Book review – Guide to a healthier and longer life

2014-05-18 15:00

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A Short Guide to a Long Life by David B Agus

Simon & Schuster

190 pages

R212 at

If you buy only one book about your health and wellbeing this year, buy A Short Guide to a Long Life by Dr David B Agus, who is one of the world’s leading cancer doctors and ­researchers, professor of medicine and engineering at the University of California LA and head of the University of Southern California’s Westside Cancer Centre and the Centre for ­Applied Molecular Medicine.

He is also author of The End of Illness.

Agus caused a medical media storm when he first appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, and was billed as the most controversial doctor in the US.

But he says: “I think I’m the absolute opposite. I won’t endorse anything that’s not backed up by well-controlled clinical trials – studies that live up to the rigours of the scientific method.”

He goes on to say that “many individuals think that taking aspirins and ­statins on a daily basis is aggressive, but taking vitamins is mainstream.

But the studies tell a totally different story, painting a picture in which aspirin and statins can significantly reduce your risk of death?…?while vitamins and supplements may raise your risk for a variety of illnesses, including cancer.”

He writes in a no-nonsense, easy to read way, and his arguments are wise, compelling and make perfect sense.

His “prescriptions” are surprisingly simple, such as wearing good shoes, eating lunch at the same time every day, walking more, ditching your ­vitamins and supplements, and ­suggesting that it’s usually better to buy frozen vegetables than some fresh ­produce.

Of course, he’s not popular with the vitamin manufacturers. But when you read this you will be convinced that if you follow his 65 rules (or even some of them), you will certainly live a longer and healthier life.

The book is divided into three sections: What to Do, What to Avoid, and Doctor’s Orders.

There’s even a ­decade-by-decade chapter that gives you a list of things to do during each stage of your life.

None of this is snake oil or pop health stuff. On the contrary, Agus gives you inexpensive and widely ­accessible tools that are based on the latest and most reliable science. As he says: “Now, go live life!”

7 doctor’s orders

1.?Stiletto heels? Aargh! Okay for a little while, but make sure you also wear a pair of comfortable and ­supportive shoes daily.

2.?Juicing? Throw out your juicer. Juice from a juicer is not whole food – it’s processed, because the fibre with its phytonutrients has been ­removed.

3.?Detoxes? Forget them. Your body is expertly designed to detox naturally thanks to your kidneys, liver, sweat glands, lungs and digestive system.

4.?Take a baby aspirin daily.

5.?Get an annual flu shot even if you never get sick and you’ve never had the flu.

6.?Cohabitate. It’s good for your health to have another warm human body present in your daily life.

7.?Get a dog.

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