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Book Summary: Lifespan David Sinclair Summary

lifespan david sinclair summary

Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair

Lifespan David Sinclair Lifespan David Sinclair

Lifespan David Sinclair Review

Lifespan is entertaining and fast-paced—a whirlwind tour of the recent past and a near future that will see 90 become the new 70

“In this insightful and provocative book that asks questions about how we age, and whether humans can overcome decay and degeneration,

Lifespan David Sinclair Summary

WHAT WE KNOW

If you are taken aback by the notion that there is a singular cause of aging, you are not

alone. If you haven’t given any thought at all as to why we age, that’s perfectly

normal, too. A lot of biologists haven’t given it much thought, either. Even

gerontologists, doctors who specialize in aging, often don’t ask why we age—they

simply seek to treat the consequences.

This isn’t a myopia specific to aging. As recently as the late 1960s, for example, the

fight against cancer was a fight against its symptoms. There was no unified

explanation for why cancer happens, so doctors removed tumors as best they could

and spent a lot of time telling patients to get their affairs in order. Cancer was “just

the way it goes,” because that’s what we say when we can’t explain something

THE DEMENTED PIANIST

Our DNA is constantly under attack. On average, each ofour forty-six chromosomes

is broken in some way every time a cell copies its DNA, amounting to more than 2

trillion breaks in our bodies per day. And that’s just the breaks that occur during

replication. Others are caused by natural radiation, chemicals in our environment,

and the X-rays and CT scans that we’re subjected to.

THE BLIND EPIDEMIC

If the idea that aging is a disease sounds strange to you, you’re not alone. Physicians

and researchers have been avoiding saying that for a long time. Aging, we’ve long

been told, is simply the process of growing old. And growing old has long been seen

as an inevitable part of life

Together we can build a single dam—at the source. Not just intervene when

things go wrong. Not just slow things down. We can eliminate the symptoms of aging altogether.

This disease is treatable.

WHAT WE’RE LEARNING

Today, deaths among people suffering from tuberculosis and gastrointestinal

conditions are exceedingly rare. And pneumonia and influenza claim less than 10

percent of the lives taken by those conditions a little more than a century ago—with

most of those deaths now among individuals weakened by aging.

No matter how old you are, even if you are a teenager, it is already happening to

you.65 DNA damage has accelerated your clock, with implications at all stages of life.

Embryos and babies experience aging. What, then, of people in their 60s, 70s, and

80s? What of those individuals who are already frail and cannot restrict their calories,

go for a run, or make snow angels in the dead ofwinter? Is it too late for them?

Not at all.

A BETTER PILL TO SWALLOW

THE DREAM OF EXTENDING HUMAN lives did not begin in the early twenty-first century any

more than the dream of human flight began in the early twentieth. Nothing begins

with science; it all begins with stories.

From Gilgamesh the Sumerian king, who is said to have reigned over Uruk for 126

years, to Methuselah the patriarch in Hebrew scriptures, who is said to have lived to

the age of 969, humanity’s sacred stories testify to our deep-seated fascination with

longevity. Outside myths and parables, though, we had little scientific evidence of

anyone succeeding in extending their life far beyond the single century mark.

We had little hope of doing so without a deep understanding of how life works.

That is knowledge, albeit still imperfect, that some of my colleagues and I believe we

finally possess.

BIG STEPS AHEAD

Technologies become commonplace and parents ponder how to get the

biggest bang for the buck, how long will it be before another rogue scientist teams up

with the world’s most driven helicopter parent to create a genetically modified family

with the capacity to resist the effects ofaging?

It may not be long at all.

THE AGE OF INNOVATION

Each new discovery creates new potential. Each minute saved in the quest for

faster and more accurate gene sequencing can help save lives. Even if it doesn’t move

the needle much on the maximum number of years we live, this age of innovation will

ensure that we stay much healthier much longer.

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

DNA monitoring will soon be alerting doctors to diseases long before they

become acute. We will identify and begin to fight cancer years earlier. If you have an

infection, it will be diagnosed within minutes. If your heartbeat is irregular, your car

seat will let you know. A breath analyzer will detect an immune disease beginning to

develop. Keystrokes on the keyboard will signal early Parkinson’s disease or multiple

sclerosis. Doctors will have far more information about their patients—and they will

have access to it long before patients arrive at a clinic or hospital. Medical errors and

misdiagnoses will be slashed. The result of any one of these innovations could be

decades of prolonged healthy life

A PATH FORWARD

That, more than anything else, is how our understanding of aging and inevitable

prolonged vitality is going to change the world. It will compel us to confront

challenges that we currently push down the road. To invest in research that won’t

just benefit us now, but people 100 years from now. To worry about the planet’s

ecosystems and climate 200 years from now.

CONCLUSION

Save for “Eat fewer calories,” “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” and “Exercise,” I don’t

give medical advice. I’m a researcher, not a medical doctor; it’s not my place to tell

anyone what to do, and I don’t endorse supplements or other products.

I don’t mind sharing what I do, though, albeit with some caveats:

• This isn’t necessarily, or even likely, what you should do.

• I have no idea if this is even the right thing for me to be doing.

• While human trials are under way, there are no treatments or therapies for aging that have

been through the sort of rigorous long-term clinical testing that would be needed to have a

more complete understanding of the wide range of potential outcomes.

And so, with all that on the table, what do I do?

• I take 1 gram (1 ,000 mg) of NMN every morning, along with 1 gram of resveratrol (shaken

into my homemade yogurt) and 1 gram of metformin.7

• I take a daily dose of vitamin D, vitamin K2, and 83 mg of aspirin.

• I strive to keep my sugar, bread, and pasta intake as low as possible. I gave up desserts at age 40, though I do steal tastes.

• I try to skip one meal a day or at least make it really small. My busy schedule almost

always means that I miss lunch most days of the week.

• Every few months, a phlebotomist comes to my home to draw my blood, which I have

analyzed for dozens of biomarkers. When my levels of various markers are not optimal, I

moderate them with food or exercise.

• I try to take a lot of steps each day and walk upstairs, and I go to the gym most weekends

with my son, Ben; we lift weights, jog a bit, and hang out in the sauna before dunking in an ice-cold pool.

• I eat a lot of plants and try to avoid eating other mammals, even though they do taste

good. If I work out, I will eat meat.

• I don’t smoke. I try to avoid microwaved plastic, excessive UV exposure, X-rays, and CT scans.

• I try to stay on the cool side during the day and when I sleep at night.

• I aim to keep my body weight or BMI in the optimal range for healthspan, which for me is 23 to 25.

From the Author

David Sinclair, PhD, AO is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. One of the leading innovators of his generation,

he has been named by Time as “one of the 100 most influential people in the world”

and top 50 most influential people in healthcare. He is a board member of the American Federation

for Aging Research and has received more than 35 awards for his research and major scientific breakthroughs.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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