Does the fountain of youth exist? Is there any real way to stop the clock from ticking and live a life of youth? Unfortunately the very author of the book that we are going to review today will be the first to tell you that there is NO such thing as an elixir that will make you live forever.
Here’s the Author (anti-aging speaks for itself):Follow @AboutLifting
David Mangan is undoubtedly on of my favorite authors in the sphere of wellness. He NEVER writes anything without reviewing any studies regarding the case. Here we are going to do our very own review of his book Stop the Clock – The Optimal Anti-aging Strategy.Follow @AboutLifting
I got the opportunity to read the whole 99 pages of the book recently and here I will tell you what I think. Does it really live up to its promise of delivering clear actionable plan which would extend one’s life (possibly)? Or is it just another one of those pseudo-marketing hypes from unknown authors who spam your email every day?
Here’s a short excerpt of the first part of the book:
In this book, we’ll discuss the best strategy that is currently available for slowing and even reversing the aging process. This strategy requires nothing expensive – in fact, if so inclined, you could implement it at no cost whatsoever.
The strategy, while in theory and in practice is simple enough, is backed solidly by science. No wild claims will be made here, and no sales pitches made for some kind of magic potion or hormone that will cure all your ills and make you live to 120, because no such potion exists.
Humans have been concerned with preventing or slowing down aging ever since they understood what it means to get old. From the quest for the Fountain of Youth to modern-day quack treatments, men stumbled their way trying to find something, anything that would restore to them a measure of youth. In the first years of the 16th century, one man, Luigi Cornaro, made a major discovery in anti-aging medicine, and although he applied his discovery successfully to his own life, lengthening it to over 100 years, he lacked the means to understand its mechanism of action. More major discoveries had to wait until the 20th century, when the science of biology had advanced enough that scientists could make sense of their results and to expand on them.
The science of aging in the 21st century is now in full bloom, with literally dozens of scientific journals devoted exclusively to that topic, and thousands of scientists working on the problem of aging. Those scientists are making real progress, and we can now say that we possess fundamental knowledge of the causes of aging as well as the knowledge of various techniques and substances that have the ability to retard aging. Scientific journals publish new advances in the science of aging daily.
This is not to say that the problems of aging have been solved, not by a long shot. But we can now quite accurately describe many of the processes that occur during aging, and with this ability comes the opportunity and maybe the ability to counteract them. What is more, many of the substances and processes that can counteract aging can be easily obtained or practiced by almost everyone. No expensive anti-aging clinics and no expensive drugs are required. Anyone who has the interest and a bit of discipline can make available to themselves nearly everything science currently knows about retarding the aging process.
Fighting aging and living a longer life does not mean extending the time in which we are old and frail and living in a nursing home, which is a common objection to the idea of life extension. The purpose of fighting aging is to remain in a youthful, vital state, free of disease and illness, as long as possible. Ideally, life extension means that “old age” should be a period in our lives when we can remain in a youthful state as much as possible, and any decline in function or susceptibility to disease will be confined to a period very shortly before death.
I will start with the negative part of the review.
Generally, David writes in a way which makes you feel like you are reading a scientific research paper or a thesis. For some it’s okay; personally I love the fact that the author gets to the point instead of sharing some useless fillers, etc – but unfortunately I feel that most people would simply be overwhelmed. Humans naturally have a very short attention span.
There is a reason why those gurus who sell useless products have very long sales pitches filled with stories and other fillers that will lighten up one’s curiosity and keep you reading even if the product turns out to be garbage – it’s because they work and they touch people’s emotional side.
Now, I have no problems with that element of the book. If you asked me that is just how Mangan writes, it’s his “voice” and I am more than familiar with it; but it would be nice to see some personal stories from him though, just to add a little “personal” touch and make things more entertaining. But then again “entertainment” would not be the reason why you would buy the book.
That same negative feedback is also one of the best elements of the book, ironically. David goes straight to the point, no BS, no marketing and psychological tricks; you just get WHAT YOU PAID FOR – PERIOD! In fact, you will get MORE than what you paid for in my opinion. For me it’s quite undervalued at $5.99 (kindle) or $7.99 (paperback).
Another thing I like about it is that the advice he gives are “universal” which means that they could be applied no matter what your gender, age, etc. And all of them are backed up by actual researches and studies.
David is also quite savvy with regards to examining the methodologies used in each and every studies featured. He will tell you straight whether the experiments were done on humans, mice, worms, etc. or whether the results indicate relation or cause.
So far I was satisfied with the amount of information I have learned, it was overwhelming. Yes there were a lot of seemingly “jargon-y” stuff here and there but the author did perfect job of breaking them down into terms that a regular person would at easily understand.
David would first introduce a certain concept he is about to discuss, let’s say – diet. He would then present data and compare them to the current popular trends. From there he will discuss doable and simple steps that the reader can take based on the premise found on the researches that were earlier discussed and then back them up again with more studies if needed.
For example, on chapter 3 he discussed about the optimal diet for delaying aging. The first part discusses why low-fat diets are actually harmful:
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: the low-fat craze that the government and mainstream health authorities foisted on the American public, and which unfortunately is still followed with great enthusiasm by most health-conscious people, was a huge mistake. The rise of the obesity epidemic coincided with the adoption of lowfat guidelines, a fact that many people, and even the government are now beginning to appreciate. The main reason for this is that eating a low-fat diet necessarily means the ingestion of higher amounts of carbohydrates, which can cause many people to become overweight or obese. Since it is becoming clearer by the day that saturated fat is not only not harmful but necessary for good health, and that the ingestion of a high-carbohydrate diet leads to overweight and diabetes, we have good reasons to believe that the low-fat diet is not optimal for human health and will do nothing to retard aging.
He then cites important studies that indicate why insulin sensitivity and overall fat percentage coincide with aging and why the popular low fat high carb diet is actually to blame for most of the chronic diseases that ail us. He then cites how Low-carbohydrate diets can lower the biomarkers of aging:
Low-carbohydrate diets work to lower the biomarkers of aging in humans as well as lab animals. Two of the leading physician advocates of low-carbohydrate diets, Ron Rosedale and Eric Westman, put their patients on strict carbohydrate restriction and measured some of the important biomarkers of aging, before and after. After only two to three months, insulin levels dropped by nearly half, and glucose and leptin levels dropped substantially. Their blood pressure decreased too.
He doesn’t stop there though; he would proceed to tell us what a proper low carb composition looks like and off course – backed by accurate studies.
So you see the attention to detail is quite impressive and reading this book you would feel like he knows what your questions are even before you ask them and thus answers them on the very same chapter.
Personally my favorite chapters are the last ones especially where he discusses IGF-1, mTORs, and why too much protein intake (above 1.5g per pound) is not a good thing if you want to live as long as possible. But it turns out that 1g per pound of body weight is good enough, in fact it has been shown that advanced lifters do not need as much protein as a beginner because advanced trainees can process protein much more efficiently.
But is it possible to just go away with the book and do you own research yourself? Well yes most studies can be found online – but consider this: pages 92 to page 99 contain nothing but a list of studies examined by the author. I don’t know about you but I don’t have the patience to look for that amount of researches on my own especially when I don’t know where to start. In the first place you wouldn’t know what to look for and I doubt that you will get accurate results when you search Google.
You will probably land a mommy blogger’s page before you can find anything useful and any content at par with the ones presented here since most of the things that you will learn from the book, you will NOT see anywhere else.
But it’s NOT FOR EVERYBODY. This book is only for those who seriously want to learn, because again, there is very little to none with regards to entertainment written in this book and if you are the type who would get bored with that, then please do yourself a favor and just buy some comic books.
Personally I will thank this book 80 years from now. I hope you will too. Eat your eggs, people!
P. D. Mangan has written a number of books on health and fitness, of which this is his fourth. The others include Smash Chronic Fatigue, Best Supplements for Men’s Health, Strength, and Virility, and Top Ten reasons We’re Fat. They can all be found on his Amazon Author page. He blogs at Rogue Health and Fitness.com.