheese.”
Oh, and you can only listen to Lao Du with a grain of salt. Eh, maybe it's better not to take the salt, either.