Book Summary: End of Illness – Written by Dr David Agus

Health is the foundation of everything in life. When I was younger, I would rank things that I wanted like wealth, relationships, fame and power. Never did I give one thought to health. As I moved through high school and college, I retooled my thinking and put health as number one. The reason for this is without health, you cannot achieve anything else. Health is like the foundation of your house. It does not make sense to put in a Jacuzzi tub if your house’s foundation is crumbling.

Why is this important to me?

Since health is number one and all other good things stem from it, we need to find ways to maximize our own health. It is up to us to take this into our own hands. Dr. Agus takes a systems approach to health care. This is very compelling because if you build a car or airplane, you have to follow very strict tolerances in order for it to be successful and work. You need to look at it from the whole down to the part and not the other way. Each person needs to have a baseline of their health.

Healthcare is more complex because everybody is different. This means that baseline studies can be deceiving based on your ethnicity and background. Everybody has a different fingerprint and a different makeup. The End of Illness studies health not from a cure perspective but from prevention. The part can never be well unless the whole is well – Plato

The End of Illness starts out with killer questions which we will answer in this summary.

1. How can a simple peek at your body’s proteins tell you more about the state of your health this instant than a readout of your genetic code? Proteins are how cells talk to each other. What keeps cancer under control is the conversation between cells through proteins. The growing field of Proteomics is the study of proteins.

2. What do statins such as Lipitor and Crestor have in common with the swine flu and Alzheimer’s disease? Inflammation is a sign that something is not right in the body. Virtually all chronic conditions have been linked to chronic inflammation which creates an imbalance in your system that stimulates negative effects on your health. Statins act as an ant-inflammatory and help the body. Think about this, professional football players have a significantly shorter life span on average because of diseases linked to inflammation.

3. Cancer – Cancer is not something the body gets but rather it is something the body does. Once the environment is out of balance, cell communication can get disrupted and uncontrolled cell growth happens.

4. Establish a baseline – Genetic testing and knowing your history are very important. Let’s take Vitamin D as an example. If you are from Norway then your tolerance for sun is very different than if you are from Nigeria. These two comparisons have very different baseline needs for Vitamin D. This is why it is important to establish your own personal baseline with history and genetic testing before you simply buy a supplement because you are under the deficiency average.

5. Vitamins – The Vitamin industry is $25 billion. Dr. Agus profiles several studies on vitamins that actually have more of a negative affect instead of a positive effect. The data shows that we should NOT take vitamins.

6. Real Food – The best way to get nutrients, vitamins and minerals is from our food. The best way to have this is from Fresh or flash frozen food sources.

Dr. Agus knows his stuff and he credits the title of this book to Steve Jobs. Dr. Agus was his doctor. Doing simple prevention like wearing comfortable shows, not sitting all day, and controlling inflammation have a dramatic effect on your health. The numbers in the book are staggeringly positive if you adopt these simple behaviors.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is Common Sense Health. Do the following – wear comfortable shoes, each real / fresh food, exercise and walk around at work. Most people (me included) sit a majority of the day. I will be acquiring a treadmill desk and walking for at least 2 hours during work time. This will NOT be an exercise routine but a life style change. I will keep you posted on the results.

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