Okinawa or bust, -sonny!
Scientists are on the trail to decoding what makes the oldest people such amazing survivors.
In studies like: The New England Centenarian Study, a Swedish Study on Twins in 1998 and others, they are trying to separate the anecdotal from the real science, or better, use it to track down what is actually happening.
As the results of the Swedish Study suggest, 70-80% of the success factors hinge on behavior: quality of diet, calorie intake, physical exercise, consistent mental activity, lack of smoking, and maintaining social networks.
Many of the people referenced were still independent at 90 or above and roughly 1/3 had reached old age while retaining significant health in many facets of life. These people are not necessarily your doddering grannies.
Among the localities cited as extraordinary were Okinawa, Sardinia and Nova Scotia. Sardinia was particularly interesting because it has a 1:1 ratio of female to male centenarians, compared with ~3:1 elsewhere.
Genetics weren’t completely ruled out as there were several American study participants who had prior health problems and less than stellar lifestyles. However, this group of survivors seemed viewed as superhumanly blessed.
As much as was suggested about the power of new medicine to uncover the secrets in their genes, like sites on chromosomes 4 and 6, more was suggested about the simpler lifestyles of yesteryear that keep these subjects alive and healthy. As the U Ga. scientist said, “I don’t have any fat centenarians.”
And on that note, based on the locations deemed extraordinary, I would imagine the quality of their diet is absolutely-stellar compared to modern, westernized big-cities. These people probably get no Omega 6 Oils whatsoever.
-Interesting Quiz at the end with Attitude, Genes, Exercise, Interests, Nutrition and Smoking.
Update: Time has moved the full article to the paid archives section. (Thanks Kate.) — It may be possible to get a printed copy through your public library.
-The Wayback Machine Link with all the lovely-details is working. Thank You, Internet Archive!:
“Old fashioned guy with Adidas”, by Giulio Grasso
“Kyoto Imperial Palace 4”, by Katherine De Vera
“Master”, by Jonathan Kos-Read
[Archived]Time-Live To 100