cover image Young Forever: The Secrets to Living Your Longest, Healthiest Life

Young Forever: The Secrets to Living Your Longest, Healthiest Life

Mark Hyman. Little, Brown Spark, $29 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-45318-9

“Your health span can equal your life span,” contends Hyman (The Pegan Diet), a senior adviser at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, in this competent program. Outlining strategies to maintain good health into one’s later years, Hyman promotes common wisdom about refraining from smoking, getting “75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week,” and maintaining a protein-rich diet. More novel suggestions promise to “reverse biological aging” by harnessing hormesis, a phenomenon in which small stressors “kick your body into high gear to protect itself,” ranging from mild (a 16-hour fast) to more extreme (spending time in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which increases air pressure levels). He digs into the science behind aging and explains that readers should avoid eating sugar because it binds with proteins in human blood and tissue, damaging DNA and shortening telomeres (structures implicated in the aging process located at the ends of chromosomes). Some of the more intense and expensive therapies will be impractical for many (the stem-cell injections Hyman touts are not yet legal in the U.S.), but the detailed exercise, dietary, and supplement regimens will have wider appeal. A few unrealistic remedies aside, this makes for a solid primer on keeping up one’s health in old age. (Feb.)