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15 Books About Health and Longevity That You Should Read

Posted on 6 October 2021

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Estimates have put the total number of books published books at over 100 million, meaning you’d have to read over 3000 books a day to catch up – and that’s not even considering the 2 million+ books published each year. So many books, so little time… if only there was a way to read books and perhaps extend your lifespan at the same time. But wait, maybe there is! By reading these ten books about health and longevity, you can enjoy the pleasures of reading (or perhaps have them read to you with your audiobook service of choice) and also learn about how you might live a longer, healthier life free of age-related disease! So here they are: our picks for 15 books about health and longevity, in no particular order:

1: The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel

Written by one of the people who won a Nobel Prize for the discovery of telomerase, this book is a must-read for understanding the biology of ageing. The science behind telomeres is presented in an approachable way and will help you to understand the various proposed telomerase therapies being tested for slowing and reversing ageing.

2: Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric J. Topol

In this book one of America’s top doctors describes how medicine has become inhuman and how, perhaps counterintuitively, artificial intelligence might fix that. By freeing doctors from the tasks unrelated to human connection, AI may help to restore the doctor-patient relationship.

3: The Switch: Ignite Your Metabolism with Intermittent Fasting, Protein Cycling, and Keto by James W. Clement, George M. Church

While the presence of the terms ‘intermittent fasting’ and ‘keto’ might trigger your junk-science diet book alarms, that’s not what this book is. Written by longevity researcher James W. Clement and Professor George Church of the human genome project fame, this book is worth a read for anyone looking for actionable diet recommendations based on current longevity science.

4: Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old by Andrew Steele

Andrew Steele, research fellow at the Francis Crick Institute, takes us on a journey through the laboratories where every aspect of cellular biology – from the DNA and the mitochondria to our immune system – is being studied as part of the quest to forestall the ageing process. Does the holy grail of biological immortality lie within our cells?

5: Juvenescence: Investing in the Age of Longevity by Jim Mellon and Al Chalabi

Jim Mellon is the billionaire who co-founded the longevity-focused biotech company Juvenescence, and has invested and donated to many others including the SENS Research Foundation, the Institute of Healthy Ageing at UCL, and the Methuselah Foundation. He is backed up by King’s College Professor of Neurology and Complex Disease Genetics, Al Chalabi. The meat of this book is an overview of over 60 different biotech and life sciences companies active in the human life extension space, and is great for those seeking an understanding of the longevity industry as a whole, and will give you an overview of the many different life extension approaches currently being tested.

6: Age Later: Secrets of the Healthiest, Sharpest Centenarians by Nir Barzilai

One of Dr. Barzilai’s most fascinating studies featured 750 SuperAgers – individuals who maintain active lives into their 90s and beyond while remaining free of age related diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or cognitive decline. In Age Later, Dr. Barzilai reveals what his team discovered about SuperAgers and how we might mimic some of their resistance to the aging process.

7: Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age, by Sanjay Gupta

In Keep Sharp, neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta debunks common myths about ageing and cognitive decline, and provides actionable approaches for slowing it down. Topics include whether there’s a “best” diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. He also provides you with a personalized twelve-week program featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day.

8: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer from both a cellular biologist and historian’s perspective to assemble a ‘biography’ of one of humanity’s most deadly diseases. The story of cancer is an ancient one, and one of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of victories and failures against this resourceful adversary, writing the story as a kind of thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

9: The Science and Technology of Growing Young, by Sergey Young

In this book, Sergey Young explores not only the current technologies at the centre of longevity research, but also what the future might hold. The book doesn’t shy away from concepts like biological immortality, longevity escape velocity and transhumanism, and also discusses some of the ethical conundrums we might face if and when these futuristic ideas become reality.

10: Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To by David A. Sinclair

“Aging is a disease, and that disease is treatable.” In this book, leading authority on genetics and longevity David Sinclair takes us to the frontlines of longevity research. He introduces us to the genes that could hold the keys to slowing and even reversing the ageing process.

11: The Illusion of Knowledge: The paradigm shift in aging research that shows the way to human rejuvenation by Harold Katcher

In 2020, Katcher’s research led to a 54% reduction in the epigenetic age of rats, an outcome that many instinctively described as ‘too good to be true’. In this book, he lays out his theory of ageing, and gives details about the experiment of rejuvenation of rats with the plasma fraction called E5. He also provides an in-depth analysis of the history of scientific ideas and humanity’s relationship with the idea of immortality

12: Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves by George M. Church, Ed Regis

In Regenesis, Church and Regis explore the possibilities and pitfalls of synthetic biology, in which entirely new species of organisms can be created through genetic engineering in order to serve our needs. They show how this technology may enable us to revisit crucial points in the evolution of life and choose different paths from those nature originally took. Contrary to the nightmares depicted in science fiction, they argue that these technologies have the power to improve human and animal health, increase our intelligence, enhance our memory, and even extend our life span.

13: Replacing Aging by Jean Hebert

Replacing Aging argues that ageing will soon be reversible thanks to advances in regenerative medicine. Drugs remain the primary focus of the anti-ageing field, but by replacing old worn-out tissues with new young ones, might we be able to erase age-related molecular damage and thereby extend the human lifespan? The ability to replace all body parts seems more and more likely – from functional lab-grown cells, tissues, and organs to progressive brain replacement at a cellular level, this book outlines how regenerative medicine could provide the key to resetting human ageing to zero.

14: Immortality, Inc.: Renegade Science, Silicon Valley Billions, and the Quest to Live Forever by Chip Walter

In Immortality, Inc., veteran science journalist Chip Walter gains exclusive access to those championing the cause of ageing reversal, including molecular biologist and Apple chairman Arthur Levinson, genomics entrepreneur Craig Venter, futurist Ray Kurzweil, rejuvenation advocate Aubrey de Grey, and stem cell expert Robert Hariri.

15: Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane

In this book, Nick Lane covers the latest research in the field of mitochondria and their essential role in how complex life evolved, why sex arose (why don’t we just bud?), and why we age and die. In understanding these vital components of our cells, we move closer to controlling our own illnesses, and delaying age related degeneration and ultimately avoiding death.

And there you have it:15 awesome books about health and longevity. There are plenty more that didn’t make this list, but since people read an average of around 10 books a year (and this is greatly inflated by the bookworms), this list should hopefully keep all but the most ferocious readers occupied for a while. Happy reading!

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