Preeminent cell biologist Leonard Hayflick reveals the results of more than thirty years of pioneering research in the field of aging. Gracefully written, clearly organized, and packed with essential facts and statistics, "How and Why We Age" is a landmark study of the aging process for readers of all ages.
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With this book, Hayflick, a professor of biology (Univ. of California Medical School) who specializes in the study of aging, makes a valiant--and largely successful--attempt to summarize for lay readers the current research and theories in his field. Old age, as Hayflick points out, is in its infancy: Only during this century, and only in industrialized nations, have people lived long enough to grow old in large numbers. Hayflick lays out most of what is known about what happens as people age and outlines many of the theories and studies that try to explain the process. Along the way, he touches on ethical questions raised by the possibility of prolonging life and debunks the quackery that has pushed grafted monkey testicles, goat gland transplants, dried fetal cell injections, and other absurd remedies as anti-aging treatments. He also passes along such intriguing tidbits as the fact that normal cells can subdivide only 40 to 50 times before dying, but cancer cells are ``immortal'' and can replicate themselves indefinitely; that neither exercise nor antioxidants have been shown to slow the aging process; and that people who are up to 20% heavier than the ``ideal'' weight set by insurance company charts live longer than those who are underweight. Hayflick covers too much ground to linger on any one point, and that can be frustrating. He repeatedly cites the age of 115, for instance, as the maximum possible life span yet neglects to explain how he can be so sure. Despite its entertaining aphorisms and witty asides, this book is probably too dense to gain the audience its subject matter deserves. But for readers with a high tolerance for polysyllabic words and more than a passing interest in the biology of aging, it's an informative and often entertaining overview. (Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Hayflick (anatomy, Univ. of California Medical Sch.), a nationally recognized gerontologist with over 30 years' experience in the study of the aging process, presents a cogent response to the question of how and why we age. He not only explores the biological process of aging but also covers such topics as chronological vs. biological aging; longevity, aging, and death; normal aging vs. the myths of aging; demographics; how the human body's systems are affected by aging; theories on aging; attempts to control aging; effects of exercise, nutrition, weight, temperature, and light on longevity; and aging and longevity into the 21st century. The chapters are packed with easily digestible facts, observations, and scientific documentation. To support his statements, he uses reliable data from tested research and reputable statistical sources. This 400-page book should function as a primary resource for gerontologists, health professionals, informed lay readers, and higher education students interested in the process of aging.
Kathy Segrist, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Ballantine Books, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0345339185
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