Thursday, September 04, 2008

Early Celebrity Demise File

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalm 90:10

Three score years and ten (70) was the Bible’s calculation for the lifespan of man, noted some three thousand or so years ago. Yet these days dying at around seventy seems too young especially considering all the advantages of modern medicine. Unfortunately we have all the disadvantages of modern diet and misinformation to contend with as well. One wonders what would happen if we married stone-age diet (minus the cannibalism) with modern medicine and carefully controlled exercise. To find the answer to this is impossible now as experiments that involve human longevity take so long to complete so we have to use our best guesses.

Today I note in the news that two entertainment personalities have died at what appears to be too young an age these days yet fulfilling the Biblical prediction. They are Don LaFontaine and Jerry Reed ,shown left and right,respectively, above.

I’m thinking of regularly posting on the demise of well known people and seeing if we can learn something from their deaths that may help with the longevity project.

I note that their deaths were 'natural' and not accidental. The main contributing factor of their deaths appears to be smoking. Both were smokers at some stage in their lives with Reed smoking until the end and LaFontaine had smoked but gave up twenty years ago - even so, he died of complications from a collapsed lung. Here is LaFontaine in his own words:

...the real point of all this is the Genesis of the condition. I was a smoker, on and off, for thirty years. I quit nearly twenty years ago, but that crap has a tendency to lie doggo in your system. It finally caught up with me, and as you've just read - it ain't pretty. For those of you who are in the Voice Over business, and you think that smoking is adding some wonderful quality to your instrument - WAKE UP! Quit! Today! Whoever you are - if you smoke - Stop! All you are adding is garbage to your vocal cords, and a nice deep layer of tar and poison on the linings of your lungs.

I tell you all this, because I need to clear the air, because there has been a lot of speculation out there, and because it should serve as a cautionary tale.

Reed, who had quadruple bypass surgery in 1999, died on Monday of complications arising from emphysema which is a typical smokers disease.

Looking at the pictures it seems both had put on a bit of weight in their later years too and I can’t help wondering if this has contributed to their early demise. Overweight means over nutrition which means that the body never gets a chance to perform the clean up of dead and dying cells. Cancer cells are constantly fed a diet of high glucose, which they love and the body gets tired of regulating the glucose spikes that it has to constantly contend with. Seventy years of this sort of punishment will lead to the body breaking down and refusing to carry on.

Clearly both of these guys broke two of the rules of Active Survival - they smoked and they gained weight in their later years. Reed was 71 and LaFontaine 68. Not bad, but they could have done better and now serve us with their "cautionary tales".

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