In an era where the pursuit of longevity and gracious ageing has become a universal aspiration, Dr. Morgan Levine’s book, True Age, emerges as a guiding light through the complex landscape of ageing research and its practical applications. As our understanding of biological ageing deepens, so does the potential to harness this knowledge for healthier and more extended lifespans. True Age delves into this fascinating journey, offering readers profound insights into the science of ageing while providing actionable strategies to slow down, and even reverse, the process.
Morgan Levine holds the role of a founding Principal Investigator at Altos Labs.
Her primary research area centres on the study of biological ageing, with a particular focus on utilising bioinformatics to quantify the ageing process and assess how lifestyle choices and pharmaceutical interventions can influence the pace of ageing. Regarded as a prominent figure in the field of ageing and longevity science, she has garnered media attention from prominent outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, the BBC, and various others.
What is the book about?
True Age by Dr. Morgan Levine delves into the exciting world of ageing research, offering readers insights into the science of biological ageing and how to harness this knowledge to improve their healthspan.
The book begins by posing two intriguing questions: Can we measure our biological age, and can we slow down or reverse the ageing process? Dr. Levine provides answers by introducing readers to the latest advancements in the field of ageing and longevity science. She explains the concept of biological age and presents accessible methods for estimating one’s own biological age.
True Age goes beyond theory, guiding readers toward personalised strategies for maintaining youthful vitality. Dr. Levine emphasises the importance of tailored plans for diet, exercise, sleep, and lifestyle practices like intermittent fasting and caloric restriction. These strategies, backed by scientific research, are designed to slow or even reverse the ageing process, ultimately leading to a longer and healthier life.
Table of contents
- Part I: Biological Aging
- Chapter 1: Beyond Wrinkles: The link between health and aging
- Chapter 2: Why track your true age
- Chapter 3: What is biological aging?
- Chapter 4: How to measure biological age
- Chapter 5: The future of personalized aging
- Part II: Taking Control
- Chapter 6: Eat (Less) to live
- Chapter 7: Longevity diets
- Chapter 8: Exercise and aging
- Chapter 9: Rest and relaxation
- Chapter 10: Finding your “just right”
- Conflicts of Interest
Three key takeaways from True Age
1Caloric restriction and fasting slows down ageing
True Age delves into the fascinating world of caloric restriction (CR) and its profound effects on the ageing process. Through a historical journey that highlights the scientific foundations of CR dating back to the early 20th century, the author unveils compelling evidence supporting the notion that CR can significantly slow down the ageing process.
The groundbreaking Comprehensive Assessment of Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study takes centre stage, revealing that those who embraced CR aged a staggering 87.5% slower than the average person. The implications are profound, as the book illustrates with the story of Isabel, who, by adopting a CR lifestyle, could potentially maintain a biological age significantly younger than her chronological age, emphasising the transformative potential of caloric restriction in promoting longevity and healthier ageing.
2Physical activity is inherent to human nature and serves as an anti-ageing mechanism
This book underscores the fundamental connection between physical activity and human evolution, demonstrating that our ancestors’ physical prowess was not only instrumental in their survival but also a defining characteristic in our DNA. While humans might not match other predators in sheer speed, our skeletal and muscular systems evolved for endurance running, enabling us to pursue prey over long distances. However, modern lifestyles have shifted from this active heritage to one marked by prolonged periods of sitting and inactivity. This shift has dire consequences for our physiology, accelerating the ageing process and inviting disease.
Exercise emerges as a compelling strategy to combat ageing and disease by inducing favourable adaptations in various organs and systems within the body. The cardiovascular system, in particular, undergoes substantial improvements, enhancing oxygen delivery and utilisation, as measured by VO₂ max. Maintaining high levels of VO₂ max through regular aerobic exercise can significantly offset age-related declines and contribute to overall health and vitality, reducing the risk of heart attacks and other diseases. In essence, this book convincingly establishes the irreplaceable role of physical activity in our lives, aligning our modern behaviours with our evolutionary heritage to promote healthier, more vibrant ageing.
3Quality sleep promotes brain rejuvenation
Diet and exercise are crucial for health, but other factors like sleep, stress, and socioeconomic circumstances also profoundly impact ageing and well-being. Sleep, in particular, plays a vital role in maintaining both physical and mental health.
Quality sleep is a fundamental aspect of well-being, often overlooked in our busy lives. Despite its vulnerability aspect, sleep has evolved as a critical physiological process. During sleep, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) washes over the brain, clearing waste products. This mechanism, enhanced during deep sleep, contributes to physical revitalisation. The importance of sleep is further underscored by its potential role in mitigating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Disrupting sleep patterns can exacerbate Alzheimer’s markers, suggesting a bidirectional relationship between sleep disturbances and cognitive decline.
Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Dr. Levine simplifies cutting-edge research and lifestyle practices using accessible language and humour, making complex topics easy to understand.
The book offers valuable additional resources for personal exploration and practical application, enhancing its real-world relevance.
The absence of chapter conclusions can be a drawback for non-medical readers who rely on such summaries to better grasp the content.
Best quotes from True Age
“According to results, those assigned to a CR [calorie-restricted] diet only gained about three months of biological age over the entire two-year period. They were aging 87.5 percent slower than we would expect for the average person.”
“Sleep problems may actually drive disease progression. Studies are showing that disrupting sleep or stimulating excitatory neurons that control arousal promote the accumulation of various Alzheimer’s markers in mice. Similarly, sleep deprivation seems to do the same to humans. This can create a compounding effect if ailments of aging, including cognitive ones, cause sleep disturbances, which in turn further drive degenerative declines.”
“Physical activity also seems to boost vaccine response in the elderly. Among those aged sixty-five and older, a significant proportion do not respond to vaccines, like the annual flu shot. This means that even though older adults get vaccinated, their bodies don’t initiate an antibody response, leaving them susceptible to infection. This creates a major dilemma, given that these same individuals are often the ones most at risk of serious complications if infected with something like the flu virus.”
True Age by Dr. Morgan Levine is an enlightening journey into the realm of ageing research, offering a profound understanding of biological ageing and how to apply this knowledge to enhance one’s healthspan. With a focus on caloric restriction, physical activity, and the importance of quality sleep, the book provides readers with actionable strategies to slow down or even reverse the ageing process. Dr. Levine’s ability to convey complex scientific concepts in an approachable manner, sprinkled with humour, is a significant strength.
True Age is highly recommended for those seeking to unlock the secrets of longevity and healthier ageing.
Where to buy
You may purchase True Age on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback, hardcover and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
Receive Exclusive Tips & Weekly Digest – subscribe to our newsletter