Gerontology Research and Longevity Secrets: Factors Affecting Lifespan
The humankind has been always wondering how to delay aging. According to statistic data, longevity has grown over recent years. It is caused by new healthcare, genetics and gerontology solutions. The article reveals factors affecting life duration and quality.
The world’s oldest man
The oldest living man celebrated his 112th birthday on March 29. Briton Bob Weighton, who was born in 1908, is expected to get a Guinness World Records certificate. “I don't really feel satisfied because it means someone else has died,” Mr. Weighton commented on this piece of news.
Bob has three children, 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. He said about longevity secrets: “I've done nothing to deserve or achieve this age. I have not lived my life avoiding being run over by buses or getting cancer or anything else. I'm just one of the lucky ones and accept it as a fact.” The supercentenarian stresses that laughter is extremely important for well-being and tries to stay in the mood.
Despite the sunset years, Mr. Weighton goes to the local supermarket using his walking aid with a number plate – Bob 111. “A lot of people looking glum when they see that, they begin to smile. It's a talking point. Promoting human interaction is the motive of my life,” the man says.
A woman striving to live up to 120 years
Tanaka, the world’s oldest woman, celebrated her 117th birthday in January. She was born in Japan in 1903. As of today, is a holder of the Guinness World Records certificate.
life cannot be described as trouble-free. She lost her husband and son during World War II. Kane Tanaka worked as a shop assistant until the age of 63. The woman was 103 years old when she was diagnosed with colon cancer, but the old Japanese lady could combat it.
Kane’s longevity secrets include love for her family, hope, a healthy diet and a sufficient amount of sleep. The woman still writes verses, solves math problems and desires to live up to 120 years.
Gerontology concept and core goals
Gerontologist Oleksandr Kolyada thinks that the wrong daily routine and an incorrect diet are killers. He will speak at Biohacking Conference Kyiv on the modern approach and innovations for life prolongation.
Gerontology is the study of aging mechanisms, youth preservation methods and longevity matters. Specialists focus on the body’s molecular processes to detect the relation between them and age-related changes.
Human beings took interest in life prolongation issues in ancient times. The first scientific works were “Cato the Elder on Old Age” by Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 B.C.) and “The Canon of Medicine” by Avicenna (980-1037).
Currently, gerontologists are integrating efficient anti-aging techniques into medical practice.
Body aging: what affects this process?
Why do we grow old? Scientists still fail to give a straight answer to this question. Nevertheless, several internal and external factors definitely have a direct impact on aging intensity.
External risk factors:
social element – poverty, impossibility to obtain early medical aid, poor living standards, chronic stress;
ecological aspect – polluted environment, deforestation, worse quality of drinking water and products;
improper lifestyle – alcohol overuse, smoking, physical inactivity, sleep disorders, unhealthy nutrition.
Internal risk factors:
chronic cell oxygen deficiency;
To define and eliminate premature cellular senescence causes is the crucial objective of gerontologists.
Longevity phenomenon: how to live up to 120 years?
There are numerous aging theories, but two of them lead the way: genetics and cell structure acidification.
The first one suggests that aging is driven by genetic factors. A lifestyle, a diet and external circumstances have a lesser effect than a genotype.
The second one assures that aging is a consequence of body cell exhaustion caused by protein and fat oxidation. It means that people can postpone aging in some degree.
Ukrainian genetic scientist Oleksandr Kolyada believes that healthy living can prolong human life for 20 years. However, genetics is essential as well. The combination of these factors determines the probability to live until the sunset years.
It is referred to the following points:
Gender. Research shows that women live longer than men because of different attitudes to their health, early diagnostics and disease treatment. Men consume alcoholic beverages more frequently and prefer extreme sports.
Blue Zones. The world has places with the most favorable conditions for human life. They are called blue zones: Sardinia (Italy), Loma Linda (California), Ikaria (Greece) etc.
Stress level. The majority of long livers were subject to moderate exposure to stress factors. They exhaust the nervous system and encourage illnesses.
Brain exercises. Scientists recommend cognitive training to keep clear thinking in advanced years: foreign language study, chess, meditation, memory and attentiveness development exercises and so on.
Physical activity. According to investigations, physically active people live longer than couch potatoes. Yoga, swimming and moderate loads are useful for health.
Life purpose. People who have a mission or global life goals live longer than their agemates going with the tide. This situation is described in works by Viktor Frankl, a psychotherapist and the founder of logotherapy based on searching for a reason to live for patients.
Family and friends. Social activity, affection and sense of involvement in the group positively affect lifespan. A lot of long livers are satisfied with their married life.
Lifestyle. To slow down aging, one recommends to reduce the caloric content of food, drink at least 2 liters of pure water per day, and sleep 6-8 hours in a dark room. Nutrition should contain 60% of plant-based food, preferably non-thermal. Alcohol consumption should be minimized.