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Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying) Hardcover – February 17, 2015
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-Christopher McDougall, New York Times bestselling author of Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes
"Spring Chicken is a masterful exploration of the fantasy and fact surrounding one of the most fundamental questions of humankind: why do we age?"
-David Perlmutter, MD, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar-Your Brain's Silent Killers
"Spring Chicken is an utterly marvelous book - a guided tour of a fantastic, counterintuitive landscape (that happens to be your body), and also a whip-smart guide to living a longer and healthier life. With this book, Bill Gifford joins the ranks of Mary Roach and Bill Bryson as a science writer supreme, illuminating our world in a page-turning style that is as entertaining as it is enlightening."
-Daniel Coyle, New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code
"Bill Gifford's terrific Spring Chicken gives us a riveting account of the most important change of the last century-the doubling of our lifespans-and an intimate vision of what it will take to not only keep that trend going, but keep ourselves healthy and vibrant as we age."
-Steven Johnson, New York Times bestseller of How We Got to Now
"Gifford skillfully navigates the many strands of aging research to create an entertaining narrative of the perils of getting old."
"An enlightening book-and a terrific read."
-The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
While "Being Mortal" explored the ethics and sociology of aging, Spring Chicken explores the science behind the anti-aging movement as well as the general science and changing beliefs behind the mechanisms of aging and how they might be counteracted or mitigated.
There are a lot of details, but the author's engaging tone makes this book an enjoyable read, despite the plethora of information. The changing attitudes and information add a historical perspective. As the author quotes, science evolves "one funeral at a time."
Ultimately, as I heard the author comment in an NPR interview, he himself found that the only aspects of anti-aging medicine he could implement was to exercise more, eat slightly differently and skip a meal or two. And yet, by presenting excellent information to rebut the anti-aging supplement use, this minimalist approach appears to be more realistic and far safer than buying the supplements hawked by the anti-aging celebrities he profiles.
Some of my patients have fallen into the clutches of "anti-aging" physicians, with off label drug use, and now I have the information they and I need to carefully evaluate the risks and questionable benefits.
An engaging, entertaining and informative book.
What he finds is nothing definitive. For every patent medicine, anti-aging theory, superfood or supplement, there is a glaring lack of proof, reproducibility, or scientific basis. The current obsession with antioxidants is typical. In laboratory tests, antioxidants actually shorten the lives of animals. Free radicals may be destructive, but they are absolutely necessary to a healthy body. Oxidative stress actually spurs the body to respond and keep it vibrant. Eliminating all oxidative stress and filling up on antioxidants is a recipe for early death. Human growth factor injections are also demonstrably life shorteners. Testosterone injections, dog and bull testosterone are not the key to a longer, healthier life. They are instead the patent medicines of the 21st century, shilled by purveyors who claim to be living proof of their efficacy, just like the carnival barkers who preceded them. Unfortunately, no one and nothing else responds to them as advertised. The current rage is young blood. The thinking is that injecting blood from the young rejuvenates old brains and old muscles. Isolating and manufacturing whatever molecule is responsible is the new holy grail.
At bottom, we don’t know how the various components of our systems interact or even what their roles are. We extrapolate and assume, and it amounts to nothing, or worse.Read more ›
Guys like me--pushing 60 and can't quite believe it--will find a motherlode of useful information. But, like retirement planning, people in their 20s and 30s who want life's ride to be longer, smoother, and more fun, should get in early and read it too. My teenagers are getting copies for their next birthdays. Someday they'll thank me. Maybe I'll even be around to hear it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Last year, I loved Lauren Kessler’s book “Counterclockwise,” which was the saga of one woman’s attempt to do whatever was necessary in order to turn back the clock and “become”... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Marilyn Murray Willison
Great book. Would recommend to anyone interested in being healthy.Published 2 months ago by John Ramunas
Interesting book about what will be one of the key issues of the next 15-20 years. Great overview of where the field is at now.Published 2 months ago by Bill Pottle
Very entertaining and informative. Don't look for the fountain of youth here but a must read if you are trying to find it.Published 3 months ago by NateinTn
I loaned mine out after reading it. Told him I wanted it back in 2 weeks. It is now a month! Sent a copy to my son, he could not put it down. Read morePublished 4 months ago by phyllis baker
I really liked this book. It was a fast read with many interesting and insightful ideas. I have no desire to live forever, but thanks to Bill Gifford, I may be able to age more... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Love to Read