STATES CHRONICLE – We are constantly advised to have a healthy lifestyle to reduce risk of diseases but it looks like after all genetics give you a long life.
Being careful about what we eat, keeping alcohol levels to a minimum, not consuming drugs and doing sports are indeed helpful when it comes to keeping ourselves healthy. Scientists claim having a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of developing all sorts of diseases, from the common flu to cancer or cardiovascular problems.
However, there were many cases of people living up to a hundred years old or even more and they said they didn’t necessarily live a healthy life. According to a new study, their genes were the ones responsible for their very long lifespans.
So far, scientists have discovered a number of four genes which are linked to longevity. One of them determines our blood type and is called ABO; another deals with cell division and is called CDKN2B; a gene linked to Alzheimer’s, called APOE is also among them; and last but not least, a gene known for extending fruit flies’ called SH2B3 is actually helping humans as well.
Of course, this is not the first study on human genetics that looked at what exactly makes some humans live longer than others. However, they were looking for different variations in the human genome but without much luck.
What’s different about this new approach is that scientists looked at the genes which are specifically linked to age-related disease, such as Alzheimer’s or heart disease. Given that these diseases increase the risk of a person of dying at a younger age, if these genes are more numerous it is only natural that the person cannot have a longer life.
The study was conducted on 800 participants who were over 100 years old and another 5,400 who were over 90 years old. They found that for example people with type 0 blood are more likely to reach the age of 100, than people with other blood types. This is mainly because they have a reduced cholesterol level and therefore are less likely to develop heart disease.
Scientists are still looking for other genes that could have a say in how long we live and hope to really find the secret for a long life.
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