A Library on Longevity

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| Jules Walters | Nov. 15, 2022 |

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It kicked off with David Sinclair

It was just three years ago, in 2019, when David Sinclair PhD reignited interest in human longevity with his book Lifespan; Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To.

David Sinclair is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School. 

Before Lifespan hit the bookshelves, the biology of aging had remained a niche subject among academics and scientists.

But then David is more than a scientist. He’s also a great communicator; able to break down complex subjects into concepts that mere mortals can understand. He’s also a big advocate for living as he preaches, taking daily supplements including NMN, resveratrol and metformin.

If you want to listen to a summary of Lifespan, you can see David speak about it at a talk he gave for Google in 2019.

Building on the shoulders of giants

Since that milestone publication, the field of longevity has exploded. To give an sample, here are a few books recently published for people like you and me:

  • The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age; by Dr Steven Gundry 
  • Longevity … simplified, Living a Longer, Healthier Life Shouldn’t Be Complicated; by Dr Howard J. Luks
  • Age Later, Health Span, Life Span, and the New Science of Longevity; by Dr Nir Barzilai
  • Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicine Can Transform the Quality of Your Life & Those You Love; by Tony Robbins, Peter Diamandis and Robert Hariri

I recommend you choose one of these books and read in. It’s a fascinating subject and one that’s relevant and timely to stay feeling like your younger self.

I hope this blog will give you an idea of where to start in becoming an expert on your health, and what tweaks you can make every day – informed by data.

The other side of menopause

I believe women have a huge amount to contribute on the other side of menopause. Yes we can pause (briefly!), but then it’s time to reimagine. 

We are far more than our female hormones, which in the big scheme of things are only two of the millions of worker molecules in our bodies. The peaks and troughs of estrogen and progesterone are behind us thankfully now. This is our time.

Could we live forever?

Technologists believe we are at a tipping point in terms of human development and artificial intelligence.

As Ray Kurzweil argues in his book The Singularity is Near, our current bodies are prone to failure and need a lot of maintenance. That much we can agree on. In future, Ray argues, we will be able to overcome these biological limitations. 

Our bodies are made up of about 30 to 40 trillion cells. About 90% are in our blood, mostly red blood cells to carry oxygen (84%) and platelets to clot our blood in case of a cut (5%). 

How long different cells live, depends on the type of cells. Red blood cells live for about four months. Our brain cells or neurons are as old as we are and will last for the rest of our lives. 

So immortality becomes a question of whether we can keep our cells alive forever. Scientists are working on it.

"Don’t get bogged down by the notion of limits. There aren’t any."

Sunita Williams, NASA astronaut