14 Amazing Books That Will Change Your Thinking About Health Topics (Includes Controversial Titles!)

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14 Amazing Health Books
14 Amazing Books That Will Change Your Thinking About Health Topics. Graphic & photo © healthpowerboost.com.

In the course of my work creating content for my natural health websites, I’ve combed through a mountain of written material. Here’s my hand-picked selection of the health books that have impressed me the most over the past 10 years of researching and writing in the health field. These are books that I would give to friends and family without hesitation (and sometimes do!) Note: clicking the title or image of the book will take you through to the book’s page on Amazon.com.

David Perlmutter MD. Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers

David Perlmutter MD - Grain Brain

A fantastic title that reminds us how far we have slipped, collectively, from our optimal diet. This book far exceeded my expectations; I anticipated it being “another title” in the nutrition field persuading us to eat naturally and warn us of the dangers of wheat. We’ve heard all that before, however this book goes much deeper and I would place it at the top of the list for anyone interested in brain health and in particular the avoidance of dementia; as well as regarding it as an essential for anyone studying nutrition overall.

Perlmutter is a neuroscientist with significant credentials and a background of years of real scientific research in his field. He goes into much detail on leptin, insulin, wheat, sugars, carbs and food allergies. However he wields the pen with great skill and manages to create a work that is highly engaging, erudite and ultimately actionable: He concludes with a section of best practices, including his recommendations for allergen testing plus protocols for diet, exercise, sleep and more.

I tend to seek out works that hit the “sweet spot” between expertise and readability and this one does just that. I learned a great deal from this book; highly recommended.

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How The Venture To Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government And Systematically Deceived The Public. – Steven M. Druker

Altered Genes Twisted Truth

This exceptionally well-researched (over 80 pages of references and notes!) but highly controversial title exposes high-level scientific corruption at the heart of the world of genetic engineering. Druker is an attorney whose lawsuit of the FDA forced the revelation of a monumental scientific cover-up. Genetic engineering / GMO science is a field that tends to polarize opinion. This book of course is “anti” but backs up its position in the debate with vast and rigorous research. It’s not easy going, but this is a key text for anyone interested to cut through the noise, learn about this topic in more depth and gain a deeper insight into the forces at play in the world of GMOs.

Mycelium Running – Paul Stamets

Mycelium Running - Paul Stamets

This is a very enjoyable and intriguing read which has received a mountain of 5-star reviews and even been described as “visionary”. Stamets is a world leading mycologist (fungus expert) and a “lovable maverick” who illustrates how the “third kingdom” – fungi – hold several important keys to our future (and may also be trying to communicate with us!)

Stamets’ insights into the mysteries of the fungal world are thought-provoking, entertaining and sometimes astounding. To give you an insight into his engaging style, one of my favorite section titles is “House Wrecker Fungi Also Break Down Toxic Wastes”; part of a section on mycoremediation – the use of fungi to break down and neutralize poisons in the environment.

This book is not only educational but makes a very nerdy topic hugely fun – and has thus been a smash hit, going on to inspire a deeper appreciation of a majestic realm of nature that had hitherto gained minimal public awareness. If you were to choose two books on fungi for your library, I would say get this one plus a field guide to the fungi of your local region.

Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine: The Key To Understanding Disease, Chronic Illness, Aging, and Life Itself – Lee Know, ND.

Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine

This somewhat advanced book delves deep into the world of the mitochondria, which have been nicknamed the “powerhouses of our cells”. The book illustrates the vital and often overlooked role that the mitochondria play in health, aging and a wide variety of disease conditions – notably the well-known degenerative diseases. Dr. Know explores various methods available to us for “mitochondrial optimization”, including diet as well as supplements such as CoQ10, Alpha-Lipoic acid and B vitamins. There are sections on the major diseases – cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimers’ and so on, with insights into the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in these conditions.

Of particular interest to natural health aficionados will be his detailed table of pharmaceutical medicines that have been documented to cause damage to the mitochondria. This table runs across two pages and includes many of the best known pharmaceutical drugs!

Finally, the bibliography runs to 50 pages of small print, illustrating that Dr. Know has poured a lifetime of research into this work. Vital reading for those interested in human anatomy & physiology, natural approaches to healing, and longevity.

The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health

The Real Anthony Fauci

NOTE – I have this book on advance order, but have not yet read it; I am currently in the UK and it is not released here til Feb 17th 2022. I will review upon reading. I anticipate that it will be excellent; based both on the existing reviews and on my knowledge of Kennedy’s previous work.

The reviews from the USA are exceptional: 4,166 ratings and 94% 5-star reviews. Such a high rating for so controversial a title shows that despite what the media would like you to believe, there is very strong support indeed for Kennedy’s brave work and line of thought. Follow the link to view the book on Amazon and explore the reviews others have given.

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food – Catherine Shanahan, M.D.

Deep Nutrition - Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food

In her many years of practice as a family doctor, Dr. Shanahan sometimes got to see several generations of the same families and was alarmed to notice the pattern of the older generations often being “the healthiest of the bunch” with the youngest presenting a wide array of chronic symptoms.

Taking aim (quite rightfully in my view) at the modern diet, she investigates the gamut of modern nutrition; including sugar, fats, minerals, vegetarianism, fermentation and in particular the health consequences of the modern “migration” from natural to manufactured food.

She illustrates in detail both what to eat and what not to eat – with vegetable oil and sugar being at the top of her “avoid” list. Good shopping is one of the keys to good eating and “detoxing your kitchen” is one of her recommended strategies; before re-stocking it with better foods, of which she gives a detailed list.

I enjoyed her summary of protein and it is indicative of her overall approach: She calls it the “goldilocks nutrient”, which one should take care to eat in the right quantity; with carbohydrates having no minimum requirement (you can avoid them) and fats having no maximum (you can eat more of them). This is clearly in the realm of the modern school of nutritional thought; which now views healthy fats as far from the devil they were once thought to be, explaining why “fat doesn’t make us fat, but sugar does”.

This is a major work on nutrition with over 650 references in total, however despite the depth of scholarship and real-world experience of a medical career, it’s not intended to be an “experts only” book; being both highly readable and actionable, squarely targeted at the general public and not just at medical professionals.

If you’ve been struggling to get your diet on track this would be a great book to arm you with insights that can enable you to make real progress.

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills – Dr. Russell L. Blaylock

Excitotoxins - The Taste That Kills

Destined to be controversial, this title from 1994 took aim at the food industry and delivered a broadside. The target: Excitotoxins, a group of substances in foods reported to cause the death of neurons through their overstimulation of the brain. The excitotoxins include several very common food ingredients – notably aspartame, monosodium glutamate in its many forms, aspartic acid, L-cysteine and hydrolyzed protein – which, according to Blaylock cause serious damage to the brain and nervous system. He also discusses the relationship between these substances and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

A certified neurosurgeon and professor of neurology, Blaylock put years of experience and research into this book. He illustrates not only the harm caused by these ingredients, referencing hundreds of studies, but highlights the questionable tactics of the food manufacturers – such as renaming ingredients in order to shake off their bad press and campaigns to discredit / silence opposition. Unsurprisingly, Blaylock took serious flak for his work – but as the saying goes, it’s often better to listen to what someone has to say than to what is said about them.

One of the great challenges in avoiding these controversial ingredients is the significant effort that has gone into renaming them in order for them to “fly under the radar”. The list of “Hidden Sources of MSG” is eye-opening and troubling, because you realize that despite your efforts to avoid MSG, you’ve been consuming it unawares anyway! This list is so valuable that it would be worth the price of admission alone!

If you were unaware of the controversy surrounding these ingredients and ‘just how deep the rabbit hole really goes’, this book is an eye opening read, as well as being a great primer in how the brain works.

Secrets Of The Soil: New Solutions For Restoring Our Planet – Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird

Secrets Of The Soil

This is something of a “forgotten classic” and is in my view an absolute must read. The most astonishing part of this astonishing book is the introduction, which was a revelation to me and became part of the cornerstone of my world view. There are some books that simply change your way of viewing the world – and this was one of them.

Tompkins and Bird’s introduction gives an extraordinary synopsis of modern agriculture, taking us from the flawed experiments and mechanistic / materialistic world-view of Von Liebig in the 19th century through their “domino effect” of disastrous consequences: The industrialization and then weaponization of manufactured chemicals in the 20th. It’s required reading for a full perspective on how much damage the chemical and agribusiness industries have caused.

The introduction alone is well worth the price of admission; The authors then go on to review various “alternative” agricultural methods – taking in both the well known (for example organic agriculture) and some unusual ones (Agni Hotra); giving a chapter to each.

If I had to make a critique it would be that some of the chapters get into some “new age” territory that while intriguing is very theoretical – but the historical material, together with the chapters on lichens, the Soil Association, biodynamic agriculture and Sonic Bloom (astonishing) make this an incredible book. The authors are also not just “armchair researchers” but visited and spent time with many of the proponents of the methods illustrated, some of whom are now considered landmark figures in their field.

In my life there are only a few books that I have bought multiple copies of so that I could give them away. This is one of them.

By the same authors:
The Secret Life of Plants: A Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man

Weston A. Price – Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Weston A. Price - Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

An all-time classic in the field of nutrition. Price was a dentist who spent many years studying remote indigenous populations through the world, including ancient civilizations, who in some cases were found to have absolutely perfect white teeth, despite no modern dental care regimen whatsoever. Supported by hundreds of photos, he illustrates how the outstanding health and perfect teeth of these people was due to their nutrient-packed diet of “wild foods”; and that those tribes who had become exposed to modern manufactured foods had rampant health problems – from tooth decay to various degenerative conditions.

Although written in the 1930’s this book has had a resurgence in popularity due to its ongoing relevance and sheer quality, with a string of rave reviews and some calling it the most important work on nutrition ever written.

Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don’t have To – Dr. David A. Sinclair PhD

Lifespan - Why We Age and Why We Don't have To

Dr. Sinclair is widely agreed to be the world’s foremost expert in the field of longevity research. Here he summarizes the work and discoveries of his team, with insights into the great progress that has been made in recent years in the topic of understanding the aging process; in particular whether science can halt aging and even turn back the clock. Sinclair gives tantalizing hints that he believes this will soon be possible, together with summaries of his research and insights into the mechanism of aging – however I have to confess that I found myself too eager for him to “just tell me how to live forever dammit” and I ended up skimming through sections I probably should have taken more time over!

I enjoyed the illustration of the difference between “lifespan” and “healthspan” – with the overall goal being not just to extend life but to extend healthy life. This makes eminent sense to me and I’m sure to most others who would love to live for a very long time but only if they were healthy.

Sinclair does list his current longevity protocols towards the end of the book, though he is cautious not to recommend them outright. So in summary, if you are looking to understand more about the aging process and learn some best practices for living a few years to a decade longer, get it. If you are looking for something that will tell you how to be immortal – we’re not there yet, chief.

Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistand Viral Infections – Stephen H. Buhner

Herbal Antivirals - Stephen H. Buhner

Fortunately I already had a copy of this work when the devastating events of 2020 began to unfold. Going online to retrieve the link to recommend to my audience, I found that it had sold out everywhere in a flash. Not surprising: Buhner is one of the world’s foremost herbalists and has a deep understanding of both viral infections and epidemiology in general.

I wrote to him right away and he sent me his updated protocols for “the big C”, which I presented to our Facebook followers, together with a long list of antiviral herbs and supporting foods. However, events took a surprising turn.

I had anticipated that this would be a risky topic and sensed that my post would get flagged for review; so I made every effort to make my article absoutely “bulletproof” – with careful wording and a long string of peer-reviewed scientific references. Nonetheless, my post was censored almost immediately. The censorship was absolutely bogus – they struck the post down on entirely fictional grounds, stating that I had made claims that were simply non-existent in my material! But they went further than just censoring the post; my website was added to a list of “dangerous websites” that are automatically blocked by a certain Chrome Extension that “decides for you” what you ought to read.

Reading Buhner’s groundbreaking book again it is eerily prophetic of recent events, illustrating that those with great knowledge are sometimes able to see the inevitable before it happens. Beyond that, it’s a must read for herbalists, naturopaths and those wishing to get the very best insight into herbal and alternative antiviral protocols.

Also by the same author:
Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare – Peter Gotzsche

Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime

The subheading on the back cover says it all: “Prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.” Gotzsche goes for the jugular with this all-out attack on big pharma; illustrating the fraud cases, the marketing strategies and what he calls the “organized crime” at the heart of this industry. There’s barely anything here about the benefits of medical drugs: This book is unabashedly one-sided – all about the ‘dark side’ of the industry – and pulls no punches whatsoever. He’s got it in for big pharma and proceeds to haul them over the coals mercilessly for 300 pages.

This is an exceptionally well researched and detailed book, with over 900 references, most of which are from major medical journals. He calls himself an “industry insider” and we learn that he worked as a drug salesman in his early career, which he describes vividly; giving numerous examples of the deceptive marketing practices commonly used when pitching medicines to doctors. And then it just spirals from there. The sheer volume of fraudulent practices he highlights, and their tragic consequences – the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people – are infuriating to read.

While clearly aimed at medical professionals, this book is readable – although somewhat overwhelming. If you want to understand the pharmaceutical industry, this should be on your bookshelf.

Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury – a Known Neurotoxin – from Vaccines. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Dr. Mark Hyman

Thimerosal - Let the Science Speak

Mercury – as is well established – is a very serious toxin. Through the latter part of the 20th century and early 21st, significant efforts have been made to remove it from consumer products across the world – yet it still persists in some forms and products. This 2015 book is about the continued inclusion of thimerosal (a mercury compound which has been officially stated to be safe) in vaccines and Kennedy’s tireless work to have it removed.

I never did buy the “official” line that ethylmercury was safe, having read several of the scientific studies from the 80’s and 90’s. What I saw was “good enough for me” not to trust it. However I barely scratched the surface of this topic compared to Kennedy. To say he was thorough is an understatement (over 1500 references). Indefatigable is probably a better adjective and this determination shines through in his work.

This is of course a highly polarized and controversial topic, where opinions are now censored in a big way. Pick your side in the debate, but don’t do so in a vacuum of ignorance, and don’t buy the overplayed line that anyone in the “anti” camp must necessarily be “stupid” or “anti-science”. That’s just political spin and a read of this book, packed with legal and scientific expertise, will convince you very swiftly that Kennedy is not in the least bit stupid and not in the least bit anti-science.

I’ve linked to the edition that includes the once-omitted chapters that discuss the autism link.

Silent Spring – Rachel Carson

Silent Spring - Rachel Carson

This famous book rocked the world and brought to mainstream public attention the terrible consequences of the now-banned DDT insecticide. This chemical was used in vast quantities in the mid 20th century and caused large scale environmental damage: Due to its persistence (lack of biodegradability) it migrated up the food chain and ended up causing the deaths of millions of birds, fish and other life forms. However the truth goes far beyond mere “unintended consequences” of the use of this pesticide: The book also exposed the insidious practices of the chemical industry and the tactics used to keep their poisons legal despite knowing their effects.

Despite now being 50 years old, this book has timely relevance as it reveals the nature of the political and industrial powers that be and their profit-driven practices, which are visibly ongoing; as are the consequences of numerous persistent chemicals that are still causing harm to this day, despite having been banned decades earlier, often with no attempt whatsoever to compensate their victims.

😳 What Tinnitus Does To Your Brain Cells (And How To Stop It)

After 47 years of studies and countless brain scans done on more than 2,400 tinnitus patients, scientists at the MIT Institute found that in a shocking 96% of cases, tinnitus was actually shrinking their brain cells.

As it turns out, tinnitus and brain health are strongly linked.

Even more interesting: The reason why top army officials are not deaf after decades of hearing machine guns, bombs going off and helicopter noises…

Is because they are using something called "the wire method", a simple protocol inspired by a classified surgery on deaf people from the 1950s...

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