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The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer Hardcover – January 3, 2017
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"Blackburn and Epel demonstrate that how we live each day has a profound effect not just on our health and well-being, but how we age, as well. It's a manual for how to live younger and longer."―
"A classic. One of the most exciting health books to emerge in the last decade. It explains how we can slow the way we age at a fundamental level."―
"THE TELOMERE EFFECT explains the often-invisible things that affect all of our lives, helping us make better choices individually and socially for greater health and longevity. It will change the way we think of aging and disease."―David Kessler, MD, JD, former FDA commissioner and New York Times bestselling author of The End of Overeating
"A revolutionary set of findings-with a wealth of science-based suggestions-that can transform the way we live our lives, shaping the very health of our cells by how we use our minds."―Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Brainstorm
"This book is revolutionary, transforming the way our world thinks about health and living well, disease, and death. It reveals a stunning picture of healthy aging-it's not simply about individuals, it's about how we are connected to each other, today and through future generations. It is hard to overstate this book's importance."―Dean Ornish, MD, founder and president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, and New York Times bestselling author of The Spectrum
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While we were each dealt a particular genetic hand at birth, there are still ways we can enhance and prolong our healthspans. Some we already know about, such as diet and exercise. And it's not too late to start. The book demonstrates how changes in eating and physical activity can slow down or even reverse the aging trajectory. The authors include lots of examples and tips to help make these changes.
Of equal, if not more importance, is the psychological component--the management of stress. The authors make a compelling case that telomere health can be greatly affected by relaxation, meditation, and other stress reduction techniques, truly a mind over matter phenomenon.
Written simply and eloquently in language that even a liberal art major can comprehend, this is the most "understandable" science book I've ever read. It's also very empowering, because we are convincingly shown how our active choices can promote a longer and healthier life, rather than passive acquiescence in the aging process.
The thrust of the book is to document all the various positive and negative factors that have been identified that impact telomeric attrition rate. As might be expected, general guidelines on healthy living seem to be concordant with healthy telomeres. Stress, lack of exercise, poor diets, all impact our telomeres in the expected manner. In addition, individuals who appear to be aging a bit more gracefully also appear to display healthier, meaning longer telomeres.
While the general advice is credible and uncontroversial, there are two salient issues. The first is that a cause and effect have not been demonstrated. In other words, there is no way to discern if unhealthy practices are negatively affecting telomeres and then bad health outcomes ensue as a result or if bad health practices create bad health outcomes which merely includes telomere attrition as just another consequence. In other words, the question of whether telomere attrition is an actual contributor to bad health and poor aging or simply a "tombstone" representative of the cumulative negative processes remains unanswered. Secondly, there is nothing original or unique to telomeres in any of the advice or guidance provided. All of the sensible advice could be proffered without any mention of telomeres and can be found in other offerings of similar healthy living self help books.