Between crocodiles and elephants, humans are not doing so bad on the longevity scale. Here are 8 facts to help you find your own recipe.
On the picture above, each wave represents one year of life expectancy, all the way to the 507-year-old clam. Contrary to conventional wisdom, mayflies (Ephemeroptera, from the Greek for short-lived) live longer than a day. Before flying off, they have spent several years as underwater larvae. The differences in life expectancy among mammals can be explained, among other things, by a protein capable of mutating after its DNA has been damaged.
Here are eight timeless facts regarding aging:
01.Bullying Stress and anxiety early in life make cells age faster. American scientists have found that certain markers of cellular aging were more common in individuals who had stressful childhoods or suffered from depression.
02.Eternal life U.S. inventor Ray Kurzweil, 67, says that in the future people will live forever. To improve his own chances, he takes 150 pills a day; should that not suffice, he plans to have his body frozen until medical technology catches up.
03.Genes matter Twin studies indicate that genes determine 20-30 percent of life spans; the rest depends on the environment and lifestyle. If your relatives have passed the 80 mark, you have a good chance of beating average life expectancy yourself.
04.Caveman diet Intermittent fasting is trendy – and it may actually do some good. Several studies show that imitating our ancestors’ feast-or-famine lifestyle has positive effects on cellular defence and blood sugar regulation.
05.City of old Citizens of Okinawa in Japan live long, healthy lives. Studies have shown that genes, hormone levels, lifestyle, and diet all contribute. If you want to imitate their diet, feast on fish, soy products, veggies and seaweed.
06.Four more years Women may outlive men, but the extra years aren’t always joyful. British girls can expect to live to an average of 82.1, vs. 78.1 for boys. But the men will face health problems for 14.6 years, vs. 16.4 for the women.
07.The formula Scientists at Iowa State have a longevity model based on six proven factors: social support, the right gender (female), race (Asian), personality traits like being good at coping, and keeping mind and spirit healthy.
08.Magic pill Made from antifungal bacteria in the soil on Easter Island, Rapamycin slows a cellular pathway responsible for cell growth and division. This may someday make it the first drug for treating biological effects of aging.