25 March 2023

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This book is a road map to extending both your health span and your life span using the science and tools available today. Emerging advances in technology and longevity science are pushing the limits of our imagination, but even without the promise of these advances we can take advantage of revolutionary discoveries in the field of longevity. We now know how to control our master longevity switches through diet, lifestyle, supplements, and even medication and arrive at 100 years old in good health. We can reverse disease, enhance our bodies' repair systems, regenerate and repair cells and tissues, and turn back our biological clock. Getting to 120 or 150 or 200 (while still feeling youthful and vibrant) will soon be possible with therapies and innovations just on the horizon. If you can maintain your health for another 10 or 15 years you will be alive when we might reach longevity escape velocity-when our scientific advances will keep pushing death off indefinitely.

In laboratories and research centers around the world, research on aging is accelerating exponentially. Massive private investment in aging research is driving these innovations. The world's billionaires are doubling down on funding this research-Google's biotech company Calico, Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner's investment in Altos Labs, XPRIZE, and others are pouring billions into aging research, dwarfing the research budget of the National Institutes of Health. We are also in an exponential phase of scientific progress and discovery made possible by innovations in systems biology, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, and more. Leading aging researchers suggest we will reach longevity escape velocity in 15 years.' However, George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard and MIT, suggests we may already be there. In his lab, reversal of age-related biomarkers and pathologies has already been achieved in human cells and animal aging models. It's hard to imagine, but real healthy life extension just may be possible soon.10 Our minds think in linear, not exponential terms. Thirty linear steps will get you about 30 meters. Thirty exponential steps will take you twenty-six times around the Earth. If I gave you $1 a day for thirty days, you would have $30. If I gave you 1 cent but doubled it every day, in thirty days you would have $10 million. Our minds struggle to comprehend the power of exponential change.

Consider for a moment the startling recent discovery of Yamanaka factors (known formally as Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc). Shinya Yamanaka won the Nobel Prize for his discovery that these factors control which genes in a cell are turned on or off, ensuring that embryonic cells differentiate into the cells they were meant to become. A brain cell knows to be a brain cell. A skin cell becomes a skin cell. Yamanaka proved that, using these factors, we could create iPSCs-induced pluripotent stem cells, which can become any cell in the body." This means that you can reprogram your genes to create a younger you. These factors can take any cell back to its undifferentiated youthful, newborn state. We can now do this in animals. Imagine scraping off a few skin cells, and, like Benjamin Button, reverse engineering them to become essentially embryonic cells that could become a new pancreas or heart or brain. Soon we will be able to take your own stem cells and make them even younger than young-embryonic-and turn them into any cell in the body that needs repair. Hip and knee replacements and heart and kidney transplants will become the stuff of history books, an archaic treatment akin to bloodletting.

Much research is still needed to safely apply this technique in humans, but in animal models Yamanaka factors are reversing aging and repairing organs. This is just one discovery in hundreds that are pulling back the veil on the causes of aging and the science of how to reverse aging, to reprogram, regenerate, rejuvenate, and repair your body. It is not one thing we need to do but many. It is not one cause but many that drive the dysfunction we see as aging and disease. And the good news is we are closer than ever to understanding how it all works.

Many species defy the limits of what we imagine as a normal life span. Greenland sharks live up to 400 years, bowhead whales may live over 200 years, and Galapagos tortoises live over 150 years; some scientists think tortoises may live up to 400 or 500 years. Scientists working at the frontiers of aging can consistently extend life in animals by 30 percent or more, equivalent to humans reaching 120 years old. In some yeast models they can extend life to the equivalent of 1,000 years.

The alchemists of yore sought the fountain of youth in gold and special potions. They were the longevity scientists of their day. However, today we are perched on the edge of a radical reconceptualization of health and disease unlike anything before in medicine. 

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Aging has long been considered a normal process. We think disease, frailty, and gradual decline are inevitable parts of life. But they're not. Science today sees aging as a treatable disease. By addressing its root causes we can not only increase our health span and live longer but prevent and reverse the diseases of aging-including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia. In Young Forever, Dr. Mark Hyman challenges us to reimagine our biology, health, and the process of aging. To uncover the secrets to longevity, he explores the biological hallmarks of aging, their causes, and their consequences-then shows us how to overcome them with simple dietary, lifestyle, and emerging longevity strategies. You'll learn how to optimize your body's key longevity switches; reduce inflammation and support the health of your immune system; exercise, sleep, and de-stress for healthy aging; and eat your way to a long life, featuring Dr. Hyman's Pegan Diet. You'll also get exclusive insight from Dr. Mark Hyman on which supplements are right for you, where the research on aging is headed, and so much more. With dozens of science-based strategies and tips, Young Forever is a revolutionary, practical guide to creating and sustaining health-for life.