This is a very large book (>500 pages), covering several universes of knowledge, each relating to the age-old elixir of the healthy life we are all seeking. Furthermore, true to Leslie Kenton's sterling pedigree regarding nutrition, diet, herbal remedies and more latterly, our complex interwoven hormonal and neural pathways, this book is a veritable masterpiece of authentic information, conveyed in a highly readable fashion.
Most of us involved in natural approaches to healthcare, whether regarding Mind/Body, Nutritional, Chinese or Herbal Medicine or Bodywork techniques are aware of the interconnectedness of each individual's unique biochemistry, physical structure and mind and emotional characteristics. We have learned that there are no quick fast fixes (magic bullets) to good health and happiness. The ingredients involve detoxification, clean food and water, exercise, happy and fulfilling attitudes and self-acceptance. Leslie Kenton has combined a huge amount of information, some of it highly technical in nature, within this book to present the many strands involved in anti-ageing, or becoming young again.
At the heart of this tome is the extremely sensible and accurate definitive list of the 'Top Ten Biomarkers', which are the true indices of the age of your body: These are:
* Lean Body Mass* Muscle Strength* Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)* Body Fat Percentage* Aerobic Capacity* Insulin Sensitivity/ Blood Sugar Tolerance* Cholesterol HDL/LDL Ratios* Blood Pressure* Bone Density* Body Heat
If you were unaware before now of the many facets of building lean muscle mass, which contributes to a higher basal metabolic rate, the author exquisitely describes the importance and impact this will have upon energy, weight and fitness. Gain lean muscle and lose fat. Kenton takes you through the first five of the Biomarkers and tells us not to be couch potatoes, and how rejuvenated we will be when we build lean muscle.
It is, however, Syndrome X, the cluster of abnormalities, also known as insulin resistance syndrome, and which is increasingly linked to disorders including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and the inability to lose fat, which is at the heart of this book. Syndrome X is linked to how well the body controls blood sugar. With the majority of the populations of the developed world consuming epidemic proportions of unrefined carbohydrates and simple sugars and leading increasingly more sedentary lifestyles, Syndrome X is a key factor in the growth of high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, and many of the degenerative properties of ageing.
Progressing down to the 9th Biomarker, Bone Density, the author discusses and dispatches many of the myths being sold to us by the pharmaceutical companies regarding osteoporosis, including the need to consume milk to obtain calcium, the hormonal myths of so-called oestrogen deficiency and the role of progesterone in building strong bones, and the harmful ingredients present in fizzy drinks – sugar, artificial sweeteners and phosphorus. The 10th Biomarker, Body Heat, our internal temperature clock, is explained in terms of diet, fitness, insulin regulation and lack of water consumption.
The effects and ravages of free radicals, mutations, glycation (glucose by-products being added to protein structure, undermining protein function) its implication in the formation of amyloid particles involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, mitochondria, the damage caused by cooking foods with sugar or with sugar, are all discussed in a chapter entitled 'Four Pillars of Ageing'. Inflammatory processes, leaky gut and Candida are other topics dealt with at length. The author introduces her Insulin Balance programme to ease inflammation which includes, amongst other components:
* Coenzyme A™* Health Joint Image™* Fish Oils* Vitamin C* Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus* Mixed carotenoids* Vitamin E* Pantothenic Acid* Selenium* Vitamin A* PABA* Licorice root extract* Mixed bioflavonoids* Milk thistle* Vitamin B6* Ginger tea* Turmeric* Green Tea
One major supplement called Coenzyme A™ (CoA), comprised of N-Acetyl-L Cysteine and Dimethylglycine provides active thiols (sulphur groups) which enhance methylation, essential for detoxification, oxygenation and gene replication. Kenton calls CoA the most important enzyme in your body. (See also page 8). Another vital methylator is SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), helpful in the treatment of osteoarthritis, depression, migraine, fibromyalgia and liver disorders.
A substantial and exceedingly helpful section discusses microbial pathogens, such as Salmonella and Clostridium and the yeast Candida, involved in so many ill-health syndromes. The author excels in discussing Candida, its symptoms, causes, diagnostic tests and dietary and nutritional treatment regimes for Candida.
She then revisits some of the vintage Stone-Age diet material covered so eloquently in her previous book Syndrome X. This discusses why the way we are eating today (low fat, high carb diets) is totally out of kilter with how humans evolved and lived over tens of thousands of years.
Kenton then discusses the chemicals poisoning our foods, the need for wholesomeness, the integrity and energy enhancing powers of raw food and the enhanced immunity conferred by caloric restriction.
Part four (be warned this is a big book) then introduces the author's programme, complete with explanations and tables of high and low-glycaemic foods, the different values of proteins and fats and oils. There are tables with good and poor choice proteins and carbohydrates and fats, crowned with a few menu suggestions, as well as purchasing (organic) and sound cooking advice.
An entire chapter is devoted to green foods, including green vegetables, sprouted green grasses, algae such as chlorella and spirulina, alfalfa, wheat grass, green tea and seaweeds.
Leslie Kenton excels in goading us lazy couch potatoes into the blisses and benefits of exercise, weight training, aerobics especially about shedding fat.
Almost 100 pages are devoted to brain chemistry, neurotransmitters, how to prevent and reverse memory loss and how to feel better using nutrition and exercise. Phosphatidylcholine, phohphatidylserine, acetyl carnitine – these and other key substances are well explained. Live Cell Therapy and Stem Cells are also featured in this part of the book.
The author describes 'get into bliss', bodywork practices including Trager, Alexander, Feldenkrais, Rolfing, Shiatsu, as well as spiritual and emotional healing practices such as Autogenics and Sedona. There are chapters for male and female health and sexual health, herbal remedies, and daily practices to help with problems such as insomnia.
This book has a fairly comprehensive resource list, glossary, reading list and index. The only thing missing to my scientific liking are references to the published scientific literature, which would have added gravitas, not to the weight of the book, but to its acceptance by the wider medical and scientific fraternity. This is not a quick read, but a veritable reference source to many well-known and obscure topics alike. A bargain at only £10.99.