cover of Anti-Aging Zone, The

Anti-Aging Zone, The

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Author: Barry Sears, Sears Barry
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Barry Sears started the diet movement of the decade with the Zone's 40-30-30 eating plan (40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent each fat and protein). In The Anti- Aging Zone, Sears explains that he thinks aging is not caused so much by depleted hormone levels but by a lack of communication among hormones.

So what exactly do these hormones have to do with aging? Estrogen and testosterone levels affect sex drive and skin tone; a drop in melatonin can lead to insomnia. Wavering serotonin levels have been shown to be a factor in depression. Insulin gone haywire can mean diabetes. While the intricacies of these hormonal interrelationships are the makings of a graduate degree in endocrinology, Sears offers a layperson's short course. It boils down to this: the vastly complicated hormonal action in humans is controlled by eicosanoids, what he calls "super hormones." And eating in the way advocated by The Anti-Aging Zone, he argues, can help maintain proper eicosanoid functioning, thereby preventing the litany of health problems associated with aging--both mental and physical.

The Anti-Aging Zone is sure to be controversial: Sears recommends a daily intake of just 1,200 calories for women and 1,500 for men, about 40 percent fewer than the U.S. RDA. It's also not just a diet plan, but a lifestyle plan, with guidelines for meditation (to reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone) to improve brain longevity, and moderate amounts of exercise, including strength training. But Sears adds a solid guide to supplements (the essential, the important, the exotic and expensive) and herbs, and a rundown of the mind-body-diet connection. While The Anti-Aging Zone isn't especially easy to follow, it's an eye-opening and educational guide to the aging process and the control you have over your own health.

Reader Reviews

"Technical, but worth the effort"

Rating: 5 stars
I read Mastering The Zone and have been in the zone for about two months. The Anti-Aging Zone is more technical but provides more information on vitamins and ways to verify that you are in the zone. I was especially interested in the Harvard Medical study on heart attacks and the relationship of the Triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio. A ratio over 4 is bad news. Before starting the zone diet, my ratio was 7.6. Now, just over two months later, its below three. The goal is to have a ratio below 2. Overall, the book re-enforces the benefits of the zone diet. But if a person is just starting this diet, then I suggest Mastering The Zone or Zone Perfect Meals in Minutes as better "How To" books.

"Aging as a chemical engineering problem."

Rating: 5 stars
As a zoner for nearly 2 years, I can personally attest to Dr. Sears scientific evaluation of America's high carbohydrate - low fat diets, and the current government dietary pyramid scheme. His latest book describes the hormone system and how sustained high insulin levels accelerate aging. This book explains in great detail how Dr. Sears, through the empirical results of his own studies and research of others, formulated the "Zone Diet". This book should give those who believe in the current wisdom of high carbohydrate - low fat diets pause. The book is not an easy read, but given the complexity of his subject I don't see how it could be more simply written. Just do like I did; read it twice.