David Sinclair, Matthew D. LaPlante: Lifespan (2019, Atria Books) 4 stars

Review of 'Lifespan' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

An optimistic look at the future of aging, longevity, and healthcare.

The part most are probably reading for—how to live healthier and age slower—could be condensed down to a page or an article. But the rest of the book was mostly interesting and relevant too. I really enjoyed the author’s broad look at the healthcare industry.

Much of the advice is in line with Dan Buettner’s blue zone longevity habits, which are brought up in the book. Most healthy habits discussed will be things you already know or have heard about (diet, fasting, saunas, cryotherapy, etc), but hearing a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School gush about them while citing promising tests and studies is reassuring. He also discloses his own routines near the end.

The book's sections:

1. A history of longevity/aging science and progress. This is a mix of exciting sentences like "There is no biological law that says we must age” and very technical discussions about yeast and rats.

2. How to combat aging. Aside from taking care of ourselves better, many methods involve activating our survival circuits or longevity genes in different ways. This is where stuff like fasting and extreme temperatures come in. Actionable directives aren’t summarized anywhere, so you have to note down bits of advice spread across many chapters.

3. The future of healthcare. What's improving, what’s not, and what’s coming soon. He covers a ton of bases: who keeps our smartwatch health data, self-driving cars saving lives but reducing organ donors, animal organ transplants, gene sequencing and storage, lots of early/preventative care becoming standard, and at-home testing and consultations with your physician online.

4. All of the moral, political, and economic issues that come with people not dying. Overpopulation, labor market, retirement, etc.