on December 8, 2004
This is an excellent book, but it isn't all it promises to be. I am a non practicing MD, working in IT and a health book signed by Kurzweil was bound to attract my attention.
The book follows three lines, called "Bridges" by the authors. Bridge One is what you can and should do today to extend your life expectancy in order to maximize your chances to benefit from Bridge two drugs and devices who, in turn, should allow you to wait for the big prize: Bridge Three technologies.
Bridge one is definitely the best part of the book. The authors explain our current understanding of the mechanisms involved in atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammation, etc... and cover a tremendous amount of reliable, mostly peer reviewed, scientific litterature and large scale studies. This understanding is then used to derive the optimal diet and supplementation policy. The book doesn't break any new ground, but is remarkable in the way it synthetizes a large amount of information into understandable and directly usable recommendations. I was constantly telling myself: "yes, they are right, I know that! why am I not acting upon it?". True, there are some weak points: alkaline water comes to mind (check the many discussions on the net about this issue), stevia definitely hasn't been studied enough, it's hard to see how minerals would lose their properties in canned food (bioavailability??) but those blemishes are more than compensated by the careful research that went into other topics: for example, the authors rightly insist on inflammation's role but stop an inch short of recommending rofecoxib (Vioxx). They also shine on heart disease and myocardial infarction, clearly stating that heavy and expensive bypass surgery doesn't improve survival in many many cases.
Sound prevention is the key and you'll get a truckload of coherent tips.
Bridge two is less convincing, especially when it adresses drugs currently in development. These molecules may deliver what they promise, but there are many lessons to learn from the past... Do you remember those super antibiotics of the 60s and 70s? They were supposed to wipe out infectious disease. Do you remember those mood altering drugs. They should have defeated depression instead of becoming a health problem themselves? Do you remember how interferon would cure many cancers? We don't have any indication that those new drugs will perform better. True, they're interesting. True, we are pumping them out faster than in the past, but I am willing to bet a lot of them will have side effects, will reveal or trigger new mechanisms etc...
Bridge Three is mostly nanotechnology based science fiction. It is, I believe, the weakest part of the book. Hyper effective respirocytes sound like a good deal: they would tremendously boost our athletic abilities... but you'd tear your tendons and muscles as soon as you'd attempt a double efficiency sprint. Multiplying the efficiency by a factor of 100 - these are figures taken from the book - would lead to severe heat dissipation problems. Yes, this probably could be solved by some kind of radiator or sail. Whether you'd be bored enough by eternal life to fall in love with someone looking like a spinosaurus remains to be seen. Likewise, getting rid of the heart and using self-propelled blood cells may sound attractive, but it ignores the role of the heartbeat in growing and strengthening blood vessels. In many cases, the authors miss the forest for the tree.
These shortcomings aside, Fantastic Voyage is an incredibly useful resource. The voyage might not be the promised endless journey, I am willing to bet that Terry Grossman, Ray Kurzweil, you and I will die. But if we follow half of the book's suggestions, I am sure we'll be healthy corpses.
The last virtue of this book is to be thought provoking. One can't help wondering what large scale, well planned, preventive medicine could achieve. Social security budgets would certainly be easier to balance. Also, one can't ignore the cost of the full program: very few people could pay for it today. Ray K. believes that the cost will go down in the near future and/or that computing and data processing power will soon make your own private human genome project a $20 issue. He may be right, but the pharmaceutical industry will definitely milk the fancy drugs it develops for a while, twenty years, possibly more (see the Hatch Waxman Act loopholes in the US, similar legislation elsewhere), add these twenty years to the already long phase 1 through 3 studies and tomorrow suddenly sounds a bit distant. Bridge 2 will not be cheap: if it actually works, it will have huge social implications. But that's beyond the scope of this review...
If you are still there ;-) - thank you, buy the book.
on October 23, 2004
Here is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend to everyone without any hesitation. For those who are interested in attaining and maintaining good health in all its aspects, I would even go so far as to say this book is essential reading and a necessary resource to keep close at hand. If you even entertain the possibility of living forever, then this book is a must for you. The authors are, without a doubt, knowledgeable about the topics of which they write and provide literally hundreds of facts, proposals, insights, suggestions, and recommendations regarding everything from developments in medical nanotechnology and biotechnology to disease prevention, nutrition, food preparation, living a healthful lifestyle, and, in fact, more information than you will assimilate during a first reading.
The authors are well-known within their fields of expertise. Ray Kurzweil, a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and an inductee into the Inventors Hall of Fame, is one of the world's leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists and the author of three previous books on technology. Terry Grossman M.D., the founder and medical director of the Frontier Medical Institute in Denver, Colorado, a leading longevity clinic, is certified in anti-aging medicine and lectures internationally on matters related to longevity and anti-aging strategies. These two experts, one in technology and one in medical science, have joined together to write about how you can "live long enough to live forever."
While I endorse and highly recommend "Fantastic Voyage," the subtitle of the book presents a problem for me. The very idea of "living forever" is a proposition with which I am not entirely comfortable. I am philosophically oriented both by training and by disposition and I have to wrestle with this question: "Is living forever a suitable and desirable goal for any human being?" I believe this is fundamentally an ethical question and at this moment I cannot answer it, at least for myself, because I haven't had time to consider it in depth and in all its possible ramifications. To be frank, I haven't really given any thought to it until reading this book. So now, thanks to the authors, I'll have to explore this problem. But I think it's an important issue to raise and debate, particularly considering that, while we may be able to prolong life indefinitely in a physical sense, there are psychological, sociological, and political factors which must also be considered.
Once we put this matter aside for further thought and discussion, the authors do indeed take us on a fantastic voyage into the world of cutting-edge technology, a place where modern biology, information science, and what is called "nanotechnology" intersect and impact each other. Their discussion of "nanobots" is especially interesting. These are robots, the size of blood cells, built from molecules placed in our bodies and bloodstream to enhance every aspect of our lives. Nanobots, suggest the authors, will even be used for surgery. For example, teams "of millions of nanobots will be able to restructure bones and muscles, destroy unwanted growths such as tumors on a cell-by-cell basis, and clear arteries while restructuring them out of healthy tissue." This especially caught my attention, as one who suffered a heart attack a couple of years ago and had to undergo an emergency angioplasty. If a nanobot could continually keep my arteries clear, I'd be more than happy to let it do so!
But correcting a medical problem after the damage has been done is not the major thrust of this book. I would guess that more than ninety-five percent of "Fantastic Voyage" is devoted to preventing disease, promoting good health, and dealing with the aging process. (I should warn the reader that there is some discussion of chemistry involved here, but I found that one can skip through the various chemical formulas discussed and not miss anything vital to understanding the point being made.) In line with the major thrusts of the book, the authors present "Three Bridges" which are "emerging transformations in technology that will usher in powerful new tools to expand your health and human powers."
The First Bridge is "Ray & Terry's Longevity Program" which includes "present-day therapies and guidance that will enable you to remain healthy long enough to take full advantage of the construction of the Second Bridge." The reader will learn about carbohydrates and the glycemic load, the importance of fat and protein, why the modern diet is out of balance, how to eat nutritionally, why sugar is the "white Satan," the real cause of heart disease and how to prevent it, and much, much more. The Second Bridge is the "Biotechnology Revolution" where "we learn the genetic and protein codes of our biology" and "the means of turning off disease and aging while we turn on our full human potential." The reader will learn about gene expression, somatic gene therapy, recombinant technology, therapeutic cloning, and how human aging can be reversed. The Third Bridge is the "Nanotechnology-Artificial Intelligence Revolution" which will "enable us to rebuild our bodies and brains at the molecular level." The reader will learn about programmable blood, nanopower, nanosurgery, "intelligent" cells, and a lot more.
I could go on and on; I've only scratched the surface of the information provided in this interesting and valuable book. Kurzweil and Grossman are to be commended for making this important information available to the public, written in an easy and understandable style, with recommendations that the reader can implement immediately. At the end of the book they provide a page of resources and contact information and the standard index to topics. More importantly, however, they provide over sixty pages of notes, references, and citations so the reader can consult the primary sources for more detail. I wish more authors would do that.
This is a serious book to be read once and then consulted continuously for its suggestions and recommendations. But, now, the real question: Do I really want to live forever? Well, let me think about that for a few years!
on October 27, 2005
I had previously read the Kurzweill other book "10% fat solution" and was more impressed with that book than with this new one.
It now appears that Kurzweill has possibly been somehow negatively influenced or somewhat possibly brainwashed by Grossman.
This book now has assertion that are highly misleading.
For example: (p.64)
"We are not aware of any adverse reactions reported from the use of stevia"
Yet stevia has been rejected not only by the US FDA but also the canadian equivalent and also the European Union equivalent because of concern about reproductive damage (In animal studies, stevia reduce sperm production and testis weigh when given to males and reduce the number and birth weight of offstrings when given to females).
The authors therefore either want to mislead or are ignorant. Indeed the problem with stevia is a matter of public debate.
I suspect that part was written by Grossman. In his previous book (the baby boomers guide to living forever), he views it as a form of conspiracy of the holder of aspartame and saccharin patent and the sugar industry. Funny because public defense groups such as cspinet.org are impressed that the FDA resisted the powerful industry lobbies (that wanted stevia to be approved) and rejected stevia until safety is better established. Doesn't the authors realise that the soft drink industry would love to have a commodity product such as stevia to replace patented alternative? Didn't he care to know exactly why 3 different pannels of experts rejected it?
Same thing about the glycemic index: selective disclosure of information again. There is no mention that the whole idea is still very theoretical and experimental. Among the facts not disclosed in the book that a reader would have certainly been interested to know is this:
- the glycemic index is calculated using a single food on an empty stomach
- when researchers examined a more common situation, they discovered that adding plain SUGAR (an ultra-high glycemic index food) to a meal did NOT (suprisingly) change the glycemic index of the meal !
On an another subject, it is easy to see the (unfortunate?) influence of Grossman (a "chelation" doctor) over Kurzweill in this: Mr Kuzweill has regular INTRAVENOUS chelation therapy to "detoxify" his body, not on a yearly basis, not every 6 months, but... every WEEK ! 52 intravenous infusions per year is probably more dangerous (risk of septicemia among other) than any possible elusive benefit.
Bottom line: at this time there is no scientific studies (with random assignment of groups) that establish that such extreme program actually improve life expectancy (as opposed to simply beneficially affecting some biochemical markers).
On the positive side for the book, there are highly stimulating and interesting information on the latest research in different medical field that should give hope to many.
on April 26, 2005
Since the time of Nicolas Flamel and the alchemists of old, people who are interested in anti-aging medicine fall in two categories: those who know the truth but who don't talk a lot about it (you find their writings in arcane and specialized peer-reviewed publications) and those who don't know but who write numerous books and find many ways to make your money transmigrate from your pocket to their bank accounts.
At first I was very happy to discover Kurzweil's book, thinking that he has filled a gap and made some interesting but hard-to-interpret informations available to all. And then I went from disappointement to frustration.
It started first with the chapter on alkalinized water. I will not talk about water alkalinizers since other have made enough comments on this topic. However this chapter is very representative of the book, since you can find this kind of over-simplified, misinterpreted informations in other chapters. Let's look at a few examples:
Genetic testing: Kuzweils says that the P53 gene mutation is found in 50% of cancers so he advocates testing for the presence of this mutation in blood samples. Big misinterpretation! The p53 mutation is mutated in 50% of CANCEROUS CELLS, but not in the BLOOD CELLS of people with cancer... Technically speaking, Kurzweil don't understand the difference between a germ-line mutation and a stem-line mutation. This difference is taught early in medical school's genetic classes. Obviously Kurtzweil has not read or don't understand the reference he is giving (Soucci).
DHEA: hormone of youth . Same BS as the alkalinized water. Kurtzweil takes some correct informations, mixes them with some pure speculations and make a kind of very spicy stew of it.
Tea and heart disease. I agree that there is probably a benefit in drinking tea. However Kurtzweil cites the work of Mukamal (Circulation 2002) saying that drinking tea reduces the mortality in patient with heart infarct. But if you read the article written by Mukamal, you'll see that the "tea drinker's" were also leaner and had a better life hygiene than the other's, and Mukamal says that the advantage these people had, was perhaps related to their general condition and not tea. Kurzweil, forgets to notice these restrictions.
The chapters on food, diet and exercise have also some misinformations...
Unhappily I didn't have the time to cross check all the informations in the book (I was expecting Kurzweil to make an accurate summary for me), but I wonder how many other errors there are. That's why I feel frustrated. I was looking for a receipe book that I could follow blindly, and I find myself with something that may be bobby trapped...
Is Kurzweil honest? I believe that he is, but that he has developed a kind of mecena/alchemist relationship with Grossman, the later selling to the former his philosopher's stone. Who know's, maybe in the future, something more interesting will emerge from this, like modern chemistry emerged from alchemistry.
In the meantime, should you throw away this book? Well if you have it, read it as an encouragement, follow the simplest recommendations, always using your good sense (stop smoking, loose weight, change your diet, exercise, ask your doctor). If this book motivates you to change your life style, it will already be a big achievement.
on March 9, 2005
Like many things in life, one has to look at this book with a little bit of skepticism. Did the authors write this book because of their interest in the public's well being? Or would a more logical explaination be that this book is plug for the various products and services Dr. Grossman offers.
As you might not know, Dr. Grossman has a longevity clinic in Denver Colorado. Living in the Denver/Boulder area, I decided to investigate the costs of the two day health screening advocated in the book. The $5000 price tag was enough to make me think twice. You might also want to note that the authors have their own "Ray and Terry's" Brand of supplements that reflect the dosages recommended in the book.
Most of the book was fairly reasonable. I would not dispute the validity of the majority of the information. However, several papers cited in the book were misquoted or twisted in favor of the authors' point of view. "How would I know?" you might ask. It helps if you know the researcher who wrote them. I think this is what many people call psudoscience.
One part of the book is just simply wrong. The authors' advocation of drinking alkaline water is misleading at best. Anyone who has a basic understanding of biology and organic chemistry would have problems swallowing (sorry about the pun!) their auguments. You don't have to take my word for it. Just Google "Ionized Alkaline Water" and you can get several websites that will explain these silly ideas better. One website: [...] is particularly interesting. One closing comment on this issue. The water ionization system recommended is sold by a company in Boulder Colorado. I wonder what link the authors have with this company.
Now I don't want to make it sound like I didn't like that book. It was very well written and easy to follow. Just keep in mind that it flows a bit like a muscle magazine where the information and advertisements seem to blur together. Just don't blindly buy their products just because they are recommended in the book.
This book is extraordinary because Ray Kurzweil is extraordinary. How often can you say that somebody is the real thing, but that's exactly what Kurzweil represents? This man operates on the outer edge of human knowledge. I am reminded years ago of a science fiction writer named Lester Del Rey, a mind so gifted that MIT hooked up a microphone to his neck. Everything he verbalized was recorded because it was felt that he was a hundred years ahead of his time.
People like Kurzweil come along only rarely, and when they do, we are the lucky ones who find out about their existence and can learn from them. This is not to say that Kurzweil is right about everything he says, and thinks. He's not John von Newman, the Hungarian mathematician and advisor to the Manhattan Project during World War II. It was said about von Newman that once he thought about something, and gave an opinion there was no need to think about the subject anymore. He was that thorough in his thought processes.
Forgive my digression, but it's a story you will tell your friends. While von Newman was lecturing one day on mathematics at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, Einstein asked if he could sit in on the lecture. During the lecture, Einstein looks at von Newman and says in German, "Johnny, slow down, I can't keep up with you." Now there's a brain.
What Kurzweil and von Newman have in common is their ability to convey their thinking to the rest of us. Richard Feynmann the physicist was also like this. It is a rare gift among any group of advanced intellectuals when they can take topics, and break them down into language that the layman can deal with. It is a trait that is also vitally necessary if they are to have influence, and in Kurzweil's case, he does have influence.
Kurzweil was given the National Medal of Technology, and is a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Being an entrepreneur, he doesn't want for money, those needs were taken care of by the sale of his inventions, ideas, and companies that he started.
The premise of this book is that our technology is exploding at such a rate that the authors believe that in the next several decades we will have the knowledge via nanotechnology and others that will allow us to live for hundreds of years. His personal objective is to bridge the gap (his words) in time from now, until this new technology becomes available. Kurzweil wants to live FOREVER, don't we all? What about sex though, will we have sex when we are 200 years old, or will we have to be satisfied reading Plato.
When you consider the amount of energy that each of us has that's put into anxiety concerning our future deaths, Kurzweil is really talking about the ultimate revolution, and the freedom from death. It's nice work if you can get it, and certainly will drive classically trained psychoanalysts up a wall, if they have to give up their anxiety in this yet unrealized future.
As for me, I love the book for other reasons. This fabulous author is able to condense the contents of hundreds of books, thousands of articles, and who knows how many scientific relationships. He then takes the sum total of this knowledge bank, and distills it down into a highly readable book considering the material, of almost 400 pages.
If you want to know about your health, and what you can and should be doing about it, than this is the book for you. Kurzweil goes through the vitamins, and the supplements. He tells you the real deal. In my own world of stock investments, and managing billions of dollars for international entities and families, I get to research and study just about anything I want. Kurzweil has followed a parallel track. Where we cross paths, I can see that he really has mastered a wide assortment of topics.
You just aren't going to find this information anywhere else, unless you can make a full-time commitment to do the research yourself, and who can do that. I go to nanotechnology conferences in California, Kurzweil shows up. I go to Futurology conferences in Washington DC, Kurzweil shows up. I attend seminars at the Media Lab at MIT, and sure enough, there's Kurzweil. Does the man sleep; has he already crossed himself with nanotechnology, and the robotics that he swears is coming? All I know is that he's probably living at a rate of three times the rest of us.
Let's look at just a few chapters and you will see how important this book is:
Chapter 9 on "The Problem with sugar and Insulin" is vital if you want to have an understanding of Diabetes which Kurzweil was diagnosed with at a young age, and now states that he has completely eradicated from his body. Half of the American population is pre-diabetic, and you need to have this information to help yourself, and your loved ones.
Chapter 10 is Kurzweil's personal program. His father had a massive heart attack when he was 51, so the author has a direct interest in heart disease. He's had his genes tested, and he goes into remarkable detail as to what exactly he is doing for himself to bridge the distance in time between now, and when these remarkable life-sustaining technologies are going to come into existence. What's beautiful about the book is that you can read it on many levels. You don't have to strive to understand the whole thing. Take what YOU NEED out of this book, and forget the rest. For those that have an interest however, he takes you to depths that you can't imagine going to in any other way.
Chapter 12 on "Inflammation - The Latest Smoking Gun" is once again a gem of a chapter. Half the people who get heart attacks in this country are walking around with normal Cholesterol levels and normal LDL (bad) Cholesterol levels as well. If Cholesterol is so bad, how can this be? Kurzweil takes you through the latest research on Inflammation, where much of the answer may reside. This is complex stuff the man is tackling, and he makes it a JOY TO READ.
Chapter 15 on the "Real Cause of Heart Disease and How to Prevent It" is worth its weight in gold. He tells you in detail exactly where cutting edge medical technology is today and I know from my own work that maybe 2% of the doctors out there are practicing what Kurzweil already knows to be true.
He covers cancer, the power of your brain, hormones and aging. His chapter on exercise is a grand slam homerun. Perhaps only 1% of the books and literature out there ever talks about what evolutionary biology has to teach us about our bodies. Kurzweil covers the topic better than anyone, and it's worth talking about here.
Our ancestors take us back maybe 5 million years. Human beings broke off from other chains several times during that period. Everything we are however has been shaped over that very long biological period of time through random mutations. Now think about it, for five million years, we have basically been hunter-gatherers, necessitating severe body movement. We probably walked, ran 10 miles a day, maybe more. We are in trouble now because our heritage is 10 miles a day of movement, and we are currently fighting each other to get to a parking space closest to the store we want to go to at the mall. This is a SURE-FIRE RECIPE for the breakdown of our bodies. Kurzweil is right; we need to GET MOVING AGAIN.
Read the book; learn from a true genius what you could be doing, what you should be doing to maximize this beautiful gift that nature gave us, our bodies and our minds. Don't hesitate, click the box to order this book, and get excited in anticipation of taking yourself on a journey that may lead to immortality. If it doesn't, at the very least, you will begin to take control of your body. You will be in the driver's seat. You will take back control of your world from a culture that has led us to obesity, and Diabetes. You NEED to read this book.
on September 26, 2006
This is a seminal book. It's amazing what these authors cover in this jam-packed guide to living longer and possibly living forever. Ray Kurzweil if you don't know him is one of the leading scientist/inventors of our time (the synthesizer & more). You may know him from his popular non-fiction book THE AGE OF SPIRITUAL MACHINES --which talks about how smart machines will be by 2020. What I didn't know was his own health challenges-- diabetic etc. And how he hooked up with Dr. Terry Grossman founder of the forward thinking Frontier MEdical Institute in Colorado-- a leading longevity clinic. The umbrella theory of this book is that there are three bridges that could lead you to possible immortality and they include a) present day therapies --what they call Ray & Terry's Longevity Program -- b)Biotech revolution developments -- that will evolve from such things as genetic and protein codes and of how to turn off disease and aging and reach human potential c) Nanotechnology--AI (intelligence revolution) --new tech that will enable us (or those who can afford it at least) the ability to rebuild their bodies and brains eve at the molecular level.
What fascinates and scares me as a reader of this tome-- and believe me it is a BIG book 452 fairly dense pages is that a) immortality may be in reach for an elite group who can afford it b) a great divide between the haves and have-nots may becoming stronger because of biotech advancements. Some elite members of our society or those who have biotech/medical insider contacts may cut corners to achieve some of the results that are becoming possible -- ie organ purchase, stem cell therapy etc.
The book spans 23 chapters and includes a nice epilogue and an extensive resources and contact info section that links up via an online website to complement and hopefully keep updated the info. An extensive notes section is fascinating to read since many of the findings cited in the book are at least for this reader new or covered more indepth than I've seen in the popular press.
Chapter topics go beyond the expected -- and because Terry and Ray talk about their personal and in some cases family health issues the chapters include personal case histories making it more interesting. HOw did Ray beat Diabetes etc. Topics include: food and water -- drink alkaline water -- Ray tells you how/where to get a filter for your water. Eat no sugar, and max 80 carbs a day....very similar in fact to a modified Atkins diet or maybe to the South Beach diet--lots of emphasis on vegies etc.
Balancing fats and proteins is crucial...understanding your digestion system and keeping it from turning into leaky gut syndrome is important.
I loved his chapter 8 -- CHange Your Weight for Live in One Day -- yes -- okay spoiler here -- he says to start eating just the number of calories you need to maintain your ideal weight-- limit the high-glycemic load foods and you'll 'break the vicious cycle'. Makes TOTAL sense.
DANGERS OF BEING OBESE -- scary, scary scary stuff....enough to get you eating properly perhaps and exercising -- walking & weight training.
SUGAR AND INSULIN --per capita consumption of sugar and sugar sweeteners is 150 lbs per year for each American....YUCK...1 in 12 adults has type 2 diabetses....how to find out if you do and how you metabolize sugar etc is included. Lots of emphasis on blood and body testing...
INFLAMATION -- arthritis, Alzheimers, cancer and others-- all evolve from inflamation -- how to test for it and how to DECREASE it.
Methylation -- how important nutritional supplements are to removal of toxins to avoide disease...
GENOMICS -- what do your genes say....how is your heritage-- what you can do about the results and how to compensate.
Detoxification -- clean up toxins -- get rid of the effects of pollution, pesticide, chemicals and heavy metals etc...and your own body's inadequacies.
KEEP YOUR BRAIN POWER -- how to keep your brain active because it represents more than 1/2 of our biological complexity. Nutritional steps, maintaining power of ideas...how to discover the right ideas that can overcome problems and conquer challenges.
Hormone section is kind of kewl...once again both men and women are covered-- menopause and male middle age challenges...Sex Hormones get a whole chapter
Aggressive supplementation -- well Ray is taking 200 supplements a day plus spends a day a week in a lab -- getting intravenous supplements and detox treatments-- a bit too much? Extremist? Maybe but he's being his own guinea pig. Much better than being a couch or mouse potato that's for sure.
POWER OF EXERCISE -- they are big on walking...and having a healthy diet and lifestyle changes aerobic and anaerobic and stretching -- all crucial...
STRESS and BALANC is the last chapter --Animate your life by the four c's challenge, commitment, curiosity and careativity...12 ways to manager stress and achive balance-- and this time no spoilers.
I went out and bought a couple of supplements like sublingual Vitamin B12 and others-- less than $20 at the health store.. Made a schedule for myself to buy some more and actually take them...Trying to cut the carbs-- getting the exercise has to be a top priority....Ray says that you owe it to yourself, your career and your clients (family/workers/colleagues etc) to spend the time on yourself...kind of like keeping the equipment tip top. The book inspires without isolating you for lack of $$ or knowledge...water, water, water, low carbs, exercise...keep brain and body active...have friends...be in touch with family...common sense stuff-- but they provide the checks and balances and things to ask your doctor/medical caretaker etc. BUY IT -- belongs on your desk like a Dictionary of LIVING....
on January 2, 2006
Being a personal trainer as well as a nutritionist, I'm allways looking for new books on health to improve my practice. This book gives any health practitioner enough information to implement a longevity program and to help a client reverse Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes and Heart disease (I specially like this chapter, where the real causes of heart disease are revealed and we understand why so many people die of the disease, even when they suffer state of the art surgery).
I already used this book in my practice with clients who suffered from Metabolic Syndrome. One of them went from a glucose: 157 to 95; Tryglicerides: 220 to 110; HDL: 34 to 51 without any drugs, just the Ray & Terry's recomendations.
If I would have to recomend only one book to a health practitioner, I would recomend fantastic voyage.
on November 12, 2006
Kurzweil and Goodman's book helps the reader approach what can be a very diverse and complicated series of topics centering around personal healthcare. They do not provide a new (read: yet another) super diet, but rather provide a general health-conscious framework composed of a number of practical tips. The result is that the reader is much better informed when making health decisions, and can make choices that work for them.
Some of the options suggested can be rather expensive and time-consuming, such as personal genetic profiling and extensive supplementation. But they explore the reasons behind each suggestion, so the reader may add one or more of the steps to their personal plan as they are able or desire.
Most Americans may not be able to immediately switch to a low carb, low fat diet, and take hundreds of supplements per day. But gaining the knowledge this book provides will allow nearly anyone to formulate a plan by which they can attain as much or as little of this state as they wish.
on October 14, 2005
I love Ray Kurzweil ever since his wonderful tome, "The Age of Spiritual Machines." He is among an elite group which constitutes my favorite edition of philosopher/scientist, the "Futurist." I love to imagine what life will be like in the far future, but also am filled with curiosity as to what will happen in the near future. In this, his latest book, Kurzweil states that we are embarking upon a new revolution in medical science. His book is quite exhaustive and does a good job of distilling much of the latest research into three basic pillars or "bridges" as he calls them.
1. We are now in the process of understanding what supplements are necessary for life extention and what we must eat (how we must eat) in order to live longer.
This is where we are now and I'll not bore you with these particulars.
2. We are about to cross a bridge of wildly new Bio-technology. This will meld genetics with medicine. For decades Doctors understood that certain medicines worked better on some and less well on others. They are now beginning to understand that minor variations in body chemistry (which is largely dictated by our genes) is to blame for this phenomena. Kurzweil states that within 10-15 years, you will have your personal genome sequenced. This will be fed into a computer. When a diagnosis is made, a tailor-made medicine for that particular ailment will be manufactured on-sight (or at your local pharmacy). This will allow for more efficient medicines. Secondly, because of the advances in gene-sequencing, the first truly broad spectrum anti-viral medication will be developed. He states that it took us over 12 years to sequence the genome of the HIV virus, while it took only 30 days to sequence SARS virus (which is why he claims it was contained and a vaccine developed so quickly). Additionally, stem cells will be tailored to your own bodily ailments. For example, say you have a heart condition, you'll take several stem cell injections designed to turn into heart cells over a years time. Over that time, the stem cells will replace your damaged heart cells. Soon, your heart will be that of a 20 year old, even if you have a 80 year old body.
3. The last bridge he talks about is Nano-technology, which is every sci-fi fans dream. He states that nano-tech will arrive fully within 20-30 years. Imagine microscopic machines able to rebuild your cells from the inside out or detect cancer before it can spread. Nano-tech will enable you body to regenerate constantly, daily. It will enable you to regenerate severed limbs within minutes after an accident. What if your brain is damaged? Since you will "upload" your memory patterns into a computer daily for safe keeping, the nano-tech can access the back-up of your memories and download them into your newly repaired brain. Very wild.
My one question is of a psychological nature. If we live forever, will it inhibit growth in ourselves or others? I can see a profound change in my Father (for the better) since his dad died in '99. My Father has grown up, taken on responsibility, increased his self-worth, and seemed to find new meaning in his life. When his Dad was there holding the reigns (and purse strings) he had no reason to move out of a delayed adolescence he had been trapped in for decades. If we live forever, will we just be caught in the same complexes and same emotional triangles forever? Of will an entire new age of psychological/emotional complexity be born?