Transcend is the second book collaboration between Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Terry Grossman after their success with Fantastic Voyage. It updates some of the recommendations in their first book and adds new guidance. The goal of this book is to help people become healthy enough to survive up to the point where new medicines, stem cell treatments, gene therapy, and replacement organs are widely available to help further extend lifespans.
Brain and Sleep:
• Find mental exercises that require problem solving.
• Use behavior change and medications to avoid addictions.
• Supplements for brain health include vinpocetine, phosphatidylserine, acetyl-l-carnitine, ginkgo biloba, EPA & DHA, phosphatidylcholine, and SAMe
• Sleep improves brain health. Some strategies for getting a good night’s sleep include following the nutrition recommendations in the book, exercising during the day, reducing stress, practicing good sleep hygiene, avoiding caffeine, and visiting a sleep clinic if necessary.
• Supplements to improve sleep include L-theanine, GABA, and melatonin.
• Lucid dreaming can enhance creativity and problem solving abilities.
How to Keep Your Heart Beating:
• A noninvasive procedure known as enhanced external counterpulsation is more effective than angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting.
• It’s good to reduce inflammation, since inflammation underlies every stage that leads to a heart attack.
• Good heart-related blood tests include a vertical auto profile lipid panel, a Hemoglobin A1c measurement, a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein test, and a homocysteine test. If a person has multiple risk factors, it’s useful to get a coronary artery calcium score, an intima-media thickness measurement, peripheral arterial disease screening, and a graded exercise stress test.
• Risk factors for heart disease include genetics, age, smoking, weight, triglycerides, homocysteine, high-sensitivity CRP, elevated fasting glucose, high blood pressure, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle.
• Supplements for heart health include red yeast rice, plant sterols, policosanol, vitamin E, garlic, curcumin, niacin, phosphatidylcholine, and coenzyme Q10.
• Supplements to lower high blood pressure include Uncaria-6, magnesium, garlic, L-arginine, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, alpha-lipoic acid, potassium, green tea extract, and hawthorn.
• Other strategies for improving heart health include stress reduction, exercise, treating sleep apnea, reducing levels of iron in the blood, maintaining proper dental hygiene, and repairing thyroid function.
• Relax, slow down, sit down, savor your food, and chew thoroughly to optimize the digestive process.
• Avoid alcohol, caffeine, NSAIDs, and other foods and medicines that can irritate the intestine. Avoiding allergenic foods (such as wheat, dairy, or citrus) can improve intestinal health.
• Supplements to improve digestion and heal the intestinal lining include probiotics, fructooligosaccharides, enzymes, garlic, bioflavonoids, and aloe vera.
• Hair mineral analysis and a comprehensive stool analysis can be used to diagnose digestive problems.
• Check for thyroid function with the TSH, free T3, and free T4 tests.
• Keep cortisol production under control by supplementing with DHEA, natural licorice, and ashwaganda.
• Maintain insulin sensitivity to improve health.
• DHEA reduces cardiovascular disease in men, increases libido in women, burns excess fat, lowers levels of chemicals that trigger inflammation, improves immune response, and may help prevent cancer.
• Before taking DHEA, have your current DHEA-S level tested to prevent potential side effects.
• Deep sleep, exercise, protein consumption, amino acid supplementation, and DHEA can increase growth hormone production.
• Test for your blood level of IGF-1 before trying to raise your growth hormone level.
• Melatonin has anti-aging properties.
• Bioidentical formulations of estrogen and progesterone are useful for improving women’s health.
• Isoflavones and black cohosh can reduce menopausal symptoms.
• Testosterone treatments are useful for both men and women who need it.
• Regular sexual activity has benefits for both sexes that include stress reduction, increased intimacy, improved immune function, prostate cancer prevention, and pain reduction.
• Early detection tests for osteoporosis include NTX testing and hair minerals analysis.
• The Hemoglobin A1c test detects the amount of cellular glycation.
• Ways to assess a person’s level of chronic inflammation include the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein assay and essential fatty acids testing.
• Steps to control inflammation include increasing consumption of fish oil, avoiding arachidonic acid, exercising, weight loss, treating gum disease, treating arthritis, spending more time in deep sleep, and taking curcumin supplements.
• The Mediterranean diet reduces incidence of cancer by 24 percent.
• Anticancer foods include olive oil, tomato sauce, soy foods, green tea.
• Limiting sugar and starch intake can help prevent cancer.
• Lifestyle strategies to reduce cancer risk include losing excess weight, exercising, reducing stress, avoiding sunburn, avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke, avoiding agricultural chemicals, and using nontoxic cleaning products.
• Supplements that can help prevent cancer include vitamin C, selenium, coenzyme Q10, curcumin, melatonin, EPA/DHA, vitamin D, and folic acid.
• Periodic physicals should check for skin abnormalities, oral cavity abnormalities, breast abnormalities, assessment of the lymph nodes, genital exam, and evaluation of the thyroid.
• Routine chest x-rays are a good idea for people who have been exposed to environmental pollutants and chemicals. Spiral computed tomography can detect early lung cancer in former and current smokers. Blood markers that can be used to detect early lung cancer include carcinoembryonic antigen, retinol-binding protein, alpha-1 antitrypsin, and squamous cell carcinoma antigen.
• Methods of screening for colon cancer include high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, virtual colonography, or fecal DNA testing.
• Testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genetic markers can be used for women at high risk of breast cancer.
• Thermography measures the temperature of breast regions and can detect breast cancers and precancerous tumors.
• Measuring the 2:16 estrone ratio can provide information on whether a woman has an increased cancer risk.
• The use of birth control pills has been shown to decrease ovarian cancer risk.
• Finasteride can lower prostate-specific antigen.
• Blood tests used to detect testicular cancer include alpha-fetoprotein, beta-human chorionic gonadotropin, and lactate dehydrogenase.
• Lifestyle changes can upregulate disease-preventing genes and downregulate genes that promote heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
• The APO E2 SNP dramatically reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and is associated with increased longevity.
Talk With Your Doctor:
• Prevention and early detection are important parts of medical treatment.
• A thorough physical examination looks at the following criteria:
1. general appearance
2. head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat
8. pelvic exam (women)
14. spine (back and neck)
• Total body ultrasounds and thermograms are part of a comprehensive evaluation.
• SPECT scanning can detect brain problems.
• A comprehensive health evaluation includes blood tests, urinalysis, hair analysis, saliva analysis, stool analysis, x-rays, mammograms, CT scans, MRI scans, endoscopies, electrocardiograms, percentage body fat, percentage muscle mass, exercise capacity, digestive function tests, mineral analysis, vitamin and free radical levels, neurotrasmitter levels, coronary artery calcium screening, carotid intima-media thickness, and genomics testing.
• Cultivate challenge, commitment, curiosity, and creativity.
• Learn time management and set priorities.
• Close interpersonal relationships help protect against the negative effects of stress.
• Massage therapy relieves emotional and physical stress.
• Mindfulness meditation helps reduce the negative health effects of stress.
• The AlphaStim device can help treat chronic stress, depression, and insomnia.
• Reduce anger, cynicism, suspicion, hostility, compulsive eating, and drug abuse.
• Buspirone, GABA, and L-theanine are safer than benzodiazepines for the treatment of stress.
• The five risk factors that influence mortality from all causes (and especially cancer and cardiovascular mortality) include smoking, low physical activity, overweight, poor diet, and alcohol (either no intake or excess amounts).
• Important tests include:
1. breast self-exams (in women) or testicular self-exams (in men)
2. heart rate
3. blood pressure
4. breathing rate
6. body composition (body fat and waist-to-hip ratio)
7. exercise and fitness testing (upper body strength, core body strength, flexibility, and aerobic conditioning)
• Damage to the arteries occurs after just one unhealthy meal but the body begins to repair that damage after just one healthy meal.
• Filtering tap water is important to avoid environmental toxins.
• Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. Addiction to sugar will dissipate after a week or two of giving it up.
• Eat low glycemic load foods.
• If you have to use sweeteners, sucralose and stevia are the best options.
• Excessive red meat consumption leads to high levels of arachidonic acid and inflammation.
• Oleic acid (found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts) has anti-inflammatory properties.
• Some saturated fat consumption is helpful since saturated fats provide support to cell membranes and serve as precursors to hormones and hormonelike substances.
• Avoid all trans fats.
• Lean beef and buffalo are good since other red meats can accumulate pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and industrial chemicals.
• Eat fish that has high levels of EPA and DHA.
• Eat organic whole foods whenever possible.
• Eat locally grown fresh produce whenever possible.
• Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits of many colors.
• Don’t overcook foods.
• Use medicinal spices like cinnamon and curcumin.
• Vinegar dramatically reduces the rise in blood sugar and insulin after eating.
• Eating several smaller meals and snacks instead of one or two large meals puts less strain on the digestive system and decreases insulin spikes.
• Deficiencies of vitamins C/B6/B12, folic acid, iron, and zinc can lead to DNA damage and cause cancer.
• Supplementation with beta-carotene slashed heart attack risk 45 percent.
• Supplementation with vitamin E decreased deaths from heart disease 47 percent.
• Calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help prevent the bone loss of osteoporosis.
• Men with higher blood levels of selenium have half the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
• Intravenously administered high-dose Vitamin C may help treat many different types of cancer.
• High-dose vitamin C may be a possible treatment for hepatitis C.
• Supplements recommended for everyone over the age of 30 include a multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D.
• Other beneficial supplements include coenzyme Q10, grape seed extract, alpha-lipoic acid, resveratrol, acetyl-l-carnitine, and acetyl glutathione.
• Supplemental hydrochloric acid can be used as a treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
• The basis of weight loss involves avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates and instead eating low-starch vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
• Consume as many calories each day as you would if you were already at your goal weight.
• Gradual fat loss is healthier and more sustainable.
• Exercises that strengthen muscle tissue are much more effective at burning calories.
• Eat until 80 percent full to get many of the benefits of reducing calories without pursuing an extreme calorie restriction plan.
• Exercise decreases the risk of death by 50 to 70 percent, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, decreases the risk of heart attack by 50 percent (when combined with moderate alcohol consumption), and increases leukocyte telomere length (associated with increased longevity).
• Three recommended kinds of exercise include aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training.
• Interval training leads to greater fat loss, faster cardiovascular conditioning, and fewer injuries.
• Strength training increases bone mass and increases levels of anabolic hormones.
• Exercises with resistance bands include chest press, triceps kickback, overhead press, upright row, bent-over one-arm row, biceps curl, seated leg extension, standing leg curl, outer-thigh lift, and inner-thigh lift.
• Core body exercises include abdominal crunches and the side plank.
• Flexibility exercises include neck stretch, lower-back stretch, abdominal stretch, calf stretches, ankle stretches, hamstring stretch, anterior-thigh stretch, buttocks stretch, groin stretch, chest stretch, upper-back stretch, shoulder stretch, deltoids stretch, triceps stretch, and biceps stretch.
• RNA interference can turn off genes associated with diseases and aging.
• Biological simulators can test drugs and other interventions at a much faster pace.
• Stem cells can rejuvenate a variety of body tissues.
• Telomerase can extend the life of certain cells and blocking telomerase can help stop the growth of malignant cells.
• Dr. Aubrey De Grey is developing strategies to repair the body by fixing chromosomal mutations, toxic cells, mitochondrial mutations, and cell loss.
• Biological microelectromechanical systems can be used for a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
• Use nontoxic cleaners and pest control products.
• Use air filters that remove both large particles and microscopic particles.
• Houseplants are useful for reducing airborne toxins that air filters can’t remove.
• Keep printers, copiers, and fax machines away from your workspace and ventilate the area where they are used.
• Wear water-washable clothing instead of using dry cleaning.
• Use a gas fireplace instead of wood-burning or coal-burning fireplaces or stoves.
• Install a radon mitigation system if at risk.
• Avoid venues where smoking is allowed.
• Use water filtration systems to avoid contaminants.
• Avoid jobs that involve contact with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers and petroleum-based products.
• Eat organic food whenever possible.
• Reduce exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
• Avoid exposure to toxic heavy metals.
• Cruciferous vegetables help remove accumulated toxins.
• Garlic, onions, lemon, rosemary, and green tea help the liver eliminate heavy metals.
• Cilantro is a natural chelator of heavy metals.
• Milk thistle, alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetylcysteine, and supplementary glutatione strengthen liver function.
• Vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, and B vitamins help optimize detoxification enzymes.
• A sauna may help excrete heavy metals and fat-soluble toxins.
• If hair mineral analysis indicates significant accounts of toxic heavy metal accumulation, chelation therapy can be helpful.