Dr. David Agus Dispels More Medical Myths and Shares His Secrets to a Long and Healthy Live
The celebrated health expert returns to the show to promote his new book "Animal Secrets"February 28, 2023
Celebrated health expert Dr. David Agus returned to the Stern Show on Tuesday to administer another dose of much-appreciated medical wisdom to Howard, co-host Robin Quivers, and all their listeners. The 58-year-old physician, University of Southern California professor, and bestselling author joined the show ahead of the release of “The Book of Animal Secrets: Nature’s Lessons for a Long and Happy Life,” his greatly anticipated new guide to living longer by opening one’s eyes to the everyday miracles of Mother Nature. In addition to sharing several animal-related secrets to health and happiness, the good doctor also dispelled a few common medical myths, discussed the future of medicine, spoke about his relationships with celebrity philanthropists like Mila Kunis and Steven Spielberg, and attempted to cure Howard of any worries about his own wellbeing.
Dr. Agus praised Howard for his nutritious diet and encouraged him to keep getting regular doses of exercise and plenty of mental stimulation. While there’s no doubt genetics play an important role in one’s health, the good doctor hammered home the point that smart lifestyle choices are even more essential to living a long and happy life.
“It’s your behavior. You’re in charge of you, and I think that’s powerful,” Dr. Agus told listeners.
While scientists still don’t know much about how the brain works, they know enough to recommend staying physically and mentally active. “Every year you delay retirement you reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s by almost three and half to four percent. So, a 20 year span? That could be a 60 to 70 percent reduction,” he said, adding, “You need to make yourself uncomfortable every day … How many people retire and just sit around and play golf and watch TV? They don’t do very well.”
Dr. Agus also sang the praises of various social interactions which have fallen by the wayside in the COVID era. He said simple gestures like making eye contact and receiving eight hugs a day got oxytocin flowing in the brain and helped promote longevity.
“We were social creatures. We’re made to interact,” Dr. Agus reminded Howard shortly before making a light-hearted joke at his expense. “We have a surprise for you: Beth and I found 20 strangers on the street, and they’re at the door right now, and they’re going to come in and hug you.”
Dr. Agus answered a few more of Howard’s medical questions before saying goodbye, from the importance of an annual COVID boosters — “it gives very potent protection from the current variants that are out there” — to the benefits of taking low-dose aspirin (for those who can stomach it). He dispelled a few more myths, too, including one about nitric oxide nasal spray keeping viruses at bay and another about erectile dysfunction and prostate health.
Howard had recalled reading that daily ejaculation reduced a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. “Is there any truth to this?” he asked his guest.
“No truth to that at all,” Dr. Agus responded. “It’s an old wives’ tale. We were made to have sexual activity, and that’s certainly very important, but the quantity doesn’t actually reduce things like prostate cancer.”
“Wow, god bless you,” Howard said.
Ultimately, Dr. Agus encouraged Howard and his listeners to make healthy lifestyle choices while also not forgetting to live in the moment — a lesson he said he learned from his own dog. “We have to take some risk. We’re in a medical system where if something happens we’re going to be on top of it, and I’m not worried, but we have to live,” he said.
Howard saw the doctor’s point but wasn’t sure he’d been effectively cured of his worries. “Will there ever be a week I don’t call you and say I’m dying?” he wondered.
“No, because I love our conversations,” Dr. Agus concluded with a laugh.
“The Book of Animal Secrets: Nature’s Lessons for a Long and Happy Life” arrives March 7.