I seem to have picked this book at the exact wrong time when a pandemic is unleashed upon us. One of the books where the parts are better than the whole. Dr. David Sinclair is a well respected researcher in science of aging. He sets out to explain why we age at all. The first part of this book is rightly poised with compelling science and results. Somewhere in the middle, Dr. Sinclair decided to tackle ethical questions related to aging. He argues haphazardly but fails to bring a coherence into them.
The core theme of this book is a theory of aging that Sinclair calls "The Information Theory of Aging". Sinclair believes that what we see as age related degradation is just a consequence of losing information through DNA damage and stress. All the living cells on Earth seems to have developed protective mechanism to survive when the environment outside becomes hostile. These are set of genes called "sirtuins" that promote DNA repair, controls replication and metabolism. As we age, the information in these genes gets lost by DNA damage and they don't get activated when they are needed. This causes cells to go haywire or sterile which manifests in us as aging. A very compelling theory indeed. Sinclair also believes this information lost is mostly analog, and there are some "code-correcting" genes that can restore the lost information thereby reversing aging. We don't exactly know how to find these correcting mechanisms but if we can find them, we can actually live forever in theory.
Dr. Sinclair is a living proof of some of the theories. He is 50 years old but looks like 20. If you want to live longer right now, here are the things that you can do.
1. Eat less often. Do fasting. Skip meals without malnutrition. Fasting activates sirtuins naturally.
2. Exercise more. Activates sirtuins as the body is stressed.
3. Don't spike your glucose levels.
4. Take NMN. As we age, the NAD+ levels go down, NAD+ is required for the body to activate these sirtuins. Increasing NMN should bring the NAD+ levels to optimal levels.
I would have loved if Dr. Sinclair struck to science because that itself is fascinating. The second half could be skipped entirely. Recommended read but pick the important chapters.