Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

4 bullets to dodge

On my mind lately is this quote from Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans by Dr. Peter Attia:

If you’re over 40 and don’t smoke, there’s about a 70 to 80% chance you’ll die from one of four diseases: heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, or neurodegenerative disease.

The good doctor has done research at the National Cancer Institute on the role of regulatory T cells in cancer regression and other immune-based therapies for cancer. Oh, and he is a former ultra-endurance athlete, and got his MD from Stanford University, and his BSc in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. All of which to say is, he knows his stuff.

So to increase the chances of not dying from those four diseases, he suggests:

  • Eat healthy, exercise (high-intensity, heavy strength training) (for Heart Disease)
  • Eat healthy, exercise (high-intensity, heavy strength training), meditate (for Cerebrovascular Disease, aka stroke)
  • Avoid highly refined carbohydrates and sugars, fast once a week (one primary meal between a two hour window) (for Cancer)
  • Take low-dose lithium (below 150 mg) and meditate (for Neurodegenerative Disease, with Alzheimer’s dementia being one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S.)

The doctor argues that if you’ve made it to 40 years old, you’ve managed to not get hit by a car or do something really stupid to kill yourself. Now, it’s a matter of doing the work to be able to live long(er) and healthy.

Which apparently means eating less junk food, exercising more, fasting, meditating, and considering low-dose lithium.

Some things to think about.


I hate it when I know better


March is Writing Practice Month


  1. Terri Wortman

    Yes, good reminder to do the things we know to do. Is lithium something you can buy over the counter? Taking Lithium is a new recommendation I have never heard about before.

    • Andi

      Yeah, I’d only heard about lithium with respect to bipolar disorder, but apparently that treatment involves considerably higher amounts of lithium (1200 mg?). There was a New York Times article in 2014 asking “Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium?” (https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/opinion/sunday/should-we-all-take-a-bit-of-lithium.html), and it included information about research on lithium’s benefits. I didn’t realize that lithium is a naturally occurring mineral, like calcium and potassium, and is found in groundwater. While high doses can be toxic, the low-dose amount (“Lithium is actually really, really safe at low doses — basically anything below about 150 mg — if you have normal kidney function.” -Dr. Peter Attia on page 67 of “Tools of Titans”) apparently is safe and helps protect the brain (not to mention helping with moods). As for where to get it, low-dose lithium (esp. in the form of Lithium Orotate, or Lithium Arginate/Aspartate) can be found online — I found a number of options on Amazon.

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