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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Encore Presentation: Living Longer Than Ever
Aired April 14, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, you want to live longer, stronger and better?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Where we could actually reach this thing known as practical immortality.
KING: Forget the fictional fountain of youth. We're talking medical fact.
LANCE ARMSTRONG, TOUR DE FRANCE WINNER: Customize your system or customize your own body, and ultimately customize your own longevity.
KING: Health how-tos from CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, cancer survivor and bike racing champion Lance Armstrong, Deepak Chopra.
DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR, "THE BOOK OF SECRETS": And I have never been to a hospital, never been sick, never had surgery, don't take any medication.
KING: Plus: Oprah's exercise guru, Bob Greene.
BOB GREENE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: People who laugh more have extended lives.
KING: An hour that could add years to your life and life to your years.
And it's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: Good evening.
Our subject tonight on LARRY KING LIVE is health -- nothing more important.
Our panelists include Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, author of the new book "Chasing Life," which has just hit the bookstores. There, you see its cover. Bob Greene, the exercise physiologist, bestselling author of "The Best Life Diet," with a forward by Oprah Winfrey, known to millions, by the way, as Oprah's diet and fitness guru. His Web site is thebestlife.com.
In New York is Deepak Chopra, alternative medicine icon, author of many, many bestsellers, including "Grow Younger, Live Longer." His Web site is DeepakChopra.com. And Lance Armstrong, the cancer survivor, one of the great athletes ever produced in this country, seven-time winner of cycling's Tour de France.
Sanjay's book is titled "Chasing Life."
What do you mean?
GUPTA: Well, you know, I think there's a huge push for people to try and live longer and more functional lives.
We are at this amazing time in our medical history, where all these scientific advances are starting to come together, where we could actually reach this thing known as practical immortality. We're starting to get to the point where we can live as long as we want to live.
But, as I was starting to write the book and traveling around the world, talking to people, I realized there are so many things that we can do right now to try and optimize our life spans, and also do something known as compression of morbidity. We want to live long and die fast. We don't want to be sick in our old age.
KING: Want to die in bed, quick.
GUPTA: That as well perhaps, but, you know, like an incandescent bulb, shine brightly and all of a sudden be out.
KING: You're saying we can control our longevity?
GUPTA: I think we can, to a large extent. And there's a lot of things that already exist. We don't have to wait for nanotechnology and stem cells and all the promise of science. There's some simple things that can make an amazingly large difference.
KING: And we will get to them.
But, Lance, what do you think of the concept?
ARMSTRONG: I agree. I totally agree.
I mean, so much is about what you do on a daily basis. So, if you choose to exercise, for example -- like, I choose to go out for a ride or a run everyday -- that's obviously a good decision. If you choose to not smoke cigarettes, that's a good decision. Those are obvious ones.
And then you can get deeper into the issues and start to study, not only your own personal or family history, but sort of customize your system or customize your own body, and ultimately customize your own longevity.
KING: Bob, you think we can chase life? GREENE: I think we can. Obviously, we know more than we have ever known, how much to move, for one example, what to put into our bodies that help that, what not to put into our bodies, absolutely.
KING: And, Deepak, what are your thoughts?
CHOPRA: I totally agree. I totally agree.
You have these wonderful people on your panel. If you were to study the biological markers of aging, things like blood pressure, bone density, body temperature regulation, fat content, cardiovascular conditioning, you would find that people like Lance Armstrong or Bob Greene, their biological age, as measured through bio-markers, is much better than their chronological peers.
KING: We found a few celebrities who had some questions of their own about aging and living longer. They submitted their questions. And you will be hearing them throughout this hour.
The first up is Oscar winner Hilary Swank.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILARY SWANK, ACTRESS: I think someone said that using exfoliants thins your skin and ages you quicker. Can you please answer that question and let me know if that's true?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREENE: I have seen things on both sides of this fence.
In fact, they say, men, for a couple of reasons, the skin tone stays better, because they shave, which in a sense is like an exfoliant. So, I would say, no, more, the opposite, that you do need some of the scrubs. And some of the peels actually help the skin stay young.
KING: What, Sanjay, is the most important factor, do you think, in pushing back aging?
GUPTA: Well, I think it has a lot to do with -- with our diet and our exercise.
But, more specifically than that, for example, in terms of living longer, we know that eating less makes a huge difference. Caloric restriction, for example, is the only proven way to actually extend life.
When I was looking at some of the folks in Okinawa, which has the highest population of centenarians, they have this phrase, Larry, which I found so interesting. It's called hara hachi bu, and what that means is, eat until you're only 80 percent full. Never satiate yourself. Never completely fill yourself. They always push the plate away, which I think is huge.
Also, in terms of diet, in America, aerobic activity is such a huge part of what we do.
GUPTA: But weights -- adding weights to that, as well, really changes our body, revs up our metabolism.
KING: What about genes, Lance? Can't do anything about that.
ARMSTRONG: I don't think -- not yet.
KING: You think you can?
ARMSTRONG: I think maybe...
KING: We will some day.
ARMSTRONG: Some day, we will, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully.
But I'm sort of, of the school that you're born with what you're born with.
KING: What about the aspect, Deepak, of mental attitude?
CHOPRA: Well, I think a lot of studies show that, if you know how to manage stress, then your biological markers are affected, that, if you have the experience of love in your life, the intoxication that you get out of that experience of love, it causes the simultaneous synchronistic orchestration of certain hormones in your body, like seratonin, dopamine, opiates, oxytocin.
And these are immunomodulators. And the experience of a loving, healthy relationship actually helps homeostasis, which is the self- regulation of your body.
KING: Are you saying that married people, happily married people, live longer than single people?
CHOPRA: People who have anybody who cares for them and have somebody to care for, even people who take care of pets and animals and plants, happen to have healthier lives.
KING: That's extraordinary.
Bob, do you agree with that, by the way?
GREENE: I so agree with it. There's no doubt.
I mean, I fell in love. I can feel a difference in my life. I'm happier. People who laugh more have extended lives, no doubt about it. I had the -- my first child born five months ago. So, it's a different level. For me, that was the last horizon where I could make changes to not only maybe the length of my life, but, more important, the quality of the life.
KING: Do you know how long you want to live, Sanjay?
GUPTA: One hundred and five. No, I mean, I don't know.
KING: That's -- I will take that.
GUPTA: But, you know, I think a lot of that is...
KING: And shot by a jealous husband.
GUPTA: Quite possibly.
GUPTA: But -- no, but I think you -- part of that -- implicit in that answer is, you want to be functional. You want to be a functional body. You want to be a functional mind. You would like your family to be around, you know, people you love. All that has to be there.
And that's a lot of what we talk about, is that you -- can you be that old and still have all your wits about you, and be able to walk around, and get to places that you want to get?
We think of aging in this country as a disease. When we think of an old person, you think of them in a nursing home, in an ICU. That is not the way it has to be. And there's things that you can do now to try and ward off some of those things later on.
KING: We will be right back with Sanjay Gupta, Bob Greene, Deepak Chopra, and Lance Armstrong.
Health is our topic. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JUNE 1, 2005)
KING: You talked to us the night before the first surgery. Was it what you thought it would be?
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, pretty much. I think, you know, by the time I got to the point of doing the surgery, I realized that probably the greatest danger had passed. I was very close to having a serious heart attack. I had big-time blockage.
And I felt very grateful to be going under the surgery without serious damage to my heart, so that I thought I could make a recovery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Sanjay Gupta's book, by the way, is called "Chasing Life." The subtitle is "New Discoveries in the Search for Immortality to Help You Age Less Today."
Human growth hormone, they're looking at this, HGH. You can get in tablet from certain manufacturers. And you can get it injected, which is banned in baseball. What does it do for you?
GUPTA: Well, you know, there's been a lot of speculation about human growth hormone. There was a study a few years ago, several years ago, that basically looked at just a dozen men, and found that it would actually increase your muscle mass by about 10 percent and decrease your body fat composition by about 15 percent. And that just set off this huge, what's become a billion-dollar industry, that one paper. It's been remarkable.
It also does a lot of other things. It promotes arthritis. It could possibly cause diabetes. It could change...
KING: Cause it?
GUPTA: Well, yes. It changes the way your pancreas modulates insulin.
KING: Well, why is it so popular?
GUPTA: Well, because people want to chase life. They want to look better. They want their hair to be darker, their skin to be tighter. They want to get a little bit more muscle mass.
They think it's a sort of fountain of youth. And a lot of these things that people talk about are based on promises, but there's not a lot of data to back it up.
KING: What do you think of HGH, Lance?
ARMSTRONG: Listen, I can't come on the show and talk about a performance-enhancing drug.
KING: Yes, go ahead.
ARMSTRONG: No, I mean, I...
KING: Some sports don't ban it. ARMSTRONG: Oh, I don't know. I think it's banned -- certainly, the Olympic...
ARMSTRONG: ... has banned it. So, you have got to consider every sport that is an Olympic sports, that's a banned drug.
I think that the interesting thing there, from a sports perspective, is that it's hard to detect. And I think there's some controversy around whether or not the test actually works, and is it a urine test or a blood test, and...
KING: Is it the injection that's the aspect, rather than the pill?
ARMSTRONG: Oh, I think they would all be banned. It would all be illegal.
Let's face it. It is -- anything that promotes muscle growth and promotes lean body mass would be performance-enhancing.
KING: Well, there must be a plus somewhere to it, Bob.
GREENE: Well, as Sanjay said, it does enhance muscle growth, similar -- a steroid does the same thing.
But, any time, in my experience, you inject the body with something that it either doesn't produce or it does produce, you have side effects. And it actually usually shuts down some of the mechanisms that do that production, and always has some side effect that's not good.
KING: Another celebrity question about aging, this one from a woman who seems to have found the secret for looking younger. Here's Joan Rivers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP);
JOAN RIVERS, ENTERTAINER: I walk into vitamin stores now, and there are vitamins for every damn thing in the world. And everything is marked vitamins for anti-aging.
Which vitamins are good for anti-aging? I am so confused? And can you overtake them? Because, if you're our age, you're going to forget that you took your anti-aging vitamins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Good question.
GREENE: Well, you know, you have two schools of thought. There are the folks that think of mega-vitamins, once you're taking 30, 40 vitamins. I certainly don't subscribe to that. I think a good multi-vitamin is...
KING: Typical multi-vitamin you buy in a store?
GREENE: Typical -- I think some are better than others, and I write about them in "The Best Life Diet" -- I think is a good idea.
I think women in particular, most women, especially past 30, are deficient in calcium. So, that's one that I think is worth supplementing. And one, because of the quality of fish, omega-3s are really important. I do think supplementing with a good omega-3...
KING: Didn't a recent study say that, of all these supplements, the only one proven definitely effective is omega-3? I thought that study came out a week ago.
GREENE: One thing you learn -- and correct me if I am wrong -- nothing is ever really proven. It's either supported -- but it's pretty well supported that omega-3 is a good idea to take.
KING: Sanjay, tell me about stem cells. I know you went to the Soviet -- to Russia, the former Soviet.
KING: And found some extraordinary things, or were they -- was that not true?
GUPTA: Well, it is extraordinary.
First of all, there's all these people out there that are injecting themselves with stem cells on a pretty regular basis. And they feel that they have not only been able to stop aging. They believe they're able to reverse it, to actually turn aging in the other direction. It's very hard to...
KING: You mean: Today is my 84th birthday. Soon, I will be 83.
GUPTA: You know, you can start going backwards. And we would all love that, Larry.
ARMSTRONG: Is it...
ARMSTRONG: It's not your birthday. KING: Lance. (LAUGHTER)
ARMSTRONG: Joan Rivers is going to go Russia now...
GUPTA: Right. That's what she wanted to hear.
No, but you can't validate this stuff. It's illegal in Russia, although much -- there's a blind eye turned towards it. And, so, it's hard to study that stuff in Russia. But I think stem cells, there is some potential in the future of having the cell that can sort of rejuvenate broken or damaged cells in your body.
KING: Is it obvious, Deepak, that stem cells are an important part of our health future?
CHOPRA: For our future, but a lot of clinics in Mexico and Europe are just injecting stem cells.
What the future holds for us, as, again, Sanjay was saying, is that will be able to coax stem cells, which are plural potential, which means they can turn into anything, to replace your own body parts. And you will be using your own body's intelligence to replace these body parts. And I think that is going to come in the future.
Don't you think, Sanjay?
GUPTA: I think so.
They talk about practical immortality, Larry. What that means is, if you got a bad heart, one day, could we get to the point where you take these stem cells and, quite honestly, build a new heart, build a new kidney, build a new liver, exchanging out body parts. This is far in the future.
KING: Will that happen?
GUPTA: Yes. I think, one day, it will.
KING: You know, sometimes, they said far was 25 years, became 10 years.
GUPTA: There's something known as Moore's Law, which means our knowledge of scientific knowledge doubles every five years. We know more -- we know twice as much now than we did in 1997. And that wasn't that long ago.
KING: We will be right back with more on health on this important show.
Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
KING (voice-over): Coming up next week, we are celebrating my 50 years in broadcasting, kicking off Monday when the incomparable Oprah Winfrey joins me for the hour.
Tuesday, Katie Couric turns the tables and interviews me.
Wednesday, a "CNN PRESENTS special, 50 years of pop culture through my eyes.
Thursday, former President Bill Clinton's interview since his wife, Hillary Clinton, announced for presidency.
And, Friday, an all-star toast hosted by Bill Maher.
What a 50 years it's been. What a week it's going to be.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MARCH 28, 2001)
SUZANNE SOMERS, ACTRESS: I chose your show to come on tonight to talk about something that is very, very hard for me to talk about, that I have never told anyone. In the last year, I have been battling and surviving breast cancer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with our outstanding panel.
And don't forget Sanjay's new book, "Chasing Life." And, of course, the book has been around a while, Bob Greene's "The Best Life Diet."
What about the roadblock to chasing life, say, cancer? You had it.
KING: How do you deal with something like that? That's a roadblock to long life.
ARMSTRONG: It can either be -- Larry, it can either be a speed bump or it can be just be an absolute dead end or a roadblock.
Look, it was a bad situation for me at the time. I didn't know anything about the disease, obviously. I was 25 years old. I completely dove in, learned as much as I could about oncology. And I cared. I cared about my life. I cared about what drugs I was going to take. I cared about the interaction with the doctors and the nurses.
And I wanted to know everything. OK, I have cancer. I don't know anything about it. This was 10 years ago. The Internet was primitive. There was no Google. There was no WebMD. There was none of that stuff. So, it was a little harder to gather information. But navigating that system, for anybody, is hard.
KING: What about mentally?
ARMSTRONG: Well, mentally, I stayed positive. There were moments -- I can't -- I mean, I can't lie. There were moments where I said, uh-oh. This isn't going to work out. I am not going to make it.
But they were few and far between, and they didn't last long. And I had a great support crew around me, great family, great friends, that always believed in me and believed in the doctors and the treatment.
KING: Did you ever wonder why you got it?
ARMSTRONG: That's a classic question. You never say, why me?
My response was always, why not me? Because you have a type of cancer, in testicular cancer, that's -- there's no known cause. There are some theories.
KING: One would think bike riding.
ARMSTRONG: Well, I don't know. I haven't relapsed, and I did a lot of bike riding since then.
So, but there's a lot of theories. And, so I just said -- I just put my hands up and said, well, it happened to me. Let's get rid of it.
KING: Bob, is disease, based on things that you believe in, preventative?
GREENE: I think most of it is.
You talked about genetics before. Obviously, that plays a role. But the key to genetics is realizing that there is an interaction with our environment and the things you do on a daily basis. So, certainly, foods -- in fact, "The Best Life Diet is -- to me, it first started with a book, but it's more of an education program. It's going to the large companies.
I have been able to get into the General Mills of the world, to McDonald's, to Unilever, and have them change product, take out the sugar, add fiber, take out sodium. It's still ongoing mission. But that's the most important thing, is, companies will respond.
KING: Time for another question about aging from someone who is well known to our viewers, Anderson Cooper -- Anderson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Hey, Sanjay, you and I both spend a lot of time on airplanes, a lot of time not sleeping. There's a lot of people who have night shift jobs who have odd sleep patterns. What impact does lack of sleep have on longevity?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Sanjay, you write this -- about this in the book, don't you?
GUPTA: Yes, I do write about this in the book. And he's right about our poor sleep schedules as well.
Sleep is a very restorative thing. And we're learning a lot more about sleep. Our cells go through these cycles. And you can sort of alter how long your cell stays in this rest cycle.
And sleep seems to allow these cells to actually rejuvenate themselves, which is a large part of longevity, again, you know, getting into the living-longer part. And, by the way, catnaps and little naps during the day, those count, if you can get that sort of stuff. Even a change of activity, sometimes -- not necessarily sleep -- can be a form of rest as well. So, all those things add up.
KING: Deepak, what do you think about how we view old age? If we view it as old age, does it make us older?
CHOPRA: There are some very interesting studies on that, that show that, in cultures where people look upon aging as something graceful, where, as you get older, you become more responsible, you're respected, your adulation is there for you, and you're considered a useful person in society, then, that collective influence influences your personal perception of aging.
But there are certain other things. You know, people who, for example, are constantly running out of time, their internal dialogue says, I'm running out of time. And, if you examine these people, they have actually speeded up biological clocks, faster heart rates, higher blood pressure, jittery platelets with higher levels of adrenaline.
And, when they suddenly drop dead of a heart attack, then they have literally run out of time.
KING: Bob, Oprah says 50 this is the new 30. Is she right?
GREENE: She is. In fact, she's a great example that -- of somebody that really changed their life drastically.
And one thing we know, change is hard. It's one of the hardest things humans can do. And I always look at the people that are successful doing it, because, again, I realize it's hard.
KING: Aren't we going to have a major problem, though, if everybody lives to 100? GREENE: I think it will cause other problems -- that's a great point -- that we haven't even thought of. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't continue research, as we have talked about, and learn.
KING: You can't, Sanjay, stop medicine, right?
KING: You can't say, don't cure this, because we may have too many people living?
GUPTA: Right. And we're going to have figure out how to pay for their health insurance...
KING: What happens when we cure cancer and heart disease?
GUPTA: I think that's going to be a great day. And I think there's people right now saying there should be no reason for any more heart attacks in this country. We have the knowledge right now to prevent heart attacks.
Lance will speak better than anybody about cancer. We can prevent so many of the cancers. We have heard so many cancer stories recently. A lot of these can be prevented. What a great day that would be. And we have the knowledge now.
KING: We will take a break and be right back.
As my friend Henry Luin (ph) sometimes says, money is not the most important thing. Health is 3 percent.
KING: We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 16, 2004)
KING: He has an announcement to make tonight, and we shall embark on a discussion about it.
And that is?
DICK CLARK, TV PERSONALITY: Well, after 10 years, I'm -- this is the first time I have talked about it, Larry. But I have Type II diabetes, which isn't earthshaking news. But what got me shook up was, when I went in 10, 11 years ago and they told me I had it, I didn't think much about it. Do a little exercise, watch my diet, take medication if necessary and all would be well.
And, about four or five months ago, they announced that two- thirds of the people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, OCTOBER 16, 2003)
KING: You want to be slim?
WYNONNA JUDD, COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER: I want to be healthy. I want my numbers to be good, you know? I want to get back to the original weight, yes -- eight pounds, 15 ounces, but....
KING: I mean, does weight worry you? Does it scare you to be over...
JUDD: It scares -- it's because of my numbers, if they're not right.
JUDD: Yes. You know how that works.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
Let's reintroduce our panel.
Sanjay Gupta is here with us in Los Angeles. He's CNN's chief medical correspondent and author of a terrific new book, "Chasing Life," which just hit the bookstores. Its subtitle is "New Discoveries in the Search for Immortality to Help You Age Less Today." Bob Greene, the exercise physiologist, bestselling author of "The Best Life Diet," known to millions as Oprah's diet and fitness guru. His Web site, by the way, is thebestlife.com.
In New York is Deepak Chopra, the alternative medicine icon, author of many bestsellers, including "Grow Younger, Live Longer." His Web site is DeepakChopra.com. And, in L.A., Lance Armstrong, the cancer survivor, seven-time winner of cycling's Tour de France.
Bob Greene, fast food, bad?
GREENE: Some of the encouraging -- a lot of people know I had worked with McDonald's for a number of years on their healthy lifestyle initiative. They started offering salads. I see a change in some of their competitors as well.
So, you can navigate a fast-food restaurant these days and come away with some good choices. But you also have to have the willingness to do that.
KING: What do you think, Deepak, about fast food? CHOPRA: Well, I think, in general, it's better to avoid anything that comes in a can or has a label. And it's important to eat things that are fresh, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables.
And as Sanjay mentions in his book, water-rich foods that are not so high calorie dense and I think also that if you look at the trends in society, I was speaking to a researcher here in New York the other day, the number one trend in society today is well-being. Even companies like Frito-Lay, which are part of PepsiCo, are changing their policies now to create foods that are going to be healthy in the future, that are nutritionally good for people. So I think if the food industry has to keep up with what the trends are in society, they'll start to have to make healthier foods.
KING: Lance, give me a typical day and what you eat and then we'll have Bob analyze it?
ARMSTRONG: What I eat now or what I ate before?
ARMSTRONG: Do you want to know what I ate today?
ARMSTRONG: OK, well, I got up at like 7:00 because I was going for a bike ride at 8:00, so I had coffee, which -- even if it's bad for me, I still have to have it, some scrambled eggs and some fruit.
KING: We'll comment on the coffee.
ARMSTRONG: Yes. So scrambled eggs and fruit and that's about it. For lunch, I had a sandwich on the way to L.A.
KING: What kind of sandwich?
ARMSTRONG: Turkey, no, grilled chicken salad, yes.
KING: Is that all right, Bob?
GREENE: I think it's pretty good. First off, he had a breakfast. That's the number one thing that most Americans don't have. And you need that...
KING: Most Americans don't have a breakfast?
GREENE: I would say most Americans skip breakfast and that's a problem.
KING: That's my favorite food, my favorite meat.
GREENE: It's my favorite meal. Coffee -- actually I did my research in caffeine and it's one of the most highly researched. It's -- you know very few things have implicated without question caffeine. There are some things that it accelerates, but it's not that bad like it gets made out too. KING: Well, OK.
TV land's favorite former nanny has a question for Sanjay and company. Let's take a look and see if one of our panel members has the answer.
FRAN DRESCHER, ACTRESS: Dr. Gupta, hi, I'm Fran Drescher and I'm a cancer survivor. And I feel like maybe the environment is a contributor to poor health and also living a cleaner more toxic-free, more organic lifestyle. It aids in our longevity. And I was wondering what your thoughts are about that.
GUPTA: Yes, sure. You know, environmental concerns are there although as far as cancer-causing things and actually drawing links with cancer, a lot of those things are much more within our control: lack of physical activity, tobacco smoke. We know about the human papilloma virus, which is one of the most...
GUPTA: Human papilloma virus, it causes cervical cancer. They take about the HPV vaccine and this is one of the most cause-and- effect relationships...
KING: That vaccine works, right?
GUPTA: It does work. And there's been a lot of controversy about it. I've got two daughters. I'd give them the vaccine in a heartbeat.
But there are environmental concerns as well and I think they're increasing. Second-hand smoke is one, pollution is another one. They're harder to quantify. They're harder to actually draw the cause and effect but they're certainly out there.
KING: Deepak, do you want to comment in this area?
CHOPRA: Yes, avoid putting toxins, like the ones mentioned, into your body but also avoid toxic emotions and toxic relationships and toxic jobs.
KING: Now, wait a minute, how the hell do you do that? Avoid toxic relationships; you're wiping out the planet.
CHOPRA: Well, no, sir. There are techniques you can learn of emotional intelligence and non-violent communications that will improve your relationships.
KING: Do you believe, Bob, and I know the stress may not come in the food area, but what are your thoughts on stress and long life?
GREENE: Well, stress, I think it's two things. One, you do need to avoid it as you can. But we all need stress. We're all going to encounter stress and how you deal with it's important.
And when you're dealing with environmental concerns, it's more than stress. I think those are some serious concerns that we have to start looking at what we are doing to the environment. It has a great effect on our health.
KING: Lance, is it not the stress but how do you deal with stress?
ARMSTRONG: I go for a bike ride.
KING: That's all you do?
ARMSTRONG: It's therapy. I know it's not all I do, but I mean for me it was I did for 20 years, so that was therapy for 20 years and still is.
KING: We're going all over the spectrum here with Deepak's Chopra's new book and with our panel.
OK, dark chocolate, red wine, all good?
GUPTA: Yes. I will give you a pass on both of those.
KING: Any dark chocolate or a special kind of dark chocolate?
GUPTA: Dark chocolate.
KING: Go into the store and buy dark chocolate?
GUPTA: Yes, dark. I mean not the milk chocolate and not the other chocolate, dark chocolate. That seems to be the best stuff in terms of some of the antioxidants. But also, just in terms of your diet overall, I'll give you a pass of dark chocolate and red wine as long as you can eat seven different colored foods every day. Eat the colors of the rainbow, you know.
KING: Seven different colors?
GUPTA: Yes, seven different colors.
GREENE: You know as a health professional, I agree completely. However, we were talking about caffeine, we're talking about red wine, we're dark chocolate. It's about moderation. These are things acceptable to weave...
KING: A glass of red wine not a good idea?
GREENE: That's exactly true. In fact, the wine argument, there are some other things, Lance mentioned exercise, it really does just about the same thing without the effect of either a hangover or overdoing it and the excess calories.
KING: Eight chocolate bars, bad idea?
GREENE: No, just a square would be a nice treat.
KING: OK, we'll be right back with more. Don't go away. Next week, CNN is kicking off a celebration of my 50 years in broadcasting. This week you get a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to see my show live and autographed pair of my suspenders in Larry King's Suspender Sweepstakes. How? Each night we'll run a clip from one of my memorable shows. I ask the question, you figure out who the question is for and then you go to CNN.com/LarryKing50. Correctly identify the guest; you have a shot at winning the trip and the suspenders. You have until tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern to enter, so let's roll tonight's clip.
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KING: Did you ever explain to yourself apartheid? I mean did you ever understand it, why people were held in mass slavery in a sense?
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KING: Think you know who the guest was, go to CNN.com/LarryKking50 and enter now.
KING: We're back with Sanjay Gupta, Bob Greene, Deepak Chopra and Lance Armstrong. Here's a simple idea, is it still a good idea to go see your doctor? Good idea?
ARMSTRONG: A great idea.
KING: How often? How often do you go for a check-up?
ARMSTRONG: Well, it depends. I mean for my disease, I'm supposed to go once a year and so I do that. And there's times -- look, I went last week and Sanjay knows because I actually called Sanjay. I was feeling weird. I had this weird sort of dizziness and I was absolutely stressed out. So I just went down to the doctor and did a whole range of blood work and just to find out if I was OK.
I mean for me, my doctor is my security blanket. It's where I go. And you're stressed before you go, but as soon as you get the results you know you're OK.
KING: How often a check-up?
GUPTA: Well, you know it depends on how old you are. You know Lance...
KING: The older you are, the more you go?
GUPTA: Well, you're going to need certain cancer screenings, for example, starting at age 50 for men and women, colonoscopies. If you have a family history of heart disease, I do, so I get checked out a bit more frequently, get my cholesterol checked.
But I think, you know, in your 30s, probably once every couple of years unless you have something going on. And probably get into once every year as you get a bit older.
KING: How often do you go, Bob?
GREENE: Once a year.
KING: Full check-up?
GREENE: Pretty full check-up, yes. The cancer screening depends on what it's for, but in general, I get a full work-up every year.
KING: We hear about antioxidants. Does that mean there are oxidants...
KING: ...that we should be mad at?
GUPTA: Yes, absolutely. I mean when your cells divide that release these little free radical, oxidants, you can call them. They kind of cause a rusting process, if you will, in the body. And people have associated that with aging. And there are antioxidants that we produce normally in our bodies. And unfortunately, the levels of those go down as time goes on. And that's why people have put so much faith in taking antioxidants as a supplement.
KING: You go nuts in the health food store though, right? You go in, there's 6,000 bottles of things, free radicals, antioxidants. How do you really know what to get?
GUPTA: You know look; and I talk about this in the book a lot, I think most of it, you don't need to have. You can save your money. I do agree with Bob on a multi-vitamin. I do agree with the omega three fatty acids. But besides that, antioxidants, somehow we haven't really been able to translate what we get out of food. It's packaged so well in food and put that into a pill form. We're just not very good at it so we're not getting the benefits of it. This is a $4 billion dollar industry. Save your money.
KING: We've got another question to pose to our panel. This one from the former -- famous activist, rather, Heather Mills.
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HEATHER MILLS, ACTIVIST: I'm in the middle of doing a nutrition degree at the moment. I don't quite understand how so many doctors don't understand the dangers of dairy. What's your opinion on the dangers of dairy?
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GUPTA: Well, you know it's interesting; human beings are one of the only species that actually drink milk of another species. And I think...
GUPTA: Yes. When you think about, we cow milk. Who else does that?
GUPTA: Yes, cats do as well. That's a good point.
KING: That's it, right?
GUPTA: We give it to the cats, but you know they actually...
KING: We don't even know if they like it.
GUPTA: We're not sure. But I think that and the fact they have so many people, 30 to 50 million people who are lactose intolerance, I think Heather's onto something here. I think there is something about dairy.
Look, low fat dairy can be a great source of Vitamin D, a great source of calcium. Women worry about this as they get old, certainly, with osteoporosis. But a lot of kids are allergic to dairy. It's been implicated in a lot of different processes. You know I think it's something to be looked into.
KING: Do you agree, Bob?
GREENE: Pretty much across the board. There are alternatives, soy milk. I have one that uses an eight continent soy milk in the book. It's a great for breakfast. One of the best things you can do as an alternative. And if you are going to have milk, which I think is a good source of calcium, go with the 1 percent or even better skim.
KING: Since the cancer, is there something, Lance, you used to do that you avoid?
ARMSTRONG: No, no.
ARMSTRONG: In terms of food or...
ARMSTRONG: No, no.
KING: Nothing in your life that you've changed?
ARMSTRONG: No, nothing. Well, I think I'm -- yes, I'm more aware, but that was all part of the...
KING: What was the key to winning that battle? Was it a drug?
ARMSTRONG: Yes, I was very lucky. I mean let's face it, 25 years ago, 90 percent of young men diagnosed with testicular cancer died. Ninety percent of them is huge. They came up or they pioneered platinum-based therapy, platinum-based chemotherapy. And that took it from 90 percent fatality to 90 percent survivability.
KING: Did you go bald?
ARMSTRONG: Oh yes, absolutely. I still carry the pictures.
KING: Yes? ARMSTRONG: Yes.
KING: And how long did it take to recover?
ARMSTRONG: You know the chemotherapy was three or four months, chemotherapy and surgery, I should say. I was back to feeling normal probably six months after that.
KING: At the height of the chemotherapy, how bad do you feel?
ARMSTRONG: Very bad.
ARMSTRONG: Unbelievably nauseous. And that's one of the side effects of chemotherapy which is -- you know, our big dream now is that in 25 years, we'll look at chemotherapy and go, "Oh my God, did we really do that to human beings?"
KING: Why do you get nauseous?
GUPTA: It's sloughing (ph) off a lot of cells in your gut, in your digestive system. That's why you lose your hair. The cells in your hair and in your intestines turn over very quickly. And chemo targets rapidly producing cells.
KING: We'll be right back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're back.
Deepak Chopra, what do you think about things like weight lifting and other physical activities in the gym?
CHOPRA: The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate. And you know as you grow older, your metabolic rate goes down. So weight training, yoga, breathing exercises, cardiovascular conditioning, they all have a role in influencing the biological markers of aging.
KING: What's a myth, Dr. Gupta, about health?
GUPTA: Since you're on weight training, just doing aerobic activity alone is enough. I think that...
KING: Some people think that?
GUPTA: Yes, they jump on treadmills 30 minutes, 60 minutes a day and say I can't believe my body is not changing. I'm not losing weight. I'm not somehow, you know, metamorphisizing into something else. Adding some upper body adds resistance training does a lot of things for you. It does give you that muscle mass. You burn more calories just sitting here now as a result. You lose weight better.
But also, I think, as you get older, it helps you ward off pulmonary disease, which is a big killer. It helps you from slouching over because you have osteoporosis. That can be a problem for older people as well. It really improves the function of an older person.
KING: Is walking big, Bob?
GREENE: Walking is big...
KING: I read somewhere that walking is the best.
GREENE: I would say for most people, it's my favorite activity. But as Sanjay said, the weight training -- if you think of aging a different way, it's a really the loss of tissue. And the single greatest way, bar any drug, is strength training.
KING: Ever get tired of bike riding?
ARMSTRONG: No. I don't do it like I did before but I still...
KING: Do you still do it everyday?
ARMSTRONG: I try. I travel a lot so if I can't ride then I'll...
KING: When you don't ride, what exercise do you do?
ARMSTRONG: I run or I go to the gym.
KING: But do you always exercise?
ARMSTRONG: Yes, I have to. I would be absolutely unbearable if I didn't.
KING: What about Vitamin E? Is that magic, Bob?
GREENE: No, I really don't think so. I think there's some negative implication.
KING: It's been billed as the long age, right, the vitamin that lets you live longer.
GREENE: Yes, I think what happens in our society is you come out with a research project or a study and from that it says that, oh, people who are deficient in something have this condition. And then all of a sudden, we go so overboard and start prescribing, overdosing certain things.
Vitamin E, I don't think the jury is out, which side of the fence. You have things showing both sides.
GUPTA: Vitamin A and E, you're right, people thought this was sort of panacea. It was going to save our hearts and you would live longer. And then you see all these studies coming out, a big one recently you may have seen that sort of said something important. Not only does it not help certain people, it could hurt. Certain supplement, you say, I'll buy it because it may not help but it's not going to hurt either, not so all of the time.
KING: One more celebrity question from our panel. This one comes from someone we heard from earlier, Joan Rivers again -- Joan.
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JOAN RIVERS, COMEDIENNE: Every single person I know these days takes Lipitur and takes aspirin? Are we being overmedicated? I mean should everybody be taking Lipitur and aspirin?
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GUPTA: There are people who say that. I mean there's a very well known cardiologist who say...
KING: The two wonder drugs.
KING: They're both wonder drugs.
GUPTA: Yes, that's what they say about them. There are people who say statin medication should be in our drinking water. I've heard prominent cardiologists say that. That's probably taking it too far. But we do know that lower the cholesterol really the better. You know all these numbers are hard to sort decipher and navigate. Get your cholesterol lowered. It seems to make a difference in terms of your heart health which is the biggest killer. It's going to make you live longer.
KING: I know you're a natural man, Deepak, but don't you give some credence to the Lipiturs?
CHOPRA: I do. Actually I do, but I also do know that one of the best ways to raise your HDL, which is the good cholesterol, is exercise.
KING: How about the fast pace of life, Sanjay? What does that do to us? It's a different pace.
GUPTA: Well, it depends how you approach it. You asked the question earlier, you know, how do we deal with some of this stuff. We all have fast-paced lives. I enjoy it. Personally, I thrive on it. I gave you a Japanese phrase earlier, harihachi buda (ph). There's another one, ikagai (ph), which means sense of purpose. What is your sense of purpose in life? People who lose a spouse, for example, you hear about them dying shortly after that or people who come out of retirement, dying shortly after that. Do you have a sense of purpose every day? And if it's having a business lifestyle, getting things done and it gives you that ikagai (ph), I think that's a good thing. You can't let the stress get to you though. You got to learn how to modify that. KING: That's easier said than done, Lance.
ARMSTRONG: Yes. I think so. Some people's lives -- look, like somebody once told me, life's messy. Sometimes people sometimes are not dealt the same sort of cards that we all are and things come along. It could be disease. It could be a loss of a job. It could be loss of a loved one. These are all stress factors that you don't plan for. But certainly the healthier you are, the more consistent your lifestyle is, the more you'll be able to ride through that stuff.
KING: As Jack Kennedy said, "Life isn't fair."
ARMSTRONG: No, not always.
KING: We'll be back with some more moments with our outstanding panel. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with our remaining moments and let's try to cover some things we haven't covered.
What haven't we covered, Sanjay? It seems like we covered an awful lot of things.
GUPTA: Satchel Paige, a baseball player once asked, "If you didn't know how old you were, how old would you be?"
KING: Yes, I knew Satch.
GUPTA: I think that's such a great question to ask ourselves because I think it's really at the root of all of this when you talk about chasing life. How old would you be? And I feel like I'm a young person. I am young but I feel younger.
KING: How old are you?
GUPTA: I'm 37.
KING: How old do you feel?
GUPTA: I feel like I'm in my 20's still.
KING: Satchel Paige once said this could apply to your field, "Don't look back, somebody may be catching up."
ARMSTRONG: Always, always. KING: How old are you?
KING: How old do you feel?
ARMSTRONG: Thirty-five. No, I don't know. It depends on the day.
KING: I'm 73. I feel 45.
ARMSTRONG: That's great.
GUPTA: Good for you.
KING: That's good.
How old are you, Bob?
GREENE: I'll be 50 in a few months.
KING: You're a great looking 50. And how old do you feel?
GREENE: I really feel young. I mean I just had my first child. I still think I'm in my late 20's to be honest with you. So I feel great.
KING: You don't know what you want to be when you grow up, right?
GREENE: That's exactly true.
KING: Deepak, how old are you now?
CHOPRA: Actually, Larry, I forgot. I don't -- my chronological age. Psychologically at times, I feel 19. Biologically, I think I would be about 35.
KING: All right, so this panel all feels young. And how important is how you feel?
GUPTA: I mean it's wildly important. And people used to put this in the realm of the metaphysical and philosophy but now we can measure the sort of stuff. We can measure some of these inflammatory mediators, for example, in our body which go up as you get older and you get more stressed out and go down if you're someone who actually feels younger. Those endorphins, those feel good hormones, you can actually pump those up with optimism and attitude.
KING: Lance, what was -- this could help some people -- what was your first indication that something was the matter?
ARMSTRONG: Well, I mean...
KING: Symptom? ARMSTRONG: The first symptom actually started months and months before I was diagnosed was, you know, obviously swelling of the testicle. And that was something as a 25-year-old kid from Texas didn't want to talk about. You're like well, how the hell am I going to bring this up. You know ultimately, it goes to other things that were much more serious and severe: coughing up of blood, massive headaches and blurry vision. Then I went to the doctor.
KING: Were you surprised when they told you what it was?
ARMSTRONG: Yes, of course. I mean those words are never to be expected. You have cancer. That was a complete surprise.
KING: Do you have any health problems, Bob?
GREENE: I have to say, no. I've been blessed. I have things in my family and my family history. That's why I certainly check for those. But I've been blessed with my health.
KING: Never had any surgery?
GREENE: Never had surgery other than tonsils taken out.
KING: Deepak, there's a dispute over that.
GREENE: There is.
KING: Deepak, have you ever had an illness?
CHOPRA: You know I'm a grandfather and I've never been sick. I've forgotten how old I am but I do have grandchildren so I must be significantly old chronologically. But I've never been to a hospital and never been sick, never had surgery, don't take any medication.
KING: How good is America's health care system, Sanjay?
GUPTA: It's in bad shape. I think there's a lot of concerns. We don't know how to pay for people, federal entitlements, the Medicare, Medicaid. It's been said that the very measure of our society is how we take care of people who can't take care of themselves. We're not doing a very good job. A lot of people don't have health insurance.
When you talk about aging, how are we going to pay for people as they get older and need health care? We still think of this as a disease.
KING: Compared to the world, we're terrible, right?
KING: I mean at taking care of people.
GUPTA: Whatever measure you want to use, you know, immunizations, life spans, things like that. Yes, I mean we've got a long ways to go, but it's fixable. That's the thing. We don't need to wait for some huge homerun, knockdown or touchdown. We can fix a lot of these problems if we focus on it.
ARMSTRONG: That's what I call homeland security.
ARMSTRONG: That, to me, is the true definition of homeland security.
KING: Do you think we will, Bob?
GREENE: I think we will. I actually am encouraged. I think we have hit rock bottom and are starting to now swing up with some of our choices, so, sure.
KING: And Deepak, are you optimistic?
CHOPRA: Very optimistic because not everybody who gets old has heart disease or cancer. There's a higher incidence of these diseases, but the very fact that these diseases not always accompanying the aging process says a lot about how we cannot only add age to our years but life to our years, the quality of life to our years.
KING: Thank you all very much, an outstanding hour -- Deepak Chopra, Bob Greene, Lance Armstrong and Sanjay Gupta.
And Sanjay's book is "Chasing Life." Bob's is "The Best Life Diet."
Thanks for joining us.
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