The End of Illness

The End of Illness

Book - 2011
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"From one of the world's foremost physicians and researchers, a monumental work that radically redefines our conventional conceptions of health and illness to offer new methods for living a long, healthy life. After considering the discoveries that have led to progress in treating some diseases, Dr. David B. Agus asked an essential question: Why aren't we better at curing illnesses like cancer? Based on his groundbreaking research and the clinical trials he has conducted at the nation's leading medical centers, he came to the realization that we've been approaching medicine from a faulty perspective, and the best way to prevent and combat maladies like cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and neurodegeneration is to first embrace a totally new view of the human body. What Is Health? asks readers to reconsider everything they think they know about health--and give up believing many myths that may actually be causing them harm and decreasing longevity. These myths revolve around a spectrum of misconceptions, from the benefits of vitamins and supplements to the role of DNA in one's fate. In attempting to reduce our understanding of ailments to a mutation, germ, or deficiency, Dr. Agus proves we have forgotten that the body is a complex system. He presents a systemic picture of the body's vast mechanisms that drive it either toward or away from sickness, empowering readers to take charge of their individual health in very personal, customized ways they've never imagined before. Along the way, Dr. Agus offers insights and access to breathtaking and powerful new technologies that promise to transform medicine in our generation. He also shows that there is no "right" answer in health decisions. This is a radically different approach that will not only change how we care for ourselves, but also how we develop the next generation of treatments and cures. What Is Health? represents a dramatic departure from orthodox thinking that promises to revolutionize our quest for long, healthy lives"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2011
ISBN: 9781451610178
1451610173
Branch Call Number: 613 AGU 2011 23
Characteristics: xiv, 355 p. : ill

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tm77
Jul 05, 2014

I was very disappointed with this "medically focused" approach to staying healthy. Much of the book is taken up with futuristic ideas about medicine, with very little practical information that you can use. This book might be useful for a technically inclined doctor. In my view, it is important for individuals to take charge of their own health. This doctor thinks the M.D. should be in charge of your health.

There was some misleading info about a healthful diet, particularly concerning raw vegetable and fruit juices as well as blenderized drinks. The author seems to think they are too oxidized and therefore if not actually dangerous, at least useless for your health. On the other hand, Joel Fuhrman M.D., Gabriel Cousins M.D. and Max Gerson M.D have helped thousands of patients recover from very serious illnesses (including many types of cancer) to become healthy (and live long lives) using these "useless" food items. This book has very little to say about the real basis of health and longevity; what you put in your mouth every day.

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Vivica
May 21, 2012

I agree with Kgillo..very good info.

k
kgillo
Apr 14, 2012

Very interesting book with some great advice.

j
jmikesmith
Mar 26, 2012

I'm not sure what to make of this book. The author, David Agus, who is unquestionably qualified in his field of oncology, argues somewhat persuasively for a new approach to health care. Rather than the current method of "diagnose and treat," he suggests we need to be more proactive, taking regular measurements of our personal health parameters and taking action to correct any deviations as soon as they are noticed, even if we exhibit no obvious symptoms of illness yet. He supports what I've read elsewhere, which is that we all respond to drugs differently because of our unique genetic profiles. But then he says that our _protein_ profiles are more important than our genetic ones. Our genes tells us about what tendencies we might have for various illnesses, but only our past and current protein profile (which changes all the time) can tell us what's going on inside our bodies right now. Few companies currently offer protein profiling, but Dr. Agus is the founder of one such company. This comes across as self-serving.

The narrative is a bit disjointed and wanders from topic to topic with sometimes abrupt transitions. There seems to be some contradictory advice as well. For example, he advises us not to take vitamins and other supplements unless a doctor has prescribed them because we can get all we need from a balanced diet. But then he says most food loses its nutritional value unless it's eaten within a day or two of being harvested. For most of us, shopping every day or two for fresh food is pretty much impossible, so maybe supplements aren't such a bad thing...?

The style verges from almost folksy to very technical and academic, yet there are gaps in the technical material. He spends quite a bit of time discussing the dangers of inflammation, for example, without ever really explaining what inflammation is. I was also somewhat put off to find that all the blurbs and endorsements for this book come from investors and entrepreneurs. Why are no medical experts praising these ideas? On the surface, they seem reasonable, but I'm just not sure.

All in all, there's some interesting food for thought here, but I'd like to see some corroboration from other experts.

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ranaray Jan 26, 2012

Dr. Agus offers insights and access to breathtaking and powerful new technologies that promise to transform medicine.

This indispensable book is not only a manifesto—a call for revising the way we think about health—it’s also filled with practical but impossible-to-ignore suggestions, including:

• How taking multivitamins and supplements could significantly increase our risk for cancer over time.

• Why sitting down most of the day, despite a strenuous morning workout, can be as bad as or worse than smoking.

• How sneaky sources of daily inflammation—from high heels to the common cold—can lead to a fatal heart attack, and even rob us of our sanity.

• How three inexpensive medications—aspirin, statins, and an annual flu vaccine—can substantially change the course of our health for the better.

• How taking shortcuts to health via blending fruits and vegetables, and sometimes even by purchasing what we think is “fresh,” could be shortchanging our health.

• The single most important thing we can do today to preserve our health and happiness that costs absolutely nothing.

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