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Author Topic: Oldest people of the world: Secrets of long life  (Read 716 times)

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Offline Psk

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Oldest people of the world: Secrets of long life
« on: February 22, 2015, 04:39:00 pm »
Misao Okawo, who will be celebrating her 117th birthday in March, is currently the world's oldest person.

The great-grandmother of six, who lives in Osaka in Japan, puts her long life down to eating sushi, getting eight hours sleep a night and relaxing.

Born in 1898, she got married in 1919 and has three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1931.

She was presented with a certificate from the Guiness Book of Records officially recognizing her as the world's oldest living woman when she turned 115.

Japan has more than 50,000 people over 100-years-old, which is attributed to the country's low fat diet of sushi and fish.

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Gertrude Weaver - 116

Born on Independence Day 1898, and still said to be an independent woman, Mrs Weaver, of Arkansas, says it's her faith that keeps her going.

The wheelchair-dancing enthusiast wed in 1915, had four children and is now visited regularly in her care home by a 78-year-old granddaughter.

Now spending her days enjoying manicures and Bible study, she told Time magazine her secret to long life.

"Kindness," she said. "Treat people right and be nice to other people the way you want them to be nice to you."

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Jeralean Talley is 115 and lives in Michigan.

She was born in 1899 and had one child with her husband, Alfred. Thelma, now 76, lives with her mom to take care of her.

She is the one of the oldest living people in America and has revealed the reason why she has lived so long hasn't changed over the years.

She said, "It's all in the good Lord's hands. There's nothing I can do about it."

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Susannah Mushatt Jones - 115

This feisty New Yorker, born on July 6, 1899, says she doesn't have a secret to long life except that she doesn't drink or smoke and ensures she gets a good night's sleep.

She loves bacon and eats it every morning.

She never had children, but saved her salary to help pay for nieces to go to college.

Another woman who made the list is Emma Morano-Martinuzzi, 115, from Italy.

The record for the world's oldest ever person is still held by Jeanne Calment from France - who passed away in 1997 aged 122.

Offline Psk

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Re: Oldest people of the world: Secrets of long life
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2015, 05:03:52 pm »
 Evelyn Howard, a Florida resident who was among those with a happy 100th birthday party Jan. 1, exemplifies many of the traits common to long-lived people, experts say. In addition to obvious genetic advantages, she displays a positive attitude toward life's foibles and has stayed physically and emotionally active.

"I came up the hard way," she said. "You can lay down under it or you can get up and try. I like to try."

She enjoys a vodka and ginger ale highball most afternoons, regularly went on gambling cruises off the Gulf Coast and has been married three times - twice, as she notes, happily.

Her positive outlook seems to color all kinds of expectations. Opening holiday cards recently, she found one from an old friend. "I haven't heard from him in 40 years," she told her stepdaughter. "Maybe he's heard I'm single. ... No one said I had to go it alone."

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A former employer's mom lived to be 98. She smoked 2 packs a day for 70 years, & drank a pint of vodka every day for 40 years.

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 There is one remarkable scientific fact that sets Okinawans apart from the rest of us, they actually age more slowly than almost anyone else on earth.

"The calendar may say they're 70 but their body says they're 50," says Bradley Willcox, a scientist researching the extraordinary phenomenon. "The most impressive part of it is that a good lot of them are healthy until the very end."

Finding the cause of their exceptional longevity is not simple but the spotlight has fallen on one hormone - DHEA. It's a precursor of both oestrogen and testosterone and produced in the adrenal glands.

While scientists don't know what it does, they do know the hormone decreases with age and levels decline at a much slower rate among the Okinawans.

Explanations for this mostly centre around the dinner table. The Okinawans not only eat more tofu and soya products than any other population in the world, their diet also includes a vast range of different vegetables and fruit all rich in anti-oxidants. Scientists refer to it as a rainbow diet.

But it's what they don't eat that may be at the heart of their exceptionally long lives.

The Okinawan's most significant cultural tradition is known as hara hachi bu, which translated means eat until you're only 80% full.

In a typical day they only consume around 1,200 calories, about 20% less than most people in the UK & USA. Culturally it is a million miles from attitudes in a lot of Western societies, where all-you-can-eat meal deals are offered in restaurants on most high streets.

Scientists call it caloric restriction, but don't entirely understand why it works. They think it sends a signal to the body that there is going to be a impending famine, sending it into a protective, self-preservation mode.

"It's this ability to trick their bodies into starvation that may be keeping Okinawans physiologically so young. It's a stark contrast with the cultural habits that drive food consumption in other parts of the world," says Mr Willcox.

Offline Psk

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Re: Oldest people of the world: Secrets of long life
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2015, 05:15:58 pm »
 The benefits of a Mediterranean diet are well known, but this still does not account for the number of people over 100 in Ovodda and other parts of Sardinia. It's even the case that Sardinians who emigrated at 20, 30 or 40 years of age still manage to reach 100, say researchers.

Over the years Professor Luca Deiana has tested every single Sardinian centenarian and has come up with a surprising theory about why there are so many.

For hundreds of years families in Ovodda have lived in relative isolation from the rest of the world, marrying into each others' families. In fact most people living in the town today are descended from only a few original settlers.

"Marriage among relatives is not the rule but there are some cases of this taking place," says Professor Deiana.

"From a genetic point of view when this happens there's a higher probability of having genetic diseases, but also of having positive results like centenarians."

In Ovodda, this interbreeding actually seems to have enabled people to live longer. The limited gene pool has provided a unique opportunity to discover specific genes that are associated with long life. Professor Deiana has detected a number of unusual genetic characteristics that seem to link the centenarians of Ovodda.

"One particular gene on the X chromosome seems to be faulty, failing to produce an enzyme known as G6PD. This can often have a negative impact on health, but in Ovodda it may well have had a positive effect."

The role G6PD may play in living longer is now being researched further, but the professor is convinced the genetic elixir of life lies with the families of Ovodda.

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 In Loma Linda, California, a community is proving anyone can increase their chances of living a longer, healthier life. The extraordinary longevity of residents may not have anything to do with genes.

The community has discovered a secret that's much easier to find than any gene. Its effect is so powerful that it enables them to live longer than anyone else in the US.

For many of those living in Loma Lindo long life is a matter of faith. A significant number of people in the town are Seventh Day Adventist.

This can be partly explained by the fact Adventists don't drink or smoke and many stick to a vegetarian diet the church advises. But not all members do and even they live significantly longer than average.

"It does certainly raise the question if there's something about spiritual life that also has an impact on longer life," says Dr Gary Fraser, who is researching the community.

"At this moment we don't really know that but there's been one interesting fact that's been known now for 20 or 30 years and that is that people that go to church regularly - whatever faith they have - live longer and there's no question about that."

It seems that regular churchgoers have significantly lower levels of stress hormones and so may be better equipped to cope with the challenges in life, say scientists.

"Religion and connection to something higher than oneself, connection to the sacred, connection to a tight-knit religious community allows you to modulate your reactions and your emotions to believe there is a broader purpose," says Dr Kerry Morton, who is involved in a longer-term study on Adventist health.

"Therefore your body can stay in balance and not be destroyed by those stressors and traumas over time."

Offline Psk

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Re: Oldest people of the world: Secrets of long life
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2015, 05:43:45 pm »
The Abkhasia are a people living in the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia. They have a reputation for extremely long and healthy lives. In the 1960s and 1970s, claims were made for lifespans of 150, marriages at 110 and claims of fatherhood at 136. The greatest claim, made by the propaganda-obsessed Soviets, was that one man, Shirali Muslimov, was 168 years old. The Soviets honored him with a postage stamp.

There was a lot of hype built around the legends of the Abkhasia. The culture rewarded age, so people exaggerated. Even if the self-proclaimed 164 years olds were really 90, they were still running up and down the mountains, laughing and dancing. Regardless of how long the Abkhasia lived, it is evident that they had almost none of the chronic illness that we have today.

The Abkhasia lived in the mountains and spent every day going up and down, and up and down in the thin mountain air. This constant activity has kept the older members of the Abkhasia fit without resorting to fitness programs or formal exercising.

They followed a mostly plant-based diet, emphasizing fresh (as in "picked-it-this-morning" fresh) foods, whole grains and nuts. The day typically starts with a fresh salad of raw greens harvested from their garden. Nuts are typically served at every meal, bringing in antioxidant value.

This is perhaps one of the biggest lessons, as their average diet contained well below 2000 calories per day. The Abkhasia not only ate wholesome foods but did not eat very much of them. Limiting calories has been shown to increase life expectancy in laboratory situations.

If you take one lesson from the Abkhasia, let it be this -- they liked being old. They looked forward to aging. Age gave them status in the community, respect and a sense of place. They never retired and remained active participants in life.

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Re: Oldest people of the world: Secrets of long life
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2015, 06:13:57 pm »
The oldest man ever, whose age has been verified, is Jiroemon Kimura, a Japanese man who died on 12 June 2013 at the age of 116 years, 54 days. There are two verified living supercentenarians, both of whom live in Japan, the older of whom is Sakari Momoi, age 112 years.

Thomas Peter Thorvald Kristian Ferdinand Mortensen (16 August 1882 – 25 April 1998), known as an adult as Christian Mortensen, was a Danish-American supercentenarian. When he died, his age of 115 years and 252 days was the longest verified lifespan of any male in history until 28 December 2012, when Jiroemon Kimura of Japan surpassed this record.

In 1950, Mortensen retired near Galveston Bay, Texas. Then, 28 years later at the age of 96, he moved to a retirement home in San Rafael, California. Mortensen claimed he rode his bicycle to the Aldersly Retirement Community, telling the staff that he was there to stay. Mortensen lived at Aldersly until his death in 1998.

Mortensen enjoyed an occasional cigar and insisted that smoking in moderation was not unhealthy. Mortensen preferred a vegetarian diet. He also drank boiled water. Toward the end of his life, his memory of distant events was good, but he could not remember recent events.

On his 115th birthday Mortensen gave his advice for a long life: "Friends, a good cigar, drinking lots of good water, no alcohol, staying positive and lots of singing will keep you alive for a long time."

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Emiliano Mercado del Toro (August 21, 1891 – January 24, 2007) was, at age 115, the world's oldest person for six weeks, and the world's oldest man from November 19, 2004 (death of Fred H. Hale, Sr.) until his own death on January 24, 2007. He is the oldest verified military veteran ever.

Mercado could reminisce about being a child when U.S. troops invaded Puerto Rico in 1898, and he clearly remembered the fighting that marked the end of Spain's colonial empire in the Americas. He credited his longevity to funche, a boiled corn, codfish and milk cream-like dish, which he ate every day as a habit.

Mercado also claimed that his sense of humor was probably responsible for his long life, and he would tell jokes and humorous anecdotes almost to the end of his days.

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Offline Psk

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Re: Oldest people of the world: Secrets of long life
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2015, 10:41:42 pm »
The oldest person, an Arkansas woman named Gertrude Weaver, died at age 116 on April 6 (2015). Weaver had something in common with the woman who now holds the title of the world's oldest person, both attributed their longevity to exercise, as well as a compassionate spirit.

Weaver had the title of the world's oldest person for only five days, after Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman who lived to be 117, died April 1, 2015. Weaver was born on the Fourth of July in 1898, & died due to complications from pneumonia.

Now, the world's oldest living person is Michigan woman Jeralean Talley, who is closely followed by Susannah Mushatt Jones of New York City and Emma Morano of Italy, all of who are 115.

Weaver enjoyed manicures, Bible study & wheelchair dancing. Weaver said the secret to her long life was kindness, "Treat people right and be nice to other people the way you want them to be nice to you."

Tulley has offered similar advice for living a long life, "Stay active and live by the Golden Rule."

Okawa, the world's oldest person up until last week, different advice. She said that the key to her longevity was "eating delicious things," such as ramen noodles, beef stew, hashed beef and rice.

Researchers have linked longevity to a wide array of factors, including having good genes, being vegetarian, eating lots of fiber, not sitting too much, jogging and volunteering.

The oldest person ever known was Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived to be 122 years and 164 days old. Calment died in 1997, according to Guinness World Records. The world's current oldest living man is Sakari Momoi of Japan, who is 111, according to the Geronotology Research Group, which keeps track of the world's supercentenarians, or people older than 110.

 

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