Ultra-Longevity:The Seven-Step Program for a Younger, Healthier You, by Mark Liponis, MD

Cover ImageFinished 3-1-09, rating 3.5/5, health, pub. 2007

Aging is an autoimmune disease.  It is caused by your own immune system attacking you.Yes, that’s correct.  Aging is not a natural result of living too many years…

page 23

This book starts with a quiz.  Twenty-one questions determine how fast you are aging.  There are the expected questions about weight, smoking, and exercise, but then there are the unexpected questions about siblings, sex, jokes, and even about the time of year you were born.  Once I saw my score I immediately started reading the book. 

Just as our country’s defense system would be sorely tested if several invaders attacked simultaneously, so, too, when your body has to deal with many potential terrorists, the opportunities for breakdowns multiply.  This confusion leads to malfunction of the immune system, and that malfunction leads to bodily damage.

pages 55-56

The first section deals with your immune system and the many organs and cells involved in making it work.  This section is somewhat interesting and very detailed.  I don’t need that much information, but it is nice to have it explained in a relatively simple way.  This is also where he explains the CRP Test.  Essentially, this tests how active your immune system is and the less active the better.

The second section of the book discusses the seven steps you need to take to maintain a healthy immune system.  They are: breathing, eating, sleeping, dancing, loving, soothing, and enhancing.  I think it is interesting that he puts all of these areas side by side, with eating being equal to the others, not more important .  I thought this section was fun to read and easy to understand.  Who doesn’t like reading that a good sex life, singing every day, and massages can prolong your life? 

Many of these things aren’t new, but the immune system activation is a new way of looking at it.  I learned a lot and because some of these seven areas are easier than others you can start working right away on preserving your health.  It is a very holistic approach.

My main complaint is that is sometimes there is too much information.  I don’t need two pages about B-cells.  After a few paragraphs my attention starts to drift.  And while it’s nice to include studies to prove a point, they, too, can become  easy to skip over when there are too many.

Overall, I thought this was worthwhile and I took away lots of good information.  As for the quiz, I went back and decided what I needed to do to age at a slower pace, but because I live in Cleveland, am an only child, and was born in the fall, there are a  small number of things I can change.  But I’ll do what I can 🙂

Author Mark Liponis, MD, is the medical director of the Canyon Ranch Spa

4 thoughts on “Ultra-Longevity:The Seven-Step Program for a Younger, Healthier You, by Mark Liponis, MD

  1. bermudaonion says:

    I’d hate to see how I’d do on that quiz. Does being an only child decrease your chances of longevity?

    Being born oldest or only and being born in the fall means that you will probably not live as long. Also, Cleveland is one of the 40 worst polluted cities in the US, so that is also bad. That just means I have to work harder on the other stuff 🙂

  2. Margot says:

    Very interesting post/book. My grandmother died at 54 and I always hoped I could go past that age. My mother is almost 89 which is a grand old age. Now I’m 68 and feel blessed to be alive. Hopefully the author talked about the quality of one’s life as well as trying to achieve the quantity.

    Very interesting discussion topic. Thanks

    It sounds like you are well on your way to ultra longevity! I think by using love and relaxation as 2 of the 7 steps it does address the issue. If you have more love and don’t stress you will have a better quality of life as well as a longer one. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. jennygirl says:

    Okay I think I would have to skim a few pages in this one. Kudos to you for finishing it. A thought provoking book to say the least.
    BTW I love your blog!

    Well, let’s just say I did not read every word about many of the cells! It was worth it though. I think your blog is great too 🙂

  4. Vince Giuliano says:

    Hi Stacy

    Thanks for pointing this book out to me. Lots of good stuff in it. I disagree that immune system deterioriation is necessarily the primary theory of aging however. In my Anti-aging Firewalls treatise http://www.vincegiuliano.name/Antiagingfirewalls.htm I cover that theory and thirteen other main theories of aging as well. I believe that these theories are all valid, different views based on blind men feeling the elephant. Some day they will be integreated into a systems view of aging. Have a look and let me know what you think. You can also check out my aging science blog http://www.anti-agingfirewalls.com/

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