Thursday, November 22, 2012

Secrets to a Long Healthy Life

Anna Hunt, Contributor
Activist Post

Medical science and technology may be just two reasons behind a substantial increase in the population living to be older than ever before. An ongoing project conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine called the New England Centenarian Study includes a number of studies that try to identify unique characteristics and commonalities that bring longevity, slow aging and limit disease.
Among the myths the studies shatter is that genetics alone account for advanced old age and that centenarians are the lucky few who have escaped major
Boston University has created 3 groups for centenarians, individuals that live to be 100 years or older:
  • Escapers, who have no clinical evidence of disease when the reach 100 years (15%)
  • Delayers, who acquire age-related diseases after 80 years (43%)
  • Survivors, who have long lifespan despite earlier fights with cancer, heart disease or other age-related conditions (42%)
Their research revealed some common characteristics among centenarians, including the following:   
Few centenarians are obese. In the case of men, they are nearly always lean.
    Substantial smoking history is rare.
    A preliminary study suggests that centenarians are better able to handle stress than the majority of people.

    Our finding that some centenarians (~15%) had no significant changes in their thinking abilities disproved the expectation by many that all centenarians would be demented.
    At least 50% of centenarians have first-degree relatives and/or grandparents who also achieve very old age, and many have exceptionally old siblings.
    Many of the children of centenarians (age range of 65 to 82 years) appear to be following in their parents’ footsteps with marked delays in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and overall mortality. (Boston University School of Medicine)
It’s not that centenarians have had particularly healthy lifestyles, other than not smoking, but that they have positive outlooks, are generally optimistic and don’t sweat the small stuff. – Dr. Mark Nowaczynski, clinical director of House Calls (
Loma Linda University, a Seventh-day Adventist educational health-sciences institution in Southern California, is another organization that has been conducting studies since 1958 into life longevity and understanding how to avert age-related disease such as cancer. A group of researchers at Loma Linda suggests that a vegetarian diet is one of the keys to a longer lifespan.

The Adventists’ beliefs forbid smoking and drinking, and encourage exercise, a vegetarian diet and a day of rest and reflection. Loma Linda started its Adventist Health Study 2 in 2002, with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

The study is tracking 96,000 people in the US and Canada, half of whom are vegetarian. With the 20-year study half-way completed, the research reveals a considerably longer life-span for vegetarian Adventists than for other Californians.
Vegetarian Adventist men live to an average of 83.3 years and vegetarian women 85.7 years – 9.5 and 6.1 years, respectively, longer than other Californians. – Principal investigator Gary E. Fraser, MD, PhD (
The Adventist Health Study 2 also found that:
Vegans are, on average, 30 pounds lighter than meat eaters.
Vegans are also five units lighter on the BMI scale than meat-eaters.
Vegetarians and vegans are also less insulin resistant than meat-eaters.
For most of us, there’s always room to improve daily activities in our pursuit of a healthy, long life. It’s easy to get overwhelmed about what to focus on in order to build a strong foundation for good health. Think about starting with the basics. Eat your greens. Exercise. And don’t sweat the small stuff.


Anna Hunt is a writer and entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in research and editorial writing. She and her husband run a preparedness e-store outlet at, offering GMO-free storable food and emergency kits. Anna is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Read more of her excellent articles here.


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Anonymous said...

I am a 71 yr old vegan, cancer survivor, currently very healthy and working fulltime. I hope to live 9 years longer than the average Calfornia male.

Today, Thanksgiving, I am grateful that I gave up meat 50 years ago as I see men my age hunched over, weak, losing their grip.......but swearing that you have to eat meat to be healthy.

Hmnnnnn....9 more years or eating slaughtered animals with whom we share a common bond of feeling and awareness. Thank God I saw the light. I became a vegan 10 years ago, before it was cool.

Do yourself a favor: skip the turkey. Today, I had pink rice, shitake, corn, beans, and carrots, with mushroom sauce. I feel great!

Anonymous said...

I, too, am a septuagenarian (age 74) and doing well. At age 52 I had quad bypass surgery, which prompted me to give up my 41 year smoking habit.

I do consider my health to be good, despite my bit of a pot belly from long hours at the computer. My attitude about life is much like the article states, however I would add to have a set of priorities that accomodates your changing interests, and seek to honor them.

My wife is a meat eater, so my diet has been biased in that direction, and I generally eat everything on my plate. However, I try and supplement with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, nuts, and etc.

Today, good health is a defensive challenge against the move underfoot to reduce the world's population by some 80%, which among other methods includes poisoning our atmosphere, water, foods and medications, and especially through processed foods. That is reason enough to avoid poultry and beef!

In contrast, there are a lot of great online articles to teach us about natural substitutes, which can help us to win the longivity battle. (Over 50? A daily tablespoon of Virgin Coconut Oil really does help the mind respond well.)

Anyway, I figure that, so long as I make it to age seventy, I'll feel like a winner. Oh, yeah, I've already done that! Cheers.

Anonymous said...

i'm about to turn 76. my hair is black, and people judge me to be early 60's, i eat chicken and fish but not too much. lately i feel like almost cutting it out. i have done yoga for 55 years and that probably helped. i do look forward to end of each decade with a vengeance, daring death to take me. i am 175lbs(75kg?) and 6ft. i disliked being born until 35, incensed that i should land on a primitive world full of wars. according to the deeper philosophy of yoga, wanting to die will lengthen your life. breathing slowly helps too. and recently i began a daily intake of "fo ti", a chinese herb which has given me new strength and resolve. slowly arching backwards for 10 seconds only whilst standing will prevent stooping no matter what your occupation. this should be done without strain every 30 minutes during your awake time. a T spoon of carb soda in a glass of water daily will also alkalise the body. i agree, vego is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

My mother have at all it is prohibited and considered dangerouse by those "scientifics" and imbeciel stutyoes of University who grab only money to discover walking and hot water.
My mother lived 88 years despite all "mistakes"consoidered by those shamans of "things:.
Maybe she lived longer if she was'nt on short time basis under the medical supervision for no cause. She died in the hospital with no cause being fully healthy. My cause of her death is: medical care!
Why the"lean"people from other country( poor) have such a short span of life !??

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