The Longevity Paradox by Steven Gundry (Summary & Review)

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What’s it about? Quick Summary

The book talks about the paradox that despite the advancement in the healthcare facilities, people are living less healthy lives. The author discusses what is the root cause of all health problems and how to fix them.

Questions answered in this book:

  • Is degradation of health inevitable as we age?
  • Do our genes decide our health?
  • Is animal protein good or bad for our health?
  • What is the role of gut bacteria in our bodies?
  • What are the various myths about aging?
  • How to live longer and healthier without following crazy diets?
  • Why carnivores sleep a lot?
  • What is an ideal diet to live longer?
  • Are our genes responsible for degradation in health with age?

Buy the book in your preferable format:

Get the Audiobook: Buy on Audible | Play free on

Get the Hardcover copy: Check price on Amazon

Get the Paperback copy: View price on Amazon

The Longevity Paradox Summary

We all want to be healthier all our lives.

Nobody would like to die with a scary disease, right?

But these days, we keep hearing about scary new diseases causing troubles.

In fact, younger people are also getting diseases that were known to happen only at an old age.

Why is this happening?

Is it our lifestyle or the environment?

Or is it our genes that affect our immunity?

How do we stay healthy and fight the health monsters?

In this book summary, I’ll share the best insights I learned from this book that will help you become stronger and improve your lifespan.

Alrighty, so without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Lesson #1: The key to longevity is being healthy internally.

If you had a choice between living longer and living healthier, which one would you choose?

You would say “both,” right?

Long age is more of a problem if it’s not accompanied by good health.

The author shares a paradox:

“We all want to live longer, but nobody wants to age.”

This is not possible.

Without aging, you can’t say that you have lived long.

So, when we discuss longevity, the goal is to be at our optimum health even in our 70s.

Ever seen old people with problems like weak joints, high sugar, etc.?

If you are old, chances are, you will have one of these diseases.

Longevity is not just about the number of years, it’s about the strength and vitality of your internal organs.

The question is:

Is it even possible to stay young even at the old age?

Sounds like a dream, right?

Think about it.

Earlier, people didn’t have as many medicines as we have today.

But despite all that, we don’t see average lifespan getting any higher.

I have heard stories of how our ancestors lived more than 100 years.

Unfortunately, now it’s assumed that after the age of 50, your health will deteriorate, and we see only a fraction of a percent of people are 100 years or older.

Most drugs work on the issue at hand, and we never really investigate what caused the problem in the first place.

Furthermore, when we talk about health, we not only talk about physical health, but also our mental health.

We can’t feel happy about your life if your stomach is always having butterflies.

Isn’t it?

We need to figure out a way to have a mentally and physically fit body as long as we live.

Life is limited, and there is no point in hiding this truth.

So let’s dive deeper and discuss what decreases our lifespan and what we need to take care of to stay healthy.

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Lesson #2: Understanding our gut bacteria is the key to increasing lifespan.

Often we find people where a particular disease runs in the family.

For example, if the mother has diabetes, the child is likely to get diabetes.

The author shares an interesting story about how he and his father had the same diseases.

He believed that it must be due to DNA.

But he later found out that genes weren’t responsible for that.

It’s gut bacteria.

The reason a certain disease runs in a particular family is because they carry a similar lifestyle.

Just like many other habits, we learn a lot of our eating habits from our families and relatives.

There is a reason why the American diet contains a lot of fast food. 37 percent of Americans eat fast food daily.

Another example: If your parents are vegan, chances are you’ll also be vegan.

Or if your parents eat a lot of sugar, chances are you will also be eating a lot of sugar in your diet without realizing it.

The thing is:

There are two types of bacteria in our gut.

For simplicity, let’s say good bacteria and bad bacteria.

As the name implies, good bacteria help you digest food and allow you to absorb maximum nutrients. Thus, they help you improve your overall health and immunity.

While bad bacteria do the opposite.

The author found that if you want to live past 100 years, you have to keep your gut healthy.

The question is:

How to keep our gut healthy?

It’s simple, eat food that helps you increase the number of good bacteria.

For instance, raw fruits and vegetables are good for your good bacteria, while artificial sugar and animal protein are favorable for bad bacteria.

So, you’ll have to say goodbye to your ice creams and chocolates that contain plenty of artificial sugars if you want to live past 100 years and stay energetic.

Not only do good bacteria promote your longevity, they also cure existing diseases within your body by making your internal organs stronger.

Lesson #3: You don’t get any nutrition if you don’t digest your food.

This might sound weird…

But countless people don’t properly digest what they eat.

Many people increase their protein intake hoping that it’d help them build muscle mass without thinking whether their gut bacteria are capable of digesting them or not.

There is nothing wrong with natural protein.

The problem is:

If your gut bacteria aren’t capable of handling particular food, it’s not going to digest.

And if something doesn’t digest properly, you don’t get all the benefits.

So start paying attention to your gut bacteria.

Make a list of things that you find difficult to digest.

Now, please try not to underestimate this learning.


Because almost all parts of our body are affected by this.

Do you want a clear skin? Or do you want a toned body?

If you are gut bacteria are less in numbers, you won’t be in good shape either.

Remember, you are what you digest, and not just what you eat.

Your good gut bacteria are your truly best friends forever.

They take care of you, even when you forget about them and get busy carrying out your daily tasks.

So, it’s your responsibility to acknowledge them, isn’t it?

You can return the favors to your good gut bacteria by promoting them — by eating the right kind of food.

It’s worth noting that all diseases begin in the gut.

Just name any disease, and you’ll probably find research suggesting some kind of link with your gut.

What does this mean?

It means that if you are always having some kind of gut issues, you shouldn’t take it lightly.

You may find yourself with some bigger problems eventually if you don’t address them.

This is something that simply must not be ignored, well, of course, unless you don’t want to live longer for some reason.

Lesson #4: Heart and joint problems aren’t the result of increasing digits in your age.

It’s your bad gut bacteria that cause these problems.

Allow me to explain.

The author says that arthritis doesn’t come with age.

The wear and tear of our bones is due to the bad bugs in our gut.

Also, heart problems are often thought to happen to only old people.

But today, we also see young people with heart problems.

They also happen due to bad bugs in our gut, says the author.

Bad bugs cause inflammation in the body.

What is inflammation?

When our body encounters any offending agent like bacteria or virus, it activates the immune system.

Although inflammation helps fight the villainous bacteria, if it becomes chronic, it can cause arthritis, heart problems, asthma, etc.

Think about the time when you get a minor cut, the body starts repairing itself.

So acute inflammation is actually helpful as it promotes healing.

But during chronic inflammation, the body starts fighting even when there are no bad bacteria. Thus, it starts destroying healthy ones.

This is actually what happens within your body when you feel joint pain due to arthritis.

Good bacteria are friends, but bad bacteria are your enemies.

They don’t go well together.

To fight bad bacteria, you must consume anti-inflammatory food items, that promote the growth of good bacteria, like leafy vegetables.

When it comes to healing your body, avoiding the cause of the problem is much more important.

Refined and deep-fried food must be avoided as much as possible to prevent inflammation.

If you are having problems like arthritis, it’s not because your joints have become weaker with the increasing digits in your age, it’s most likely due to the food that you are eating.

Lesson #5: Animal protein is not only bad for your health, but it also shortens your lifespan.

The author has shared 7 myths related to aging.

One of them is that animal protein is essential for our bodies.

The author found that animal-based food is behind all sorts of problems like obesity, high blood sugar, etc.

But animal-food gives protein and protein helps you build muscles, right?

How can animal protein be bad?

This can be challenging to digest, but animal protein is worse than plant protein, although a lot of people believe that plant protein is not high quality.

Our bodies turn protein into amino acids during digestion.

But the thing is: If you are taking too much amino acids, it can be damaging.

Too much of anything is bad.

The problem with food such as meat, dairy, egg, etc., is that they don’t have enough fiber and antioxidants.

So people who only eat animal-based food often develop fiber deficiencies.

Also, the body has to work extra hard to digest them. If you are digestion is not powerful enough, you’ll face other problems like gas, acidity, heart-burn, etc.

If you don’t eat enough fiber, you’ll face gut issues for sure.

Animal food also contains high cholesterol and saturated fats, which are a big cause of heart disease.

In other words, if you are eating animal food every day, you should be concerned.

What is the alternative of animal protein?

You can eat a variety of fruits, seeds, nuts, and vegetables to get enough protein instead of consuming animal-protein.

It is also sometimes linked with memory loss and increased risk of cancer.

Please note that consuming animal protein once in a while isn’t a big deal because our bodies can adapt.

But regular consumption of animal protein will certainly shorten your lifespan.

Lesson #6: Judge a body by how it looks on the outside.

We learn that people must not be judged on face value.

If something looks shiny, it doesn’t mean it’s great, right?

Yes, these things are true from a larger perspective.

But when it comes to our bodies, this is actually true.

If your skin is too oily or too dry, if you are too obese or too thin, it only means that something is not right within the body.

Our bodies give a lot of signals before we get any disease.

It’s only a matter of whether we address them and understand them or not.

Here are a few signals you can notice:

  • Skin problems
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Sleep disorders
  • Unexplained body temperature
  • Any kind of pain or discomfort in the body
  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue

As soon as you start noticing these symptoms, you should investigate your diet first.

As we all know, our body must have all the necessary nutrients to work properly.

If one of them is in deficit or in excess, it causes problems within the body.

And if you are already having a clear skin, feel energetic, good bowel movements, you might already be having a healthy diet and lifestyle.

We tend to blame our genes for many problems like acne breakouts or weight gain, but the author has clarified in the book that it’s mostly because of our bad habits and unhealthy diet.

Insight: When it comes to physical body, it’s okay to judge from the outside. But avoid applying this same concept everywhere. Especially, when we discuss human nature, it’s not okay to judge from the outside all the time. You would need to develop decent skill for that.

Lesson #7: Drink coconut milk instead of animal milk.

Most of us drink milk, hoping that it’d give us calcium.

When we were young, we learned that calcium is good for bone density, and thus it helps reduce bone fractures.

Plus, it has many other vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin K, etc.

That all sounds nice and healthy, right?

But new scientific research reveals that milk consumption in large quantities could cause cardiovascular issues.

So, what’s the truth?

Is animal milk a Hero as most people on the earth believe?

Or is it a villain, as modern health-conscious people claim?

Should you drink animal milk or not?

Let’s find out.

The author isn’t in the favor of drinking animal milk.

Here are a few reasons why drinking milk every day isn’t practical:

  • You don’t need animal milk. Just think about it. No other animal drinks milk after it has grown up. It’s only for babies who need growth hormones. All animals get sufficient milk from their mothers. What reason is there for a man to drink another animal’s milk after he has become an adult?
  • Milk is bad for digestion. It has sugar (lactose) in it. It means that if you are drinking milk every day, you are consuming lots of sugar. And it’s common knowledge that excess sugar consumption is bad for health. Unless, you want high blood pressure, you should avoid it.
  • Milk is infamous for acne. Your skin tells a lot about you. If it’s getting lots of acne, there is something wrong within. Many studies link acne problems with milk.

I’ve told you about both the pros and cons of consuming milk.

Now you have to decide whether you want to consume it or not.

Obviously, if you wish to live longer, the author recommends that you avoid drinking animal milk.

Instead, consume coconut milk.

What’s the difference, you might ask?

Well, coconut milk is plant-based.

So, you don’t get animal-protein in that, which we know is harmful and not suitable if you want to live longer.

Also, there is a difference in the texture of both milks.

Cow’s milk has a creamy, smooth texture and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor, while coconut milk has a thicker, richer consistency and a mild, slightly sweet coconut flavor.

But the texture should be the least of our concern.

The Longevity Paradox Review

Here is my critical review of this book:


  • Everything is backed by research.
  • The book busts a lot of the myths about food and health that almost all of us believe as we never investigate them.
  • The author has tried his best to keep the topic interesting and funny despite getting into technicalities of the topic.


  • If you are someone who finds it hard to accept bitter truths, you may find some ideas difficult to digest.
  • Plenty of technical details regarding the chemicals inside our gut that might bore some people off.
  • The author derives some concepts from his other book The Plant Paradox, but it’s not much of a big deal that should stop you from reading this book.

Who should read this book?

  • Billionaires who have a lot of wealth but worry about their degrading health.
  • General physicians and dieticians who want to create better diets for their patients and help them deal with common problems like high blood pressure, weak muscles, indigestion, etc.

Buy the book

Think this is enough? You are wrong.

Health is one of the most important pillars of life.

Get your copy of this book and read it thoroughly.

Buy the book in your preferable format:

Get the Audiobook: Buy on Audible | Play free on

Get the Hardcover version: Buy on Amazon

Get the Paperback version: View price on Amazon

Now It’s Your Turn

There you have it.

I hope you learned a lot about making healthy diet and lifestyle choices.

If you liked this summary, share it with your friends and family as well.

Thank you for reading.

Shami Manohar

The Brain Behind

I am Shami Manohar, the founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books has fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on topics such as business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more.

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