1-Sentence-Summary: Lifespan addresses the concept of aging and defies the laws of nature that humankind knew till now by presenting a cure to aging that derives from exetensive research in biology, diet and nutrition, sports, and the science of combating diseases.
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Favorite quote from the author:
The human life cycle is pretty simple: we are born, we grow up, we mature in age, we age, and then we die. It’s simple, predictable, and unchangeable – or that’s how it used to be till now. Lifespan by David A. Sinclair addresses a new perspective on life itself and presents a cure for humanity’s biggest fear: aging.
While there’s no cure to death, molecular biology, nutrition, and medical advancements found a way to treat aging just as if it was a disease. And since aging is one of the main causes of death, we’re getting pretty close to solving the big maze. It all starts from our perspective on aging, and it moves up to everyday actions.
To get a better understanding of how we can combat the aging process, let’s look at three of the most important lessons from this book:
- Aging is the result of a loss of information in the DNA, but the process can be helped.
- We can programme our genes to live longer and preserve our organs better.
- Telomeres shortening is one of the primary reasons of aging.
To get a better understanding of these lessons, I’ll try my best to go over these scientific concepts in detail and get the main idea out of each and every one of them. Let’s start with the first one!
Lesson 1: Genes are fragile and can easily alter if we don’t take care of them
Aging is a complex process that is a result of many internal and external factors. In big lines, it occurs as a loss of information in our DNA. Simply put, our genes forget how to replicate the healthy cells and lose the ability to reproduce good genes altogether.
DNA alters when genes are replicated incorrectly, and this happens because our body forgets how to replicate them perfectly. The root of this negative occurrence lies within the very moment of our conception, when information is transmitted to the epigenome, who relates the message to our body.
Our body receives a gene marking map, where all of our genes have a tag that defines whether they are brain, kidney, liver, or any other type of cells. Sadly, they sometimes forget that, and end up becoming unstructured cells. They don’t reproduce anymore, and when they do, they create even worse cells.
To reverse this declining process, we’ll have to look at nutrition and the superfoods of the world, what the most longevive populations do to reach an old yet active age, and how to use plants to activate genes in a good way.
Lesson 2: You can nourish you body and prevent aging with food, exercise, and sleep
It’s no secret that a healthy life will keep your body in good shape for a long time. However, you’ll still end up all aged, wrinkled, and senile – you may think. Wel, according to this book’s extensive research, you can avoid that! How? Just look at the Blue Zones.
The Blue Zones are essentially territories like Greece or Okinawa Island who are well-known for their nonagenarian people. So what do they have in common? A plant-based diet with low intake of animal protein, a fasting period, and a lifestyle that promotes “the desirable state of stress”.
This state of being implies that our body must not keep consumption high, but rather seek the survival mode to have its cells stay awake and reproduce themselves. This happens through fasting, when your body gets enough to get by, but not too much to enter a latent mode.
In terms of food that activate the genes and protect your body, the author highlights red onion, capers, kale, and a mushroom from Chile that it’s also used to combat the immunostate where your body rejects new transplants – rapamycin. On top of that, a good amount fo exercise, physical stress, and fresh air can add years to our life.
Lesson 3: DNA can get damaged and produce zombie cells that speed up aging
Aging happens for a number of reasons, and one of them has a lot to fo with zombie cells. These cells are essentially senescent, which means that they forgot how to replicate. What’s worse is that they’re not dead wither, which means that they linger around in our body and affect the healthy ones.
In other words, they speed up the aging process. Cells become senescent due to the shortening of the telomers, or the protective caps of the DNA that occurs when cells divide. Sometimes our body interprets that in the wrong way, thinking that the DNA is damaged and needs urgent repair.
During this process, ells are often repaired wrongfully, which leads to cancer. Another thing that can happen is that the system shuts down the process and these cells become senescent, or zombie. The trick is to get rid of them, and the current state of medicine fortunately allows for that to happen.
Senolytics, or nutrients found in kale, red onion, or capers, are here to help! Another potential solution is to reprogram our cells from the little seed that stayed intact since day one. This is called the Yamanaca method and it’s quite a new technology. Medicine is yet to provide a definitive procedure for this process.
Lifespan is a highly interesting and actual piece of writing regarding the aging process and the possibility to reverse this disease. Indeed, the author believes that aging is a treatable illness more than just a natural part of life, and so he provides its readers with potential solutions to fix thai problem and prolong their lifespan significantly. The book incorporates areas like nutrition, biology, molecular science, and groundbreaking discoveries from modern medicine to come up with ways of curing aging, and so it’s definitely a piece worth reading for the curious minds.
Who would I recommend the Lifespan summary to?
The 40-year-old biology professor who is highly passionate about their field of expertise, the 50-year-old woman who isn’t comfortable with her age and is looking to reverse the aging trend, or the 38-year-old science researcher who likes to read about groundbreaking discoveries in their area of interest.
Last Updated on October 6, 2022