Thursday, October 25, 2007

Self-experimentation, dental care, health-care policy

As I mentioned in a self-experimentation post, I've been following Seth Robert's recommendation of flaxseed oil for calorie management (because the diet was so strange, but explained so plausibly, that I wanted to try it despite not being actually overweight, and I did lose weight) and I was interested in his series of gum inflammation (and other omega-3 factors) posts. I don't have a major problem there either, but I have had a problem in the past -- a root canal thirty years ago which had to be redone, with gum surgery, fifteen years ago, leaving a plastic-on-gold-on-tungsten implant. It kept getting moderately inflamed, then less, then more; a common discussion topic after tooth-cleaning. Lately it hasn't been a problem; today I was very conscious that there just wasn't a problem. And my eldest son, who has had a problem, recently wrote that his "one gum, which was the only one that bled regularly with flossing, has almost completely stopped. i don't know if it's the flaxseed oil, but it sure could be. the big test will be the next dentist appt...".

Systematic self-experimentation does not appeal to me; I'm just not sufficiently obsessive about data collection. But I'm very glad there are people like Seth Roberts in the universe, and I'm hoping that improved technology will gradually increase their number and effectiveness. If I were In Charge, there would be basic health-care vouchers for everyone, and expanded vouchers for everyone willing to sign up for data-collection services, and big cash prizes for donations of patents (to an open-innovation patent protection fund) to make that collection easier. I would like to have lots of us live long enough to outlive the whole idea of "aging".

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