Harsimran Kaur ON  July 17, 2023, IN BOOK REVIEW, OUTLIVE: The Science & Art of Longevity By DR PETER ATTIA WITH BILL GIFFORD-NON-FICTION

Rating: 4/5

I cling to you but you fail me sometimes! The pearls of breath profess they belong to you not me. I call this a hoax; my breaths are mine but they nudge. The precipitant odor lingers; turns pleasant too in the rigid fanning of my manifestation but they still favor you. They deepen when you restore the burdensome quails but quickly absolve in a fanatical arrhythmia as you probe untimely insinuations. You are life!—the extravagant pantomime before death. I always think in awkward silence; why my breaths belong to you and not me?

We belong to life as a whole; it’s not only the breaths that fluctuate in accordance with the variegated mysteries that define life. It’s also the whimsical swivel that falters sheepishly to the incumbent fallacies we live by. When we talk about life, death too is a conspicuous reality. Let’s leave aside the ‘permanence of death’ for the time being. It’s inevitable! What is not is the frazzled consanguinity and the intemperate hormones. The neurotransmitters have their way too; a protracted saga of exculpating deviations, and let’s be brave to admit that our philanthropy to excessively donate unrest to our body is a fallow of senescence make-shifts.

Who does not want to live a long life? Ask the breaths; they love life and when insouciant armour of halberd try to restrict their humming, a pernickety descent of ‘death’ plays a retiring tune. So, what we do to build a staccato of palatable tunes where a thaumaturgic dance under the canopy of life wins us verisimilitude applause?

Dr. Peter Attia with Bill Gifford through their vastly researched book, ‘Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity’ have explained the human veneer, burning in a cauldron of vanity and vacouusness. So, how to get out of it? To begin with, build a race track that leads you to your Raison d’etre. The path could turn out to be unceremoniously bald; fill it up with the right attitude and nutrients for a gusty run-around. The delays might frighten you creating an umbra of tenebrous shades. What plays a prudent role here is ‘resilience’—to accept what defeats you inside and gradually re-claim the authority for a rapprochement between the mind and the heart. The crux is to negotiate with the invasive pitfalls to strategize the ‘best run’ rather than making it a ‘run-of-the-mill’ story.  

The author takes a direction towards medicine 3.0 from medicine 2.0; the former about discretion rather than judgment that the latter reflects with aplomb. Nobody escapes from the genre of ailments, the intensity of which becomes precipitous with age. Let’s consider the four horsemen the author extensively talks about; Cancer, Cardiovascular problems, Type 2 Diabetes and Neurological ailments.

Can we escape them? Are we here to stop them from brimming inside us? We are not soothsayers to predict our genetic dispositions, though we can be cautious and consciously try to evolve from ignorance to a fail-safe. How is it possible to prosecute the notoriety of APOE (apoliporotein E) gene for its propensity to cause Alzheimer or the PTEN gene that invidiously mutates increasing the risk of cancer? More so, hitting the nail on the head, the author professes how particles carrying the LDL & HDL play havoc, a kind of Ping-Pong inside the pericardium and the insurgence of diet-fad making insulin a trajectory of discordant emotions. Treating them at the core is what med 3.0 aims at rather than suppressing symptoms that will find their way again swooping over the mind & body like an airplane.

Also, let’s be apologetic to how we have surfaced our body to excessive alcohol consumption, addictions, and strict diet regimes that have coerced our mind to be neglectful of choosing the right nutrients for a healthy sustainability. The playful protein, the cantankerous carbs, the flatulent fat and the other essential vitamins are important for conscientious governance, and taking any one out of the cabinet is a sure-shot fusillade for an apoplectic collapse. The author lays down adequate evidence to follow certain diet regimes that suit your body type and can help delay the four horsemen if one is genetically susceptible to.

I personally give a big applause to the Centenarians; I was aware of their miniscule existence but their reason to exist escaping the trajectory of catastrophic illness is like weathering a storm. The book has a complete chapter dedicated to their bonhomie with life; a fundamental hubris of exceeding the average age decorum. It statistically reveals that both genetic activity and environmental and cultural factors play an ominous role. Emotional stability too adds more apples to the bushel basket. Here, no matter the age group, controlling stress levels removes the deleterious effects of burgeoning cortisol known for increasing blood glucose levels and traps cholesterol to swing insouciantly in the lap of distressed body.

The book is an open reminder that longevity is a belief and not a motive. There is a difference! A belief creates faith and under its sheltering carapsse the mind not only gains knowledge but is enlightened of the ‘good & bad’. A motive is a stand-alone path that only sees what is made to see—a refined knowledge.

Let’s make longevity a belief!


Let’s live—Pure and healthy!

The years shall pass

The winds will take turns to storm

The rains will incessantly pile on

Above the sky, the Sun will bloom

The twilight, the darkness will bring the Moon

Brightly lit stars will sing in glory

The cotton balls will weave a profound story,

But, we will leave this world

In all its paradoxes

And the progeny

Shall too live in doom!

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