Dr. Peter Attia — The Science and Art of Longevity (#661)

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“To understand what it means to live longer, you have to understand what ends life.”

— Dr. Peter Attia

Peter Attia, MD (@PeterAttiaMD), is the founder of Early Medical, a medical practice that applies the principles of Medicine 3.0 to patients with the goal of lengthening their lifespan and simultaneously improving their healthspan. He is the host of The Drive, one of the most popular podcasts covering the topics of health and medicine. 

Dr. Attia received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine and trained for five years at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in general surgery, where he was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including Resident of the Year. He spent two years at the National Institutes of Health as a surgical oncology fellow at the National Cancer Institute, where his research focused on immune-based therapies for melanoma.

His new book is Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity (3/28).

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform. Watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Wealthfront high-yield savings account, Helix Sleep premium mattresses, and Shopify global commerce platform providing tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business. 

#661: Dr. Peter Attia — The Science and Art of Longevity

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Want to hear Peter’s last time on the show? Listen to this conversation in which we discuss liquid biopsies, the four pillars of exercise someone seeking to improve their metabolic health should understand, methods for remedying modern posture problems, raising kids to be habitually active adults, the three levers of Peter’s nutritional framework, increasing scientific literacy, current pharmacological candidates for extending lifespan and healthspan, everything you ever wanted to know about zone two training, and much more.

#517: Dr. Peter Attia on Longevity Drugs, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the 3 Most Important Levers to Pull

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.



  • Connect with Dr. Peter Attia:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

  • Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia | Amazon
  • Engineer Your Own Personalized Longevity Playbook | Early Medical
  • The Peter Attia Drive Podcast
  • Dr. Peter Attia on Longevity Drugs, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the 3 Most Important Levers to Pull | The Tim Ferriss Show #517
  • Peter Attia, M.D. — Fasting, Metformin, Athletic Performance, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show #398
  • Dr. Peter Attia vs. Tim Ferriss | The Tim Ferriss Show #352
  • Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show #50
  • DEXA Scan (DXA): Bone Density Test, What Is It and How It’s Done | Cleveland Clinic
  • Assessment of Lean Mass and Physical Performance in Sarcopenia | Journal of Clinical Densitometry
  • Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI) Calculator | Omni Calculator
  • AMA #11: All Things Fasting | The Peter Attia Drive #89
  • How Much Protein Should You Eat? | Peter Attia
  • Food Sources for Nine Essential Amino Acids | Food Unfolded
  • The Smart Diet Coaching App | Carbon
  • 5 Proven Benefits of Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) | Healthline
  • mTOR (Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin) | Wikipedia
  • Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian Diet: Benefits, Downsides, and Meal Plan | Healthline
  • What is Ketosis? The Science Explained. | Peter Attia
  • Jocko Willink, Retired Navy SEAL: Objective, Strategy, and Tactics, Leadership, Protocols, Dealing With Death, and Applying the Many Lessons Learned from War | The Peter Attia Drive #55
  • USA Causes of Death by Age and Gender | World Life Expectancy
  • AMA #41: Medicine 3.0, Developments in the Field of Aging, Healthy Habits in Times of Stress, and More | The Peter Attia Drive #231
  • The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss | Amazon
  • Staying Safe from COVID-19 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • What If Moore’s Law Applied to Humans as Well? | The Washington Post
  • Medicine 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 | Peter Attia, Twitter
  • Funny Medicine: Hippocrates and the Four Humours | Gavi
  • Scientific Method | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Richard Feynman Teaches You the Scientific Method | Farnam Street
  • Dirty Doctors Finished What an Assassin’s Bullet Started: Disregarding New Scientific Information Can Be Deadly | Scientific American
  • Treatments for HIV/AIDS | Stanford Health Care
  • Treating Hepatitis C | American Liver Foundation
  • Nixon’s War on Cancer: Why It Mattered | Fred Hutch Cancer Center
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases | NIEHS
  • What is ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)? | The ALS Association
  • Huntington’s Disease | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
  • Is Diabetes Becoming the Biggest Epidemic of the 21st Century? | International Journal of Health Sciences
  • Study Design 101: Randomized Controlled Trial | The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library
  • Reading Mendelian Randomisation Studies: A Guide, Glossary, and Checklist for Clinicians | BMJ
  • What Is ApoB? | Pritkin Longevity Center
  • Weekly Emails Archives | Peter Attia
  • Studying the Studies Archives | Peter Attia
  • Study Design 101: Cohort Study | The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library
  • Observational Studies: Epidemiology | Research Guides at Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Research Explained in Practical Summaries (REPS) | Biolayne
  • The Man Who Tries Methods, Ignoring Principles, Is Sure to Have Trouble | Quote Investigator
  • How to Learn Any Language in Three Months | Tim Ferriss
  • AMA #30: How to Read and Understand Scientific Studies | The Peter Attia Drive #188
  • Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre | Amazon
  • Hills Criteria of Causation
  • Bradford Hill Criteria | Wikipedia
  • You’re Blowing Smoke up My Ass, Right? | The Bookwormery
  • How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff | Amazon
  • Dr. Matthew Walker, All Things Sleep — How to Improve Sleep, How Sleep Ties Into Alzheimer’s Disease and Weight Gain, and How Medications (Ambien, Trazodone, etc.), Caffeine, THC/CBD, Psychedelics, Exercise, Smart Drugs, Fasting, and More Affect Sleep | The Tim Ferriss Show #650
  • That Sleep Tracker Could Make Your Insomnia Worse | The New York Times
  • Alcohol Archives | Peter Attia
  • Sleep & Alcohol: Part 1 | The Matt Walker Podcast
  • Sleep & Alcohol: Part 2 | The Matt Walker Podcast
  • Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies | Amazon
  • How to Use a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) to Optimize Your Nutrition (Clip) | The Tim Ferriss Show
  • Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring | Dexcom
  • FreeStyle Libre 2 Continuous Glucose Monitor | Abbott US
  • Dietary Carbohydrate Restriction in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolic Syndrome: Time for a Critical Appraisal | Nutrition & Metabolism
  • All About Your A1C | CDC
  • Raisinets | Amazon
  • Exercise Can Raise Blood Glucose (Blood Sugar) | ADA
  • Hostel 2 | Prime Video
  • Wall Street | Prime Video
  • Hawthorne Effect: How It Works and Is It Real? | Investopedia
  • VO2 Max: How to Measure and Improve It | Cleveland Clinic
  • Muscle Fiber Type Transitions with Exercise Training | NCBI
  • Strength Training Can Help Protect the Brain from Degeneration | The University of Sydney
  • Concentric, Isometric, and Eccentric Training | Athletic Lab
  • Best Hamstring Exercise: Nordic Hamstring Curl to Reduce Risk of Injury | Muscle and Motion
  • How to Do a Hip Hinge | Verywell Fit
  • Tip: Axial Loading – What You Need to Know | T-Nation
  • Top Five Hand Strengthening Exercises For Stronger Hands | Virtual Hand Care
  • What is Rucking? | GORUCK
  • Training Zones Explained | ACTIVE
  • Blood Lactate Measurements and Analysis during Exercise: A Guide for Clinicians | Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
  • The Beginner’s Gear Guide for Ski Touring or Skinning | Insider
  • The Rucking Company | GORUCK
  • Weighted Vest Vs. Rucking | Weight Loss Made Practical
  • The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self by Michael Easter | Amazon
  • Cognitive Health and Neurodegenerative Disease Prevention | Peter Attia
  • Physical Exercise and Dementia | Alzheimer’s Society
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A Key Molecule for Memory in the Healthy and the Pathological Brain | Frontiers In Cellular Neuroscience
  • A New Frontier for Early Cancer Detection? Discussing the Grail Blood Test. | Peter Attia
  • Whole Body MRI Scans | Prenuvo
  • Alzheimer’s Genes: Are You at Risk? | Mayo Clinic
  • Cystatin C | National Kidney Foundation
  • Creatinine | National Kidney Foundation
  • FOLFOX Regimen | NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
  • Breast Cancer Hormone Receptor Status | Estrogen Receptor
  • Guy Winch, Ph.D.: Emotional First Aid and How To Treat Psychological Injuries | The Peter Attia Drive #146
  • Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmation | SNL
  • Theranos: A Fallen Unicorn | Investopedia


  • [07:00] How and why Peter’s muscle mass has increased significantly.
  • [18:48] Why the long wait for Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity?
  • [23:19] Objective, strategy, and tactics.
  • [28:50] From Medicine 1.0 to Medicine 3.0.
  • [39:04] Randomized control trial results: guidelines, not gospel.
  • [43:21] Revisiting why and how one should increase their medical literacy.
  • [52:44] Avoiding scientific method misconceptions.
  • [55:43] Austin Bradford Hill.
  • [56:22] Observational study versus randomized control trial.
  • [1:00:09] Are sleep trackers downgrading the quality of our sleep?
  • [1:02:53] Under what conditions does Peter feel alcohol might be worth its downsides?
  • [1:06:47] Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs).
  • [1:18:24] Underutilized metrics and tools for expanding health and lifespan.
  • [1:25:01] Strength.
  • [1:33:11] Rucking around and finding out about VO2 max.
  • [1:38:32] Finding the zone two sweet spot.
  • [1:41:10] How skinning and rucking have upped my endurance.
  • [1:42:24] Rucking vs. weighted vests.
  • [1:46:39] Are neurodegenerative diseases preventable?
  • [1:51:47] Helping your doctor understand and embrace Medicine 3.0.
  • [1:53:47] How much is an ounce of prevention worth to you?
  • [1:58:23] Early cancer screening.
  • [2:06:33] Outlive chapters.
  • [2:08:46] The chapter on emotional health that almost didn’t make the book.
  • [2:10:16] Peter’s 47 affirmations.
  • [2:14:18] Parting thoughts.


“Despite what a lot of the epidemiology will tell people, alcohol is not good for you in any dose. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t drink it at all, but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking it’s actually healthy at some low dose. It’s not.”
— Dr. Peter Attia

“My response to alcohol is, if I drink something that doesn’t taste incredible, I pour it out. I’m never going to tolerate a bad glass of wine, ever. It’s just not worth it.”
— Dr. Peter Attia

“Seven drinks in one day is very different than one drink a day for seven days. It’s the frequency and dose that defines the poison.”
— Dr. Peter Attia

“Not one to just clear the bar, I want to be considerably above the bar.”
— Dr. Peter Attia

“To understand what it means to live longer, you have to understand what ends life.”
— Dr. Peter Attia

“When I went to medical school, I didn’t learn a single thing about nutrition or exercise or sleep or stress management or emotional health. I learned a lot about pharmacology. And it’s tempting at this point to say, ‘Well, pharmacology is either good or bad.’ No, it’s both, right? Pharmacology is good and it’s really valuable, but over-indexing it is bad.”
— Dr. Peter Attia

“Sometimes more data is not always the answer.”
— Dr. Peter Attia

“Any measurement in isolation can be ridiculous and can be gamed. We shouldn’t ignore blood glucose any more than we should ignore body weight or body fat or body composition. We just have to understand that it’s one of many tools that we can look at.”
— Dr. Peter Attia

“To get into that top 2.5 percent of the population where you really start to see an enormous gap between you and everybody else in terms of lifespan, yeah, maybe only a quarter of the population has the potential to get there. But the point is everybody has the potential to be more fit than they are, outside of people who are already doing everything they can. So just going from being in the bottom 25 percent of the population to the 25th to 50th percentile of the population cuts your risk of all-cause mortality in half at any point in time. There’s nothing that compares to that.”
— Dr. Peter Attia


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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