Chapter 3: Our Personal Journeys
Each of us comes to concerns about our health and well-being in a
different way. Study and reflection, the experiences of relatives
and friends, and our own experiences of pain and joy all play a role.
These are our stories, a journey of decades of exploration and the
intersection of our paths that brought us to write this book together.
Chapter 4: Food and Water
Animals spend most of their effort pursuing food as well as avoiding
becoming a predator’s next meal. Most of human effort throughout
our history has also been devoted to hunting, foraging, growing, cultivating,
transporting, and preparing food. Our food choices also have a profound
impact on health and disease. We start our exploration of food by
looking at its most common constituent: water, a far more complex
substance than is commonly understood. Consuming the right type of
water is vital to detoxifying the body’s acidic waste products
and is one of the most powerful health treatments available.
Chapter 5: Carbohydrates and
the Glycemic Load 49
Carbohydrates are vital to the primary energy cycle in the biological
world. But we did not evolve to consume the large quantities of refined
sugars and starches that make up most of the modern diet. Sugar and
simple starches, which are converted into sugar in the body almost
immediately, produce spikes in insulin, which in turn create carbohydrate
cravings. This process underlies much of the population’s inability
to control excess weight, accelerates the aging process, and increases
the risk for heart disease. Sharply limiting these “high-glycemic-load”
foods will break this vicious cycle.
Chapter 6: Fat and Protein
Fat is well known as a primary means of storing energy, both in the
food we consume and in our body’s own fat cells. In an era of
abundant calories, excessive energy storage in the form of fat significantly
accelerates atherosclerosis, glucose intolerance, and other degenerative
processes. The modern Western diet has gone to an extreme imbalance
in the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio, so most people need to
sharply reduce omega-6 fats, which encourage inflammatory processes,
and increase omega-3 fats, which are anti-inflammatory and have been
shown to dramatically reduce heart disease. Protein is another class
of caloric nutrient that we cannot live without—it is nature’s
primary building block for our tissues and organs. The right types
and balance of protein are the mainstay of a healthy diet low in carbohydrates
and that sharply restricts bad fats.
Chapter 7: You Are What You
Nutrition is one of the most powerful lifestyle influences on your
health. Metabolic processes underlie the paths to the primary degenerative
diseases. By understanding and assessing your personal metabolic pathways,
you can reprogram these processes away from disease and toward long-term
vitality. Many digestive problems, such as leaky gut syndrome, will
contribute to long-term degenerative disease if not diagnosed and
corrected. Nutrition starts with what you eat, but the digestive process
is also critical, because nutrients are beneficial only if they reach
Chapter 8: Change Your Weight
for Life in One Day 107
You can significantly reduce your risk of all degenerative diseases,
including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension,
by reaching your optimal weight. You’ll have more energy and
feel better. You’ll look better too—perhaps the main reason
losing weight has become a national preoccupation. Closely related
to losing weight is caloric restriction, the only proven method of
extending life and slowing down aging. We provide a program that you
can adopt quickly while reaching your ideal weight gradually. No radical
changes in diet are required. You only need to make a single change
to a healthy pattern of eating.
Chapter 9: The Problem with
Sugar (and Insulin) 123
Per capita consumption of sugar and sugary sweeteners in the United
States now exceeds 150 pounds per year. When sugar or high glycemic
foods are eaten, blood levels of insulin rise dramatically. While
insulin is necessary to health, elevated levels are highly toxic.
Over time, excessive sugar consumption and high insulin levels will
often lead to metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X, a major
risk factor for heart disease now found in one-third of the adult
population. Another result is one adult in twelve now has type 2 diabetes.
There are simple ways to find out if you have, or are at risk of having,
these conditions, and there are dietary and nutritional strategies
for effectively controlling them.
Chapter 10: Ray’s Personal
My father’s premature death at the age of 58 from heart disease
and my own diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at the age of 35 motivated
my early health concerns. The conventional medical advice made my
diabetes worse and did little to alleviate my concern about a genetic
predisposition to heart disease. Nevertheless, I have been able to
overcome these challenges by aggressively applying the right ideas.
More recently, I have become aware of a more insidious problem: as
a biological human, I am potentially subject to aging processes. I
am now engaged in the same sort of multifaceted warfare against this
pervasive challenge. Although I am now a chronological 56, my goal
is to be no more than a biological 40 by the time we have the means
to completely arrest and reverse aging in about 20 years. So far,
Chapter 11: The Promise of
Your genes provide you with a powerful set of tendencies, but you
need to remember that these are predispositions only. The lifestyle
choices you make control how these tendencies will ultimately manifest
themselves, but to make the right lifestyle choices, you need to know
what genes you carry. Personal genomics technology, which became commercially
available in 2002, allows you to do so. Yes, it can be unsettling
to find you have a predisposition for certain diseases, but the good
news is that ultimately we will have the tools to directly block killer
genes as well as creating and inserting new healthy genes directly
into your cells. For now, our priority is to modify the expression
of these genes by controlling how our metabolic pathways affect our
proteins, enzymes, and hormones. Ignorance is not bliss, and understanding
your own genetic code represents vital intelligence in the battle
for a long and healthy life.
Chapter 12: Inflammation—The
Latest “Smoking Gun” 160
When our normal state of balance is disrupted by injury or a pathogenic
invader, our bodies respond with a complex cascade of reactions to
restore balance. This reaction, which often manifests itself as inflammation,
is critical to our survival. But in addition to acute inflammation,
which is easily noticed, there is another, less obvious type of inflammation
that smolders in the body for decades. The overactivity of this “silent”
inflammatory response can lead to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s
disease, irritable bowel syndrome, several types of cancer, and other
conditions. But we now have a new tool for measuring your level of
silent inflammation—hs-CRP—and effective ways of decreasing
Chapter 13: Methylation—Critically
Important to Your Health 172
Defective methylation processes can interfere with removal of toxins
and lead to genetic damage. One major methylation process is involved
in converting the dietary amino acid methionine into homocysteine,
a toxic by-product. Many people have genetic defects that cause levels
of this toxic metabolite to rise. This can accelerate numerous disease
processes and aging. However, by appropriate nutritional supplementation
you can optimize methylation reactions in the body to avoid these
diseases and optimize health.
Chapter 14: Cleaning
Up the Mess: Toxins and Detoxification 181
Every system in your body has its own method of detoxification, with
the liver doing the lion’s share of the job. Over time, the
onslaught of toxic material—chemicals, pollution of various
kinds, pesticides, gasoline fumes, heavy metals, plastics, and drugs,
just to name a few—and the inadequacies in your body’s
ability to deal effectively with the massive cleanup task takes its
toll. Avoidance of toxins and optimizing the detoxification process
is crucial to maintaining health and slowing down the aging process.
Chapter 15: The Real Cause
of Heart Disease and How to Prevent It 197
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. About
68 million Americans have heart disease, and more than a million suffer
heart attacks each year, 40 percent of them fatal. But there has been
a recent revolution in our understanding of the underlying process.
The primary cause of heart attacks is not the large, hard, calcified
plaque that has been the focus of medical treatments such as angioplasty
and bypass surgery. It’s the less obstructing but more volatile
and inflammatory soft plaque. The good news is that soft plaque can
be dealt with more effectively than hard plaque. There is an intricate
sequence of events that leads up to heart attacks and you can effectively
attack the risk factors associated with each step along the way.
Chapter 16: The Prevention
and Early Detection of Cancer 233
We don’t “catch” cancer; our bodies create it. While
age-adjusted death rates for heart disease have fallen almost 60 percent
in the past 50 years, the percentage of Americans dying from cancer
has barely changed since 1950. You can dramatically reduce your risk
of cancer with the right diet, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle
choices. Routine screening tests for cancer detection require that
the patient already have a moderately large tumor before they can
detect it. We’ll tell you about a novel test that can identify
cancer when only a few cancer cells are found in the body.
Chapter 17: Terry’s
Personal Program 255
It is said that among the things you can do to enjoy a long and healthy
life, it is best to start by picking your parents wisely. I am fortunate,
on many levels, that both of my parents are alive and well at 80 years
of age. They are physically and mentally active and enjoy a rich and
varied social and cultural life. So it would appear that I started
life with “a leg up” on longevity, thanks to their genes.
Things aren’t always so straightforward in medicine, however.
My genomic testing revealed that I harbor several harmful genetic
tendencies. Although I have enjoyed excellent health so far, I am
now at the stage of my life where one’s genetic predispositions
have a way of manifesting themselves as “full-blown” diseases.
But with the genetic information I now possess, I have been able to
take specific measures to maintain my health, using the best of the
Bridge One therapies. I am very optimistic about what the future Bridge
Two and Bridge Three therapies will be able to do for both myself
and the rest of humankind.
Chapter 18: Your Brain: The
Power of Thinking . . . and of Ideas 261
We now know that the brain is continuously rebuilding and reorganizing
itself. While it’s true that we are what we eat (and digest),
it is also the case that we are what we think. The brain represents
more than half of our biological complexity. The most important way
to keep the brain healthy is to keep it busy. Incidentally, one important
topic that we can keep it busy thinking about is the health of our
bodies and brains. There are also nutritional steps we can take to
provide the metabolic foundation for cognitive health. The most important
ally we have in maintaining our health is the power of ideas. Our
primary adversary is ignorance. It is our view that the right ideas
can overcome any problem and conquer any challenge.
Chapter 19: Hormones of Aging,
Hormones of Youth 280
A decrease in hormone levels has long been associated with aging.
The hormones most commonly associated with youthfulness gradually
diminish over time, and some fall off rapidly, such as during menopause.
Other hormones decline only slightly or even tend to increase with
age. Aging results from a combination of these effects: the decrease
in the hormones of youth and the relative increase (or slower decrease)
in the hormones of aging. We’ll discuss methods to maintain
a healthy balance of hormones as you age.
Chapter 20: Other Hormones
of Youth: Sex Hormones 291
The sex hormones—estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone—have
powerful youth-promoting effects. But there’s a lot of controversy
over the merits and dangers of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Most of the negative results coming from recent studies have involved
chemically altered hormones. By utilizing bio-identical hormones,
which are the same hormones as are found naturally in the body, research
suggests you can still receive the benefits of HRT without the risk.
We’ll discuss a program of testing for hormone imbalances and
methods of remediation with bio-identical hormones as well as herbal
remedies and other supplements that will help you maintain a youthful
balance of hormones throughout life.
Chapter 21: Aggressive Supplementation
Recent studies have proven that almost everyone requires one or more
vitamins far in excess of FDA-suggested RDA amounts to avoid illness.
An optimal supplement program goes beyond just taking vitamins, minerals,
and antioxidants. By utilizing genomics testing to diagnose your individual
metabolic requirements, you can restore healthy balances and maintain
optimal health with a personalized program of aggressive supplementation.
Chapter 22: Keep Moving: The
Power of Exercise 337
Primitive man and woman were not couch potatoes. In fact, they were
more like marathon runners. The evidence is overwhelming that exercise
enhances every one of your body’s systems and reduces the risk
of virtually every degenerative disease. Exercise works synergistically
with a healthy diet and other lifestyle choices to enhance your sense
of well being and prevent disease. Aerobic, anaerobic, and stretching
exercises are all important and have distinct benefits.
Chapter 23: Stress and Balance
The ability to confront danger is critical to our survival. But chronic
activation of this mechanism can lead to increases in blood pressure
and cholesterol, decreased blood flow to the liver and digestive organs,
suppression of the immune system, and serious illnesses such as heart
disease. Simply avoiding stress isn’t the complete answer. We
need a certain amount of challenge in our lives to avoid apathy and
boredom. Our lives should be animated by the four C’s: challenge,
commitment, curiosity, and creativity. We present 12 effective ways
to manage stress and achieve balance.