on February 8, 2012
I got this book after seeing some of the five-star reviews, and watching the author's January 9 pre-publication interview with Connie Chung. I've now read it, and I found it provocative and engaging. The author describes the relevant studies in an easy, conversational manner, and he presents convincing cases for several different life-style changes:
(1) Taking a baby aspirin a day might well save your life.
(2) If you spend a lot of time sitting down on the job, get up every once in a while and walk around. Take the stairs when possible. That could add years to your life.
(3) Frozen fruit is probably better for you than "fresh" fruit. As a result, making smoothies is probably better than juicing.
(4) As the costs of whole genome sequencing come down (and patent issues are resolved), people would be well advised to get their genome read and diagnosed - whether by this author's company or another's. While genes don't tell the whole story, they can be very indicative of preventable problems. And prevention is far preferable to treatment.
(5) Do whatever you can to avoid the release of stress hormones - those can cut your life short too. Obviously stay clear of stressful situations (or develop coping mechanisms); less obviously, try to eat your meals on a regular schedule, and keep a regular sleep schedule.
(6) Do what you can to avoid inflammation generally - inflammation can have long-term effects. Taking a daily aspirin is a good start; getting a regular flu shot might be another.
A bit more controversial are his recommendations regarding statins and nutritional supplements. He says that taking statins when you turn forty will reduce your chances of inflammation and cancer, and he points to studies that suggest that in some cases, taking nutritional supplements can do more harm than good - specifically that taking large amounts of vitamin D or vitamin E has been linked to prostate cancer, and that tumors tend to feed on vitamin C. I see that other reviewers consider these studies biased (apparently they were paid for by pharmaceutical companies), or simply wrong (was the study vitamin D, or its metabolite calcitriol?), but I think the author makes a valuable contribution by bringing them to our attention. If in fact the studies he relies on are flawed, people will come forward with the studies and books that refute them.
I'm giving the book four stars because it taught me some things I didn't know and because I think it makes a real contribution. I'm not giving it the fifth star, because I don't think it's that much better, or that much more of an eye-opener, than any number of health and fitness books I have read. All of them have the same basic message about taking care of the entire organism, yet the author here acts like he's the first one who thought of that. And didn't Aristotle recommend moderation in all things?
On top of that, I'm disturbed by the way this book was marketed, and the route it took to the top of all the best-seller lists. I see from Beowulf's review that all of the big-name reviewers (Al Gore ["dramatic, new way of thinking about our own health"], Lance Armstrong ["tour de force"], Dean Ornish ["brilliant new model of health"], Steve Case ["shatters the myths"], etc.) turn out to be friends or investors of the author's, and that most of the five-star reviews are probably fake. I also recently learned that Connie Chung - whose interview with the author convinced me to buy the book in the first place - is actually the author's mother-in-law (or step-mother-in-law, to be more accurate - he's married to Maury Povich's daughter). I don't think it's fair to customers not to disclose all of these connections, and I'm concerned that all of these undisclosed connections have contributed disproportionately to the popularity of this book.
on January 22, 2012
For once, I fell for the hype surrounding a book but after reading "The End of Illness" I realized I should have stuck with my original plan to check it out from my library. There is absolutely nothing groundbreaking or particularly significant about anything contained in this book. So why give it three stars? It does contain basic, medically supported info that some older person who has had no tv, no internet, no newspaper, and no radio access for the last 30 years and refuses to go to the doctor or listen to his doctor would need to know. As for the rest of us, all this book does is confirm what you already knew or suspected.
I am assuming though that you're interested in this book because you want to: (a) avoid an illness, particularly a life threatening illness or (b) you already have an illness and think this book will give suggestions on how to improve your life and get control of your illness. Learning about new advances in medicine which may or may not lead to anything that will help you during your lifetime is just a bonus but not high on your list of priorities. To be truthful, even if you read the book for that last purpose, you'd still be disappointed. I'm one of those unlucky people who was diagnosed with a chronic illness at the tender age of 13. Before then, nothing major happened in my life to kick start the illness - no drug use, no past illnesses/accidents, no lack of exercise, no atrocious diet, no lack of sleep habits, not a genetic disease. Sometimes $%&@ happens. As a mid 30s person, I'm pretty well versed in health matters but not an expert by far. I suspect many people my age and slightly older already know about the "tools" Dr. Agus "details" in this book and probably have been using them for years. It's the same "tools" you can learn about in any of the pithy little "Live to be 100" yahoo health articles the site spouts off every few weeks - and today.
Since the table of contents is available, I don't think I'd be breaking any rules or providing any spoilers by mentioning these tools:
(1) Don't believe every health study that comes out (duh)
(2) Taking vitamins is not as good as eating healthy food (duh)
(3) Try to avoid or lessen inflammation in the body (big Duh) - doesn't really tell you how except to get flu shots and wear comfortable clothes. Basically anytime you injure yourself or get sick there is inflammation. Not really a way to avoid all that esp. if you were a rambunctious kid since apparently things that happened to you as a kid can have a long lasting effect on your health today. From the anecdotes he tells in this section, I think Monk would be the only person capable of pulling this suggestion off successfully from birth to death. Even so, he could still get an illness because $%#@ Happens!
(4) Exercise (really?!)
(5) Keep a regular schedule for eating, sleeping, exercising (you don't say)
(6) Overall theme, keep track of how you are health-wise. Find out what's normal for you (done and done)
Rest of the book is filler on historical discoveries you learned in high school and hopes for the future, particularly with proteomics. He does seem to have a love affair with statins. Not being in the age range or having the type of illness to require these meds, I have absolutely no opinion on that.
There were only two things I took away from this book - that it's better to exercise in spurts than all at once (read about that earlier somewhere but it doesn't hurt to reinforce it) and you may want to get a DNA test to show your susceptibility to certain illnesses .... tests which coincidentally are offered by a company co-founded by Dr. Agus. Imagine that. Regardless, it does sound helpful esp. the ability to tell which drugs will work best for you. My doctor would probably say it's a waste of time and money but I'll make that decision after further research.
That's the book in a nutshell. He could have just written that in a two page internet article but I guess it wouldn't get much attention or money. Oh, and although the book is called "The End of Illness," it of course does not say a thing about "ending" illness now or in the future. A more truthful title would be "The Possible Downgrading of Terminal Diseases and Chronic Diseases that Substantially Lower Your Quality of Life into Easily Manageable Minor Diseases that You'll Still Suffer From But Will Have Better Control Over than Previous Generations." Reminds me of the Chris Rock joke where he says doctors will never cure AIDS but they'll make it manageable so all you have to do is take a pill everyday. The money's in the medicine. Not the cure. Prevention is the biggest weapon we have but you don't need this book to tell you that.
on February 12, 2012
This book may have some good points regarding lifestyle choices, but in my field of expertise, vitamin D, misses the mark by a wide margin. Vitamin D is a natural compound that humans have required forever. Thus, much of what we know about the roles of vitamin D come from ecological (geographical or seasonal) and observational studies. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have provided very good evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of cancer, hip fractures, type A influenza, pneumonia, increase survival after diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, and reduce all-cause mortality rate. A recent RCT found that pregnant and nursing women need at least 4000 IU/d and that there are no adverse effects. The reasons why there are not more successful randomized controlled trials with vitamin D reported are several: most studies used only 400 IU/d vitamin D, the benefical effects of vitamin D for many types of disease have been identified in the past few years, there are many sources of vitamin D such as food, supplements and solar UVB, and there is considerable person-to-person variability in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D with respect to oral vitamin D intake. The author dismisses the benefit of vitamin D for reducing the risk of cancer based in part on a 2008 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report. The authors of that report were primarily dermatologists who consider their mission in life to keep people out of the sun in order to prevent melanoma and skin cancer. This report has been shown to be highly biased. The author also suggests that cancer rates are higher at high latitudes due perhaps to genomic effects. This idea is incorrect based on a comparison of cancer rates in Nordic countries based on occupation: those with outdoor occupations have reduced risk of 17 types of cancer compared to those with indoor occupations. The measure of UV exposure was lip cancer for males, so the finding is not related to exercise, obesity, or smoking.
As for the basic recommendations listed on the dust jacket, aspirin, statins, and annual flu shot, they have serious problems. About 5% of those taking aspirin suffer GI tract bleeding, leading to many unnecessary deaths. One of the important effects of statins is to enhance the effects of vitamin D, so why not just take vitamin D. As for flu shots, the evidence that they are effective is limited (see who sponsored the study and ask why influenza mortality rates fail to show much effect of vaccine use), and there are two RCTs showing that vitamin D greatly reduces the risk of type A influenza.
The reason Big Pharma does not like vitamin D is that it is very inexpensive and very effective at reducing risk of many types of disease. The tradeoff between protection against UV damage and vitamin D production is the reason why skin pigmentation varies from very dark in the tropical plains and very pale in northern Europe.
For more information on vitamin D, go to [...], [...]t, [...]and do your own search at [...]
on September 7, 2013
Other 1 star reviews have provided the details. I'll add my reaction, and then some. Dr. Agus is a allopathic physician who may be in the beginning stages of recovery from the mainstream delusion that conventional medicine is health care. It's not, it's sick care. Allopaths are not healers, but disease managers. He talks about a new model of personalized medicine, but uses it to market his Proteomic test. Personalized medicine has been with us for over a century.
Naturopaths have always practiced personalized care. They had to, because of the lack of standardized interventions, which is the hallmark of depersonalized conventional statistical medicine. Most allopaths suffer from a condition of indoctrinated ignorance regarding toxicology and nutrition. Everything is either drugged, cut, or burned. This ignorance is the only condition that fits the label, idiopathic--the doctor's an idiot, and it's pathetic.
Agus pushes statins for their anti-inflammatory effect. Why not boswellia and curcumin? He never mentions that statins can produce a drug-induced mitochondropathy from CoQ10 deficiency. How many MDs prescribing their diabetic patients statins assume that the peripheral neuropathy is due to the diabetic disease process rather than the glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity and apoptosis secondary to insufficient cellular respiration to maintain resting neuronal membrane potentials--all from stain-induced CoQ10 defiency? I'll bet he doesn't know that statins also inhibit vitamin K2 synthesis--an important cofactor in matrix Gla-protein activation, which protects arteries from calcification. Without sufficient K2, calcium from the diet or supplements ends up in the coronary arteries instead of bone. Statins also inhibit glutathione peroxidase, causing increased oxidative stress and risk of cardiomyopathy and heart failure. (See Okuyama H, Langsjoen P, Hamazaki T, Ogushi Y, Hama R, Kobayashi T, Uchino H. Statins Simulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology. March, 2015: 8(2):189-199.) While statins are proven to lower total cholesterol, lowering cholesterol has not been proven to improve the outcome of heart disease. In my opinion, they cause more harm than good, and are all too often prescribed without a trial of diet and exercise.
There is a lot of contradiction in the book as well. Agus denigrates supplements for not being standardized, but then goes on to cite studies that show supplements don't work. All those studies--particularly pooled studies in systematic reviews and meta-analyses are meaningless unless they all test the equivalent product. Besides testing a single nutrient is not complex systems science, but reductionism all over again. Supplements do vary in quality--so do generic pharmaceuticals, I might add--so it is important to use a high quality standarized nutriceutical whenever possible.
Agus makes a case for getting all your nutrition from whole foods. But personalized medicine has to account for variations in nutritional needs based on single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Food alone may prevent obvious deficiency diseases, but may not supply enough to optimize one's functioning. Biochemical individuality in some cases necessitates high doses of critical nutrients to overcome sluggish enzymes for normal metabolism.
Food first, then supplement. At times, Agus seems to denigrate supplements as if they were "substitutes."
Agus stresses regularity in all things--time for eating, sleeping, etc. Does he live in the real world? Do his patients really comply with this recommendation? Not everyone is in a position to dictate their hours of work and leisure.
I read the entire book during a round trip flight coast to coast. It is an easy quick read, but disappointing. On the back dust cover, one reviewer called it a "brilliant book." Is he kidding? I give it a 5 watt incadescent bulb rating.
The future of healthcare does not lie with technology. Rather, it depends on whether or not we can reverse the corporate takeover of our government, and stop the poisoning of our environment and our food and water supply. Pharmaceuticals are for sick-care, not health-care. Lifestyle medicine should be the first intervention for chronic complex diseases. If you eat primarily corporate food, you will suffer and die gradually.
The End of Illness, by David B. Agus, M.D., is a book that describes in great detail the amazing complexity of the human body and what is happening to it when it begins to change, specifically with regard to illnesses such as cancer. Dr. Agus is an oncologist with an exciting, if not revolutionary, outlook on the future of how we treat, or actually prevent, such diseases. And although he is an oncologist, this is not just a book about cancer. It relates to all health issues we face.
While we have made great progress in combating death from other diseases, he is disappointed in the progress the medical profession has made in the fight against cancer and wonders if our way of looking at cancer is keeping us from curing it. We need to look at cancer as a "system."
Our goal should be to prolong our life and to make it a better one. To do so, we need to understand that steps can be taken to stop illness before it strikes rather than dealing with it after the fact. He likens it to going to war in order to understand peace. It is better to never have to go to war than to win the war. In other words, it is better to prevent the disease than to have to fight it.
Dr. Agus wants to empower us to take control of our bodies and the future of our health. He gives us a checklist to help us "get to know ourselves" and how we are feeling and explains ways in which we can, and should, become more involved in our own health care.
Health is a system of checks and balances, and each person's system is different. He gives advice on steps to take to understand your personal body and health, some suggestions on tests to take and how to be more involved in the process of keeping track of what is going on in your body. It is important to work in partnership with your doctor.
Since the main focus of the book is cancer, it is interesting to note that while many diseases can be attributed to external causes, cancer is the "sleeping giant" that lies within each of us, not a "germ" that attacks us from outside. He suggests that we are ultimately responsible for controlling whether or not this giant wakes up. I always wondered if cancer was a modern illness caused by something new we were exposed to. The author answered that by explaining that there is evidence that people had cancer at least 2,000 years B.C. Cancer isn't just a particular thing...it is a failure of a system, the communication between your cells that causes some to be destroyed. Like other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, cancer isn't something the body "has" or "gets"; it's something that the body does.
Again, Dr. Agus puts great emphasis on ways in which we can be effective in our own health care. He explains why it is helpful to have a family health history, a genetic profile, in order to understand what risk factors you have. He also points out the fact that this is not necessarily your destiny, that you can "shift your fate" armed with these tools.
The author emphasizes the importance of not being quick to believe every headline with regard to health issues, such as vitamin supplements. He encourages thorough research and study of data. He devotes an entire chapter to the controversy over the vitamin D supplement. Even in the case of this doctor's data, you need to read it and decide for yourself. He then goes on in the next chapter discussing other vitamin supplements, gives data on the research that has been done, and will explain why he feels the "hype" over vitamins is overrated. He considers them to be shortcuts that are only necessary under certain conditions.
Dr. Agus covers "fresh" vs frozen fruits and vegetables, the popularity of juicing (and why you might want to avoid it), what fish to eat, wine, and how to eat for a healthy "gut." He discusses other areas that affect our health such as exercise, keeping a daily routine, and the importance of good sleep. The difference between this book and others, however, is that he breaks it down into such detail that you will thoroughly understand why and how to apply this to your life. Another great chapter. Yes, this information can be found in other health books, but not explained so thoroughly and in such depth.
The chapter on inflammation is profound. I had read some on this issue, but I never really understood the different areas of our lives that contribute to it (internal and external) or how detrimental it could be to our health. We're talking inflammation from obesity, external trauma, and even the flu. This is a very informative chapter, one you will want to share with others.
The author writes a chapter discussing the work being done at the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine at the USC and Applied Proteomics. This is the company he, along with Danny Hillis, cofounded. The work involves "trying to find the key to understanding all of our body's proteins and how they work together to create the language our bodies speak, which ultimately translates the dialogue of our health." Yes, this chapter is a bit over my head, but I do understand that the goal here is personalized medicine and how in the future it will change the way we are individually being treated; or more importantly, how it will help us to prevent needing to be treated.
Towards the end of the book, Dr. Agus gives advice in which he explains the reason we need to reevaluate the medications we take on a regular basis, keep track of our health issues and how they may be changing, keep up on new technologies and how they may apply to your life. The author is excited about new technology on the horizon that will virtually change health care in the near future. He encourages us to be willing to share medical information so that it can be used, via technology, to increase researchers' knowledge, add to the databases.
In conclusion, I would say this book is about preventive medicine, living a healthy life, rather than waiting to diagnose where we have gone wrong. Illness is largely preventable. Guide your body back to a healthy state, as he puts it, whereby your system will allow you to function on all cylinders and enjoy a high quality of life.
on April 6, 2012
I do like the summary of interesting data in this book, and his rationale seems reasonable. I am skeptical that most of this, or any other, health recommendations will stand the test of time. I certainly agree with one of the main ideas of the book: we don't know what we are doing, but lots of people imply that they have some special insight...
Here is the summary:
- Take statins and aspirin
- Do not take vitamins and other supplements
- Be honest with yourself and your Dr.
- Track and share your health info
- Eat real food, mostly plants (from In Defense of Food)
- We don't really know what we are doing for the most part, so trust your body
- Drink a glass of wine, but not too close to sleep or it will hinder your sleep cycle and growth hormone release
- Think positive
- Early detection is best
- Sometimes doing nothing is the best, most effective option
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Don't sit for too long
on June 27, 2013
I was interested in reading this book because the author was speaking in our community and was made out to be very enlightening.
I read the first 43 pages and learned that I was about to learn some very new and useful information. Still, the second paragraph of chapter two states, "In the upcoming chapters, I'll help you to... I'm going to bust a few of these ideas and show you a different way... For now, however,....." The anticipation for the miraculous information was growing...but I now was wondering if the author would ever get to some of that information.
On page 71 the author tells us that he started a genetic screening company, and on page 73 he recommends we all get our DNA tested.
On page 85 Agus tells us that statins and biphosphonates are wonderful drugs that we should strongly consider taking because they have such remarkable health benefits. Here I read on interestedly, waiting to see what he had to say about the many adverse effects these same drugs have on so many people. I finished the chapter (page 95) and, no, nothing was said about adverse effects.
Although I nearly never put a book down unfinished, I just could not bring myself to waste any more time on this one. After 95 pages, I have not learned anything I didn't know, and it seemed that the author was intentionally misleading his readers by cherry-picking the information he discussed.
What I've learned so far from this book was that everyone should focus a considerable amount of time and effort on testing for and preventing possible health problems. This may be a good plan, or it may take away from simply living life responsibly and enjoying it - not focusing huge chunks of life trying to prevent death.
It is possible that if one persists in finishing this book there may be some value to it. I just didn't have the patience to find out.
on February 5, 2012
Agus is profoundly ignorant of the decades of research on vitamins and nutrition. This is typical of most MDs, since they receive their ideological brainwashing (i.e. "education") courtesy of the drug industry.
Agus singles out vitamin D for particularly harsh commentary. He says he does this simply because the case of Vitamin D is illustrative. It is not. Unlike many other vitamins, vitamin D has received serious research attention only in the last 5-6 years. The randomized controlled trials testing adequate dosages (e.g. 3000-5000IU) have not been finished yet (but will be soon). Some RCTs of vitamin D have shown great results (e.g. on influenza), but Agus doesnt like to mention those! Also, the clinical reports, biochemical studies and correlative studies create a strong (but circumstantial) case for safety and effectiveness of vitamin D.
Agus referred to a study on "vitamin D" and prostate cancer that had bad results (an increased risk of death for the experimental group. Agus used this study to argue that vitamin D may be dangerous. But the chemical used in that study was NOT vitamin D! It was CALCITRIOL. This is an "Active", downstream metabolite of vitamin D, and has very different effects from true vitamin D. True vitamin D obtained from sunlight and foods is CHOLECALCIFEROL, which is very different from calcitriol. See the vitamin D metabolic pathway on the Wikipedia Vitamin D entry-calcitriol is but one of many products of cholecalciferol: [...]. It is expected that taking CALCITRIOL can be hazardous, since it is extremely potent, and not produced by UVB or found in the diet. Calcitriol is an extremely potent hormone made in the body from vitamin D/cholecalciferol. This is a good example of how Argus is profoundly ignorant. He wasnt even talking about the same molecule that people take as a supplement! All Argus had to do to realize his mistake was look at the Wikipedia entry on vitamin D. CALCITRIOL IS NOT VITAMIN D.
What Agus claims are large doses of vitamin D (e.g. 1000IU), are not. These are physiological doses, obtained from mild sun exposure, and far less than what animals, humans and human ancestors produced in the skin from sun exposure. Humans today in modern society have far lower vitamin D levels (e.g. 20-25 ng/mL) than primitive cultures living as humans did during evolution of the human species (typically about 50 ng/mL). This is due to 1) lower sun exposure, 2) ridiculously overzealous marketing of sunscreens, and 3) factory farming (factory farmed animals have lower vitamin D levels in their flesh because they dont get any sun). About 15-30 minutes of intense sun exposure will produce about 10,000-20,000IU of vitamin D in a human. So Mr Agus, please explain to me why taking 5000 IU daily is so scary? 5000IU in just about everyone will produce AT MOST a vitamin D blood level of about 50 ng/mL. These facts suggest that supplementation is a good idea. Modern people are often severely deficient, and supplements merely restore equilibrium vitamin D levels that naturally result from natural levels of UV exposure and vitamin D consumption.
Agus also argues that if vitamin D was so great (in treating cancer), we would know about it already. This is just a ridiculous "end of science" type argument. This attitude is completely contrary to the scientific method, ignores the fact that vitamin D research is in its infancy, and ignores the difficulty of establishing cause-effect in medicine. Vitamin D science is not at an end; there are many new discoveries to be made about vitamin D. Moreover, by making this argument, Agus contradicts himself. Agus simultaneously argues 1) that its very difficult to draw firm conclusions of medical research (since correlations and associations are often spurious-which is true), and 2) that it should be obvious already if vitamin D affects cancer. This is intellectually dishonest and complete nonsense. The high quality RCTs on vitamin D and cancer have not been completed yet. Good quality scientific research is always necessary to determine what is true in medicine. The circumstantial evidence on vitamin D is strong, but we now need good RCTs using appropriate doses to know the truth with confidence. In the meantime, I think is very reasonable and wise to take vitamin D supplements to achieve blood levels associated with good health outcomes and natural (UV-rich) lifestyles.
Agus also bashes vitamins generally, pointing to studies done on multivitamins. But here, too, Agus demonstrates his lack of expertise on the subject of nutrition. Mass-market multivitamins almost always contain the wrong forms of vitamins, in the wrong doses. A perfect example is synthetic "vitamin E", which is not really vitamin E. Synthetic "pseudo-vitamin E" is the form used in the studies that get the horrible results. Pseudo-vitamin E is a biochemical disaster-it contains a collection of 8 stereoisomers that are different from what occurs naturally, and these unnatural mutated vitamin E-like molecules interfere with normal vitamin E metabolism. I have never seen a large RCT of natural, full-spectrum vitamin E, containing all 8 natural forms of the vitamin. Every single vitamin E study to date has used synthetic pseudo-vitamin E, or terribly imbalanced doses of 1 of the 8 natural forms. The research on natural vitamin E shows that it is very beneficial for a number of indications.
Agus claims that vitamins are drugs. They are NOT. Vitamins are food. They are naturally present in foods and human biochemistry and metabolic pathways. Every legal and academic definition of "drug" excludes food from its scope. The FD&C act for example specifically excludes foods from the definition of drugs.
Agus also argues that vitamins and nutrients should be regulated as drugs, like in europe. This is a horrible idea that should be vigorously opposed by everyone that values their freedom. Banning vitamins would be a drug-industry dream-come-true. The drug companies know that vitamins are safe and effective and a threat to their dishonest business model. The drug industry wants to make vitamins illegal so that unwitting consumers have no other healthcare choices. The drug industry is the main proponent for making vitamins illegal. The best way to make money is to bribe the government to outlaw the competition!
Agus is obviously a brainwashed shill for the greedy, dishonest, and outright criminal drug industry. His promotion of the dangerous and ineffective statin drugs is shameless and disgusting. There are many safe and effective NATURAL supplements (e.g. polyphenolics, turmeric, omega3 fatty acids) for reducing inflammation without the dangers, side effects or expense of statin drugs.
The advice in this book will do nothing but create more chronically ill customers for the drug industry. Of course, thats exactly what the drug industry wants.
What a terrible book.
on January 18, 2012
I was excited to hear about this book on the evening news. I bought the kindle version and started reading. I thought Dr. Agus was going to focus on current findings of the benefits of good nutrition and less dependence on doctors prescribing magic bullets for our ailments. I have been fascinated by this subject after my own personal health improvements from changing the way I fuel my body. Using more farm foods and less factory foods has given me unbelievable energy in mind and body. My annual blood tests have all come into normal range without the use of statins! Dr. Agus says in this book anyone over the age of forty should take statins -this, to me, sums up the problem with the current medical field. The magic bullet. His "new" view on illness is give yourself a pill (and have it be a statin no matter what), eat whatever you want (as Agus says nutrition does not play a role in disease, that it's only by chance we get sick) and you will be on your way to the end of illness. I am so thankful that my small town doctor recommended I first try lowering my cholesterol by what I eat, not with a statin! Sure enough i lost 10lbs, my numbers are in the normal range, I have energy, no more dry, itchy skin and clarity of mind. I feel better now in my forties than I did in my 30's. I am thankful that my generation is catching on to the problems with doctors prescribing magic bullets before underlying causes are determined which many times can be cured by eating nutrition dense food and exercise....simple! I believe those who have cancer need experts in the field and think medicine and science can be beneficial when there are no other options. There is no reason to prescribe perfectly healthy forty year olds statins! After Agus' blind statin prescription I could not read further. Save you money on this book and instead go take a nice walk outside :-).
on February 28, 2012
This book was a complete let down. I decided to buy it after watching an interview with the author in which he made some excellent points. However, it turns out those were his ONLY points and there's not much more to be gained from this book.
There's nothing new or intriguing here. The author raises a few questions to which he has no credible answers, besides: take baby aspirin, statins and get flu shots to prevent illness.
I'm sorry, but I cannot believe that the reason chronic disease is on the rise is because there is a deficiency in statins and flu shots.
Then, he takes on the entire supplement industry using selective studies, most of them funded by pharmaceutical companies. We all know that if you look for something specific in a study, you will probably find it, while suppressing all information that might not serve your goals (studies on smoking in the 50's anyone?)
Then he moves on to inform us that inflammation is behind most chronic diseases (as if it were a novel idea, holistic medicine has known this for decades!) but has no real solutions to offer except take statins if you're over 40 and wear sneakers. Really? That's it? What about putting stress under control, learning to relax, avoid environmental hazards, toxins, refined carbs, etc etc, all of which cause inflammation in the body? Oh, wait, there's no money to be made from that if you're in the medical business.
When it comes to nutrition, he offers some basic guidelines, like eat your veggies but make sure they're really fresh, if not buy frozen. No word on the devastating effects of daily consumption of refined carbs (sugar, white flour etc.)
There's a lot of contradictions in this book. When it comes to supplements, he tells us that there's no pill that will do the trick for you, and in the next chapter he tells us to take statins and aspirin for life.
I should have read his credentials before buying this book. Then I would have known that he is too far lost into the medical establishment to ever have a creative, alternative or even provoking thought .