Lifespan

This book is a mixed bag.

The first half is fascinating. It breaks down the science of what happens to cells in the body when they age and how research has been able to adjust or change the rate of ageing and even reverse it in animal experiments (which are thoroughly upsetting to read about). None of these results can be extrapolated to humans just yet but the author is hopeful that the next few decades will show great progress.

One chapter outlines the ways that we can slow ageing. While none of the pointers were new information, the book did a good job of explaining why each of these things has an impact. To sum them up – intermittent fasting, a plant-based diet, exercise, controlled and measured exposure to extreme temperatures to boost cell reproduction for survival, and taking certain kinds of supplements (resveratrol and NAD boosters or NMN supplements; NOT all your vitamins!). Although, the author very specifically claims that he’s not prescribing or recommending supplements because that whole industry is largely unregulated and whether they work has mixed results. By the time I read all this, I felt like the book’s title is essentially clickbait. 

The last section of the book is long-winded and meanders about everything under the sun and how it all relates to the morality, science and innovation of preventing ageing. 

The main takeaway is that, instead of the last few decades of life being mired in disease and decline, if science can increase healthy ageing, then that is a huge accomplishment. 

It does make an effective case for that. That is a hopeful message.

If one is really interested in the nitty-gritties then it’s worth reading this. Otherwise, simply googling some talks by the author may suffice.

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