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Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being
 
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Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being [Format Kindle]

Andrew Weil Md

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Dr. Weil has raised dispensing health advice to an art form. Instead of making his audience feel inadequate or guilty about bad habits, he seems to subconsciously convince readers to do better merely by presenting health facts in a non-threatening way. Healthy Aging is his most scientifically technical book yet (you'll learn all about enzymes like telomerase and cell division and the chemistry behind phytonutrients like indole-3-carbinol, and the connection between cancer and other degenerative diseases like diabetes) yet by far his most fascinating.

His main mission here is to recommend "aging gracefully," which he considers accepting the process instead of fighting it. As the director of the country's leading integrative-medicine clinic (combining the best of traditional and alternative worlds), of course he disses Botox and the slew of $100-a-jar face creams out there. It's also no surprise that he focuses on proper nutrition, moderate exercise, and meditation and rest among his "12-point program for healthy aging." (Triathletes and exercise addicts should take special note of the research linking excessive exercise and ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.) He occasionally references his earlier works, including 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. But the most eye-opening sections are those that discuss the spirituality of aging and its emotional aspects. "Aging can bring frailty and suffering, but it can also bring depth and richness of experience, complexity of being, serenity, wisdom, and its own kind of power and grace," he writes. At 63, Weil is still a bit shy of senior status, but is aging well indeed, with the legacy of his late 93-year-old mother (who’s touchingly eulogized by Weil in this book) to guide him.--Erica Jorgensen

Extrait

Immortality

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?

Answer:
I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever.

—Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA Contest

Our attitudes toward aging and our responses to the changes in appearance that aging brings are totally colored by our knowledge that we are moving inexorably toward death. It is not my intention to write about death or the fear of dying in this book, but I find it impossible to avoid mentioning them as the source of our negative feelings about aging, which are entirely based in fear.

Some species age more slowly than we do, others more rapidly. I have lived with dogs for many years and have watched several canine companions grow up, grow old, and die. As I write, I am looking at a photograph from several years ago of two of my Rhodesian ridgebacks on the front step of my house in southern Arizona. One is a young male, Jambo, who could not be more than a year old in the photo. He is standing—sleek, handsome, with all the vitality of youth. The other, B.T., must have been fifteen, very old for such a large breed. She is lying down, her face completely white. Soon she was unable to get up. I helped her through her decline but finally had to euthanize her a day before her sixteenth birthday.

Jambo is now eight years old, still in his prime, still sleek, handsome, and vital, with a deep, soulful personality that makes him an ideal companion animal. Most people who meet him comment on how good-looking he is, the perfect combination of strength and beauty. Sometimes if I am reading in bed at night, I invite him to come up and sit beside me for a few minutes. If I rub his chest in a certain way, he looks up toward the ceiling, extending his neck in a posture of noble contentment that I find very appealing. But when he is in this position, I cannot avoid noticing the first white hairs on his otherwise black chin. And whenever I see them, I also cannot avoid noticing that there are more than the last time I looked.

I know from experience that this dusting of white heralds the changes to come, that one day he, too, will be frosted with the white of old age; and when I see those signs of aging on his strong chin, I think about the disappearance of black from my own facial hair, about the unalterable passage of time, the relentless change of physical bodies as we decline. I think about the pain of the loss of previous companions, about separation from beings I love and who love me, about my own fear of the end and the sadness that is never separable from the joy of human experience. And all of this has come from the observation of a few white hairs on the chin of my dog.

We all sense the finiteness of life, and we all fantasize about living forever. Is it any wonder, then, that we put so much effort into denying the fact of our aging with cosmetics, plastic surgery, and verbal deceits (“You look so much younger!”), and why we are so enthralled by proponents of antiaging medicine who tell us that we can stop or even turn back the clock?

Immortality is an alluring concept, but I wonder how many of us have thought through its meaning and implications, which turn out not to be so simple. If you lived beyond the normal human life span, what would your life be like? I invite you to look at immortality with me through the lens of biology. Apart from framing this discussion of healthy aging, it will give you a chance to become acquainted with the latest findings of scientists who are studying the aging process. All of the practical advice I have to give you in Part Two of this book is based on this scientific evidence* and grounded in a philosophy that rejects immortality and eternal youthfulness as unworthy goals.

A tension between mortality and immortality is played out on all levels of our being, from our cells to our psyches. Understanding it will help you accept the fact of aging and motivate you to learn to do it as gracefully as possible.


******************


Let’s start with immortality on the cellular level. Until 1961, researchers believed that, in theory at least, normal cells, taken from the body and grown in laboratories, should be able to grow and divide forever if their needs were met: if they were provided with a constant supply of food and if their waste products were removed. In that year, Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia demonstrated that this was not so, that all normal cells have a fixed limit on the number of times they can divide in order to replace themselves. This number is now known as the Hayflick limit. Hayflick, currently a professor of anatomy at the School of Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco, is one of the foremost biogerontologists. His book How and Why We Age, first published in 1994, is the best I have found on the subject. I recommend it highly.

It turns out that the Hayflick limit varies from species to species and often correlates with life span. With a Hayflick limit of about 50 cell divisions, humans are the longest-lived mammals. Mice, which live about three years, have a limit of 15 divisions; for chickens, with an average life span of twelve years, the number is about 25. At the extreme of longevity, the Galápagos tortoise, which can live for 175 years, has a Hayflick limit of 110.

HeLa cells, however, can divide indefinitely. They do not senesce. They continue to grow and divide as long as they have nutrients, oxygen, space, and means of getting rid of their wastes. HeLa cells were the first human cells to be successfully cultured outside the body in large numbers. Given their longevity, they revolutionized biological and medical research and quickly established themselves in laboratories around the world. HeLa cells ignore the Hayflick limit for human cells. In a sense, they are immortal.

I was taught that “HeLa” was composed of the initial letters of the name of a woman, Helen Lane, who was said to be the original source of the cells. This turns out not to have been true. The real source was Henrietta Lacks, a poor African-American woman from Baltimore, whose story only came out years after her cells were growing in prodigious numbers everywhere.

Lacks was born to a family of tobacco pickers in Virginia, moved to Baltimore in 1943 at the age of twenty-three, married, and had five children in quick succession. Then, early in 1951, she noticed she had abnormal vaginal bleeding. She went to a clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where a doctor found an ominous-looking, quarter-sized tumor on her uterine cervix. He biopsied it and sent the tissue sample off for diagnosis. It was malignant. Shortly afterward, Lacks returned to the clinic to begin radium treatments, but before the first one, another tissue sample from the tumor was taken and sent, this time to George Gey, head of tissue culture research at Johns Hopkins.

Gey, with his wife, Margaret, had been trying to find human cells that would grow well outside the body. His greater goal was to study cancer in order to find a cure. Henrietta Lacks’s biopsy gave him exactly what he needed. Her cancer cells grew in test tubes as no other cells had ever grown, vigorously and aggressively. Of course, this did not augur well for their donor. Within months, Lacks’s tumor had metastasized throughout her body, creating tumors in all her organs until she expired painfully in a racially segregated ward of The Johns Hopkins Hospital on October 4, 1951, eight months after diagnosis. On the same day, George Gey went on national television to announce his breakthrough in cancer research. He held up a vial of Lacks’s cells, calling them, for the first time, HeLa cells.

HeLa cells were soon in great demand. The Geys sent vials of them to colleagues, who sent them to other colleagues, and before long Henrietta Lacks’s cancerous cells were multiplying in laboratories throughout the world. They made possible the development of the first polio vaccine, were used to study the effects of drugs and radiation, genetic mechanisms, and many diseases, and were even sent off the planet on a space shuttle to see how cultured human cells would grow in zero gravity. If the HeLa cells worldwide were added up, they would total many, many times the weight of the human being in which they originated.

The saga of Henrietta Lacks raises uncomfortable ethical and social questions, because she never gave informed consent for her cells to be used in this way, neither she nor her family was ever compensated for their use (they did not even find out about all this until twenty-four years after the fact), and none of the scientists who worked with HeLa cells ever acknowledged her contribution. But that is another story.

Why can HeLa cells go on living, perhaps forever, when the human being who produced them is long dead and when most cells senesce after a fixed number of divisions? What determines how many times cells from different organisms can divide? The answers are encoded in DNA, our genetic material. DNA is contained in rodlike structures called chromosomes in the nucleus of every cell. When cells are about to divide in order to reproduce and make more tissue, chromosomes have to replicate themselves, so that each daughter cell will have the same genetic information as its parent cell. The DNA spirals that comprise the chromosomes uncoil so that the genetic code can be copied to make duplicate strands, but each time this process occurs, something is lost: a piece of the end of each strand.

Chromosomes terminate in a distinctive region of DNA called a telomere; the name comes from Greek root...

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  • Format : Format Kindle
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  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 368 pages
  • Editeur : Anchor; Édition : 1 Reprint (26 novembre 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  122 commentaires
191 internautes sur 197 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent book, easy to read and complete 11 mai 2006
Par Amalfi Coast Girl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This review is written by a former hospital administrator of just under 2 decades. I have been studying health and nutrition for more than decade. I became very interested in alternative medicine when a family member was diagnosed with kidney cancer and the allopathic doctors (traditional MD's) could give no reason for the tumor.

If you have not read one of Dr. Weil's books before, I think you will enjoy his writing style. His tone is very conversational, you feel as though you are talking to a friend while you are reading his books, this one included. Dr. Weil has a gift for taking a dry and complicated subject and explaining it in a manner that anyone can understand. The purpose of this book is NOT to stop aging, but rather to prevent or minimize the impact of age-related disease, to learn how to live long and well, and to age gracefully.

He subdivides his book as follows:

PART ONE: The Science and Philosophy of Healthy Aging

1. Immortality

2. Shangri-Las and Fountains of Youth

3. Antiaging Medicine

4. Why We Age

5. The Denial of Aging

6. The Value of Aging

7. Interlude: Jenny

PART TWO: How to Age Gracefully

8. Body I: The Ounce of Prevention

9. Body II: The Anti-inflammatory Diet

10. Body III: Supplements

11. Body IV: Physical Activity

12. Body V: Rest and Sleep

13. Body VI: Touch and Sex

14. Mind I: Stress

15. Mind II: Thoughts, Emotions, and Attitudes

16. Mind III: Memory

17. Spirit I: Unchanging Essence

18. Spirit II: Legacy

A TWELEVE PROGRAM FOR HEALTHY AGING

Appendix A: The Anti-inflammatory Diet

Appendix B: Suggested Readings, Resources and Supplies

The doctor does a wonderful job of explaining why and how we age. Even without an educational background in the sciences I was able to comprehend advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and how they cross link (form abnormal bonds) to adjacent protein strands leading to inflammatory and autoimmune responses. If you have been reading much about nutrition or health lately you know that inflammation is the new "hot topic" in medicine linked to almost everything. According to Cardiologists inflammation is more important in determining heart health than cholesterol. After reading Dr. Weil's explanation of inflammatory response this concept now makes much more sense to me.

Dr. Weil explains in great detail which nutrients the body requires to function properly and how to incorporate them into your life. He also goes into much detail about dietary suggestions. These are pretty much what you would expect, but he does a thorough job of explaining why he is making these recommendations, which I personally find very helpful.

The doctor also goes into great detail regarding his recommendations for physical activity and how this should change as we age. The concept of a pool disinfected without chlorine was new to me, and one that I was very happy to know is an option.

If you want to age gracefully, but feel as though you need more information, this is a wonderful book on the subject. I highly recommend this book to baby boomers looking for information on how to minimize or eliminate the impact of disease in our lives as we grow older.
137 internautes sur 145 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Impressed & surprised, highly recommended 10 janvier 2006
Par Ricardo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
My wife and I bought three books recently to help re-charge our health and fitness motivation. They were: Slow Burn by Fredrick Hahn, and then two books recommended by a health guru friend, Joe X by Avery Hunicutt, and this book, Healthy Aging by Andrew Weil. To make a long story short we gave thumbs-down to the Slow Burn workout (too painful) and thumbs-up to the Joe X workout(something we enjoy doing). As for Healthy Aging, with some embarrassment, I highly recommend this book. I say with embarrasment because, while I had never read any of Dr. Weil's previous books, I used to think he was some kind of a new-age nut & berry quack. I'm guilty of judging books by their cover; not used to associating a portly, bearded, bald guy with fitness. I was wrong and now publicly appologize for my pig-headedness. He may eat nuts and berries, but he's definitely not a quack, and now I wouldn't be surprised if he out lives all of us.

The book is much more grounded on hard science than I expected. And though there is a good amount of science in the book, there is nothing to fear. Dr. Weil has an engaging and polished writing style. He not only makes it easy for the lay person to follow along, but he makes medical research an interesting story, an enjoyable read. I now understand why his books have become so popular: he knows how to communicate. The first hint that my opinion of him was all wet was his discussion of the battle going on behind the scenes between the hard core medical researchers and the "fountain of youth" profiteers (my term, not his). I expected the author to side with those that believed the aging process could at least be suspended if not reversed. To my surprise he did not. In fact the underlying theme of the entire book is that people are making a mistake if they lead their lives as if life extension and age reversing technology are upon us. He makes a strong technical case and almost a desperate plea to not succumb to the snake oil. His recommendation is to forget about anti-aging schemes and avoid obscesing about life extension. Instead he says to focus on preventing or minimizing the impact of age-related disease and how to age gracefully. It may not be the message we want to hear but I suspect it is the more correct choice. In any case, I found Dr. Weil's telling of the political battle taking place fascinating, and it makes it easier to understand what's going on with the sensationalizing headlines and sales pitches I see in the popular press and TV.

I next expected the book to be all generalities with few specifics my wife and I could actually do to help us "age gracefully." I was wrong again. The second half of the book is filled with actionable specifics, much having to do with diet, but many other non-diet matters as well. Some times he would get very specific, e.g. not just any olive oil but what kind of olive oil, that kind of thing. Throughout the book I was impressed by how the author always gave both sides of an argument in seemingly unbiased fashion before giving his recommendation and why. And I learned quite a few things I didn't know. One small example: I've noted how popular press diet doctors have steered folks away from carrots because of their higher glycemic index number. Dr. Weil explains why this doesn't make a lot of sense (better to make choices based on glycemic load number, not glycemic index number).

Finally, there is another underlying theme in this book that I think has a lot of merit: Dr. Weil puts much faith (based on science of course) in the concept of minimizing and managing inflammation in the body. As always he explains what it is, why it happens, the good, the bad, and then why he recommends what he does with regard to diet, medication, and exercise. My wife and I also now understand why our guru friend recommended the two books he did, as they are very complimentary. For all I know we are the last two people that had never read an Andrew Weil book, and all this is old news to you. If not, order yourself a copy or get to the library now.
58 internautes sur 62 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Handbook For Life - For ALL Ages 30 novembre 2005
Par K. Johnson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
What's realistic about this book is that it's based upon realistic concepts. Many of the old and recent "aging" books are re-hashed bombardments

that focus on the perpetually futile attempt to "turn back the clock." We know this can't be done. Same now, as Ponce De Leon.

Dr. Weil calmly and convincingly gravitates toward acceptance and realization, rather than denial. Botox injections and wrinkle creams may help those who use it. It's their choice, and it's fine as long as it's realized that these are cosmetic band-aids. Using food (nutrition), and the physical & mental, can provide ourselves with better quality years as we age. Better lifestyles, less ailments, less pain, lower medical bills, and more longevity.

Convincingly, Weil notes basic nutrition, macro-nutrients, EFA Omegas 3 & 6, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidents, and the G.I. Index and Load. Essential information for attaining a quality of life after the early and mid-sixties, when the body begins to reveal the natural effects of aging more significantly. Reducing stress levels via meditation, Yoga, and breathing exercises can be done at home and for free.

Natural Ingredients and activities also act as an insurace policy. These Items and actions need not be expensive. And, they ward-off the negative consequences of neglecting ourselves.

Dr. Andrew Weil advocates avoiding animal fats (saturated fats) and processed foods. (The food coloring chemical Tartrazine is in over 85% of processed food in the United States.) Hydrongenated oils (often in breads) are bad for us, and there is an explanation in laymens' terms of specifically, why.

He did cite reasearch from areas of the world that have a high percentage of older populations.

The author has a very pleasant and comforting writing style.

Those with the basic nutritional and supplement knowledge may know many of the concepts and facts discussed, but there are lots of additional pieces of information and facts that can prove beneficial.
38 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 ex-biochemist review..... 24 juillet 2007
Par Patrick D. Goonan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I currently work in the field of psychology, but I was educated as a research scientist in the area of biochemistry. Prior to that period, I was a teaching fellow in physiology and have had a strong interest in integrative medicine as well as integral psychology.

I think this is probably Dr. Weil's best book to date. The suggestions he make are very practical and wise. He also frames aging as something positive, which is unusual in our culture. I think his suggestions for supplementation are also quite good and he provides a lot of good references throughout the text.

While the book is more technical than some of his earlier works, it is also very accessible. The technical material that is presented is fascinating and relevant. For the most part, this material is related to the aging process, particularly of cells. He also talks about how turning off these normal processes relate to cancer.

I also like this book because it is well-rounded. It covers every sphere of life including exercise, diet, the need for touch, social connection and even spiritual needs. It is comprehensive, yet easy to follow and impliment. The advice seems very sound and responsible to me.

This is a great owner's manual for aging. It's a very small investment for a potentially very high return. Also, it's not a lot of hype about staying young forever and making false assertions to prey on people's fear of aging. In short, it's very well done.
39 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Finally, a BALANCED perspective on diet, exercise and aging 6 novembre 2005
Par K. Corn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I got this book after years of denying that I was getting past the point where I could subsist on caffeine, occasional (very occasional) exercise and a diet which wasn't particularly healthy.

Still, I remained in denial, even though I wasn't sleeping well, my body ached all night and I got tired very easily. The breaking point was when a major attack of heartburn scared me so badly that I ended up in the emergeny room, convinced I was having a heart attack. After a battery of tests, including an overnight stay and a MASSIVE bill, I knew I had to do something differently.

Heart attack or not, my choesterol was dangerously high, my thryoid wasn't working effectively and my weight was going up. I had frequent bouts of heartburn and my skin looked pasty.

Buying this book really changed my life -and my attitude. If you are a Botox addict, your views may not jive with Dr. Weil's focus on leaving well enough alone and accepting the natural progression of aging, including the crow's feet, frown lines nd sagging skin that comes when the body starts to give in to gravity.

But Weil makes a convincing argument for the view that aging can be a natural part of life which leads to great wisdom and spiritual growth - IF one pays attention to the habits that lead to optimum health, making the kind of changes that not only optimize your physical and mental well-being but keep you from having health problems which are DIRECTLY related to poor lifestyle choices.

And let's face it...in a world where medical costs are skyrocketing, making such changes can not only improve your health but save money as you minimize problems related DIRECTLY to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Luckily, Dr. Weil is an advocate of moderation and even shows over OVER-exercising can put one at possible risk...so the time and energy you expend is not overwhelming.

Speaking only from personal experience, after following much of his advice, I lost 25 pounds, my cholesterol went down, I stopped snoring and slept well at night and my mood improved significantly. The tiredness? Gone. My baggy clothes? Gone.

Even better, I found that I didn't have to spend massive amounts of time and energy to get major benefits. I started taking the supplements he recommended, followed a good exercise program (nothing too extreme but enough to break a good sweat), changed my diet - AND my attitude.

I admit that I still use plenty of face creams and I may give in and have Botox someday (sorry, Dr. Weil) but so far, so good. And even if I do some things differently than recommended in the book, I'll stick with much of the habits I've formed...because they work.

This isn't the ONLY book I have which explores ways to improve one's diet and exercise plan. But it is an excellent supplement to what I already have, especially the focus on a holistic and balanced approach.
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Do not eat margarine, regardless of what it is made from or what health benefits manufacturers claim for it. Use butter, olive oil, or natural butter substitutes that are made semisolid by the mechanical process of emulsification rather than the chemical process of hydrogenation. &quote;
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Do not eat any products listing partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient, regardless of the type of oil. Do not use vegetable shortening (e.g., Crisco) or products made with it. &quote;
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To age gracefully means to let nature take its course while doing everything in our power to delay the onset of age-related disease, or, in other words, to live as long and as well as possible, then have a rapid decline at the end of life. &quote;
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