Neurosurgeon and wildly controversial Paleo blogger Dr. Jack Kruse gives us his first book, The Epi-paleo Rx: The Prescription for Disease Reversal and Optimal Health. Kruse, who used his findings to lose 140 pounds and pack on muscle, takes the reader through his prescriptions for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, autoimmunity, brain health, and aging. The material weaves together surprises from our Ice Age origins with the new science of epigenetics, or the effect of diet and environment on gene expression.
A champion of “biohacking,” the art of tinkering with one’s own biology, Kruse pounces on his own profession’s ineptness when it comes to chronic conditions and urges readers to take health care into their own hands. He discusses which labs to order and why, why your doctor is obligated to write you a prescription you don’t need, the vital roles daylight and darkness play in metabolism, and the optimal diet for different stages of health and different times of year.
Perhaps Kruse’s more fascinating contributions to Paleo literature are his findings on cold therapy—the effect of cold environments, immersion in cold water, and ice pack therapy on disease reversal, pain, and optimal living. Kruse explains how our origins as cold-adapted mammals hold the key to disease reversal, using a shocking biohack to prove his theory.
The Epi-paleo Rx is the result of Kruse’s abundant research and clinical application in his practice as a neurosurgeon. Kruse questions conventional wisdom about human metabolism and chronic disease, arguing science has incomplete information when it comes to insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, and their related illnesses. By examining the human body through the prism of our early beginnings and the science of epigenetics, we find each of us already possesses the “owner’s manual” to reverse disease and live optimally.
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After suffering a heart attack at the age of 49, I had a stent implanted and was prescribed the usual cocktail of medications (blood thinner, statin, blood pressure meds, aspirin, etc.). I was told to watch my cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as eat a "healthier diet" consisting of low fat foods, whole grains, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables. My physical activity level was minimized at the recommendation of my cardiologist due to an "increased risk of another cardiac event", who subsequently limited me to walking and lifting light weights. Prior to my health problem, I thought I was in fairly good shape, with a slim to medium build, and I used to be active in sports, playing hockey, softball, golf, bicycling, jogging, etc. It has been about 3 years since my heart attack, and I have noticed a marked decrease in my energy level, an increase in body fat, loss of lean muscle mass, and I have struggled to lose weight where I never had much difficulty doing so in the past. My daughter's doctor recommended I read this book, so I took him up on it. The author seems very sincere in his beliefs about the research he conducted and the studies that he cites. I did not get the impression that I was just being sold another "diet book" so that he could make a few bucks off of me...this guy truly "walks the walk" due to his own health issues and prior struggles with weight. He explains, in great detail, his hypothesis about why he believes today's diet of processed and unhealthy foods are causing many of the modern day ailments that were not prevalent until this past century. With that being said, there is a lot of medical jargon that I must admit, bored me. It was interesting to understand the reasoning and logic behind his beliefs, and it is important to understand the basis for his assertions, but it lacked a comprehensive list of foods to eat or not to eat, which was the primary reason I purchased the book to begin with. Rather, he refers us to read two other books by different authors about the paleo diets. He did offer a few recommended foods, as well as foods to shy away from, but it was more of a summarization that was covered within a few pages of his book. I was a little disappointed that there was not an appendix or chapter dedicated solely to listing a broader range of good foods vs. bad foods so that I could incorporate it into my next food shopping list. For that reason only, I deducted a star from my rating, but I do believe his theory that our society is being soldout for profit margins over our healthcare, and that we must seriously question much of what the medical field has told us about diet and medications.
This book may very well save modern humans from extinction!
This book may very well save modern humans from extinction! I was truly blown away by the massive wealth of information in this book. I am not one to jump blindly into anything, I'm skeptical at heart. This book just made sense to me... Perfect sense. It's absolutely brilliant how Dr. Kruse connects all the dots and presents a genius way of living life. As for me... I've been Epi-Paleo for 3 weeks now and mere words can't describe the changes I have experienced. You see, I've been dealing with horrible IBS for the past 7 years. Conventional medicine got me a few prescriptions and my gall bladder removed at age 29 and strict instructions to eat "lots and lots of whole grains". On top of this, I was (still am) an avid yoga and Zen practitioner, so naturally I tried the vegetarian way. And let me just say, I got sicker and sicker. After 1 week Epi-Paleo, all my IBS symptoms have VANISHED!! GONE!! I feel like I have had a GI transplant! Three weeks in and my carb cravings are non-existent and my sleep is the best it has been in many years. I want to thank Dr. Kruse for sharing his gift. I only wish I had discovered it sooner.