More than 10 years ago I became interested in two areas of alternative medicine: functional medicine and anti-aging. Functional medicine addresses the present health habits of a person to prevent or reverse disease. Anti-aging medicine addresses the future and seeks greater longevity and health span. As I attended conferences in both areas, I was impressed that the anti-aging community tended to look at scientific breakthroughs but did not pay much attention to what people were eating or doing today. Pastries were served during the breaks!

Mark Hyman, MD is a pioneer of functional medicine. In addition to running his own clinical practice, the UltraWellness Center in Massachusetts, he is also founder of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and board president for clinical affairs for the Institute for Functional Medicine ( He has written over 20 books in nutrition and healthy lifestyle. His latest, Young Forever, bridges functional medicine with anti-aging, a most welcome development.

In my Restore Health Disease Reversal office, I have a shelf of books on anti-aging and Young Forever is a welcome addition. It is the most current and comprehensive of these offerings. The book is divided into three parts and 18 chapters.  The first part is “How and Why We Age” looking at both the science of aging and our current nutrition and health habits. Compounds such as rapamycin discovered on Easter Island, and melatonin (not just for sleep) are discussed. There are 10 known hallmarks of aging and Hyman discusses how we can address these with nutrition and supplements. Think cleaning up the damage to our cells and taking out the garbage.

The second part of the book is “Optimizing Your Health Span and Life Span.” Seven core biological systems are described: 

  1. Nutrients, digestion and the microbiome 
  2. Immune and inflammatory systems 
  3. Energy, keeping our mitochondria healthy 
  4. Detoxification and elimination 
  5. Communication systems – hormones, neurotransmitters and cell-signaling molecules 
  6. Optimizing circulation and lymphatic flow
  7. Structural health and imbalances

The third and final part of the book provides a program for staying “young forever.” Testing, nutrition (including supplements) and lifestyle practices are discussed in detail. The recommendations are comprehensive and practical. This book is a guide to the latest science and health practices to avoid aging as much as possible today. If everyone followed Dr. Hyman’s Young Forever program, I suspect life expectancy would increase by 20 years and even more for the number of years we are healthy. I am certainly on board with this.

Dr. Scherger is founder of Restore Health in Indian Wells, a clinic dedicated to weight loss and reversing disease. To schedule a consultation or for more information, visit or call (760) 898.9663.

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