“Time is the fire in which we burn”
Star Trek Generations
When we are young and carefree, old age seemed so far away from us, although we were reminded very frequently by noticing old age people amongst the crowds. Furthermore, let us investigate those people who live to 100 and how they live their lives versus those who die younger and what they were doing in their lives. Leonard Hayflick hypothesized the division rate of a single cell before it finally died, which he determined was approximately 60 putting his name forward by referring to this rate of division the ‘Hayflick limit’.. He also wrote in his book ‘How and why we age’ published in 1994 stating that:
“There is no evidence that the maximum human lifespan has changed from what it was 100,000 years ago. It is still about 115 years”.
So providing one lives within their design parameters then there is no reason why reaching the age of 115-120 cannot be achieved. Even the Bible quotes:
‘Man’s life should be limitless up to the age of 120’
During the time of Hippocrates and Aristotle, despite the average low life span of around 40, various characters from that era such as Hieronymus of Sparta, a warrior who is supposed to have died at the age of 104, Gorgias (485-380 BC) a Sicilian teacher and philosopher who died aged around 108, Ctesibius (285-222 BC), a Greek inventor and mathematician who did much work concerning pneumatics, compressed air and its use in pumps. Democritus (460-370 BC) a Greek who wrote on subjects such as the origin of humans artistic perspective, mathematics, anthropology, biology, medicine, cosmology, poetry, physics and atomic theory, a very busy individual until his death that places him at 111. His cheerful nature probably attributed to his longevity and quoted:
‘Life without festivity is a long road without an inn’
The remarkable Jeanne Calment ( 1875-1996)
In more modern times Jeanne Calment ( 1875-1996) died at the age of 122 and 164 days. She once stated “J’ai jamais été malade,jamais,jamais ( I have never been ill, never, never). At the age of 20 she had cataracts after a major episode of Conjunctivitis. She smoked 2 cigarettes/day one after a meal and one before retiring to bed, until she was 117, and she continued to cycle at age 100 and fractured her leg but recovered quickly to be able to walk again. She outlived her whole family, losing the remaining survivors, her brother, son-in-law and grandson in 1962/3 continuing to live on her own from the age of 88 to 110 when she moved to a nursing home. Her decision to make this move was precipitated by the winter of 1985 when her water pipes froze, and since she did not use heating in the winter, she ended up with frostbite on her hands. It was only when she moved to the nursing home that she showed signs of aging…surprise..surprise..lol.
Her daily ritual at the nursing home was to arise at 6:45 where she would pray for a while giving thanks to God for her longevity. Then seated on her armchair she would perform armchair gymnastics wearing her stereo headset probably listening to Michael Jackson. She usually ate coffee milk and rusks with daily fruit salads containing bananas and oranges. She also loved chocolate indulging in a kilogram/week. Come nightfall, she would dine hastily ( she was partial to braised beef), return to her room, listen to music since her poor eyesight robbed her of her favorite pastime crosswords, smoke a cigarette and a small amount of port and retired at 10pm. She kept the faith going to Sunday mass and Friday vespers and regularly conversed with God. She never took any prescription medicine except for aspirin for her migraine ( during an unspecified time of her youth), and did not supplement or take any herbal teas.
She never caught German measles, chickenpox or urinary infection and did not suffer from hypertension or diabetes. When she was 111 in 1986 she was treated with Digoxin (this medicine is not used so much today whereas ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and mineralocorticoids are the preferred prescribed drugs) for heart failure and then suffered arthropathy ( a type of arthritis) in the ankles, elbows and wrists which was treated with anti-inflammatory medication. Her blood pressure was 140/70, her pulse rate 84, min, height 4 foot 11 (150 cm) and her weight 45 kg. Her blood work was normal, showing no signs of dehydration, anemia, chronic infection or renal dysfunction. A cardiological assessment revealed a moderate ventricular hypertrophy, mild left atrial dilatation and extrasystolic arrhythmia, and a radiology assessment uncovered diffuse osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in the right hip.
All her internal organs were functional and she was in good health and walked with a cane after she fell in January 1990 ( aged 114) and fractured her femur that was surgically treated. Her vision was severely impaired from bilateral cataracts ( which could have been removed from a routine operation but she refused ), had a weak heart, chronic cough and bouts of rheumatism. At age 118, she underwent neurophysiological tests which showed that her verbal memory and language fluency were comparable to a person in their 80’s. No deterioration in her frontal lobe and remained mentally sharp until the end. There were no specifics in the cause of her death but I think we can safely say that it was true old age.
Charlotte Hughes ( 1877-1993)
Another ‘supercentenarian’ Charlotte Hughes ( maiden name Milburn) who came from County Durham in the north eastern area of the UK. She was born when Queen Victoria was still empress of India, the first year Wimbledon held the first tennis championships, and Alexander Bell founded his telephone company. She disclosed her secret of longevity:
“A healthy lifestyle, a stiff brandy and bacon and eggs”
“ A good honest life and adherence to the 10 Commandments”
I believe that her longevity was also supplemented by her love of life and maintaining the use of her mind ( she kept her mental acuity up to her death) through her keen interest in politics in which she witnessed the political careers of 21 prime ministers including Disraeli and Gladstone. When she was invited for afternoon tea with Margaret Thatcher she told Thatcher that she was a staunch labor supporter as opposed to Thatcher’s conservative party and Thatcher replied :
“ Never mind, come and let us have a cup of tea”
To have a positive outlook in life is a key ingredient in living long and she enjoyed a 40 year old marriage to her husband Noel, a retired army captain who died at the age of 103 himself.
These long living people were raised on healthy food, when there was no distinction between conventional food and organic food..it was naturally organic without poisonous farming methods and industrial farming raising sick animals. Another example of longevity is documented in a book called the ‘blue zones’.
The Blue Zones
Sardinian Blue zones
Dan Buettner, an endurance cyclist, author and a national geographic author wrote a book called the Blue Zones that identified 4 areas of the planet where parts of the population enjoy longevity by living to 100 and beyond. These areas included Loma Linda California, Nicoya peninsula Costa Rica, Sardinia, a large Italian island in the mediterranean and Okinawa Japan. A team of gerontologists and other experts on ageing from Baltimore, Minnesota, Chicago and Boston visited these regions and interviewed some of its inhabitants to see how they live so long in terms of their lifestyle and dietary choices. Buettner explains that long lived Sardinians that inhabit the highlands called the Nuoro province, an isolated region that is by origin a bronze age culture dating back to the time of Christ more than 2000 years ago. The ground is essentially infertile so most working men are shepherds, whose diet is mainly plant based and unleavened whole wheat bread called ‘Carta Musica’ made from a pasta making grain called Durum whole wheat. They eat cheese made from grass fed animals and a wine that is high in polyphenols called ‘Cannonau’. As Buettner points out it is the social equity of the older generation that is a key factor to their longevity, where they are honored and valued for their wisdom in the Sardinian society and are very much part of the family throughout their lives.
Japanese Blue zones
Similarly, the population in parts of the Okinawa peninsula follow a largely plant based diet with small amounts of fish using a dietary strategy that was devised by Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC), whose full name was Kong Qiu.a Chinese philosopher, Teacher and Politician, and this strategy called Hara Hachi Bu diet ( translated as ‘eat until you are 8 parts full ), in other words eat until you are 80% full. This is a mild form of daily calorie restriction, the only scientifically proven way to extend longevity. Again, a key factor in longevity is the social aspect and in this community everyone has at least half a dozen or more close friends called ‘Maoi’ that meet regularly for most of their lives. The other important aspect of this close relationship is that they are expected to ‘share the bounty’, in other words if one inherits money then they are expected to share. On the other hand if one loses a family member or falls on hard times, they know that they have the full support of their friends, so the Maoi ‘have their back’. In the Japanese language ‘Ikigai’ means ‘a reason for which you wake up in the morning’ so, in Japanese culture there is no distinction between working life and retirement; it is simply Ikigai.
American Blue Zones
Buettner and colleagues found a blue zone in the US in a Californian region called Loma Linda among a community of 7th day Adventists, who are a religious group of conservative methodists. This group all follow a selected set of lifestyle habits which include following a diet that is mentioned in Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 29 and Chapter 9 verses 2, 3 and 4
‘ And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth,
And all trees that have it in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat’
But it is also written In chapter 9 verse 2, 3 and 4 it is also written :
‘ And let the fear and dread of you be upon all the beasts of the earth, and upon all
The fowls of the air, and all that move upon the earth: all the fishes of the sea are
Delivered into your hand;
‘And every thing that moveth and liveth shall be meat for you: even as the green herbs
Have I delivered them all to you’
‘Saving that flesh with blood you shall not eat’
Once a week they drop everything and focus on God in social gatherings and nature walks, and during their socializing they talk about their next nature walk, exchange recipes, and pray but nobody drinks alcohol
The Blue Zone common denominators
Buettner and colleagues highlighted 4 activities that were more or less common within the blue zone communities :
- Natural exercise : Very few, if any, use any modern conveniences, although I did see one guy riding a motorbike on his way to work at the age of 102. and any place they went they walked, and the women of Okinawa when socializing would sit on the floor and on an average day they would stand up and sit down approx 40 times/day. Sardinians live in vertical houses so they climb stairs every day, and most tend a garden. The Sardinian shepherds are still working at 100 years of age.
- Positive outlook : Two communities take time out to worship God while the Japanese women rely of ancestral veneration ( Love and respect for the dead )
- Eat wisely, drink in moderation daily, a slant toward a plant based diet with a little consumption of meat and dietary strategies not to overeat.
- Social connection putting their families first, taking care of the children and aging parents, they all belong to a faith type community and to the right tribe surrounding themselves with the right people. In essence hanging out with the right friends who have common interests such as a healthy lifestyle, in terms of diet and exercising, drink alcohol perhaps in moderation, although as Dr B points out 7 litres of wine/month within the Sardinian community brings it to a whole other level.
As it is often said that if you are old, and stumbling around vomiting in a cup taking 28 pills then people lose respect for you and any sign of dementia, your family may whisk you off to an assisted living center where you are sent to perish, surrounded by medical ignorance, without dignity It is imperative that you, as you age are active everyday and have a sense of purpose as the aged in okinawa whose motto is ‘Ikigai’ or ‘a reason for which you wake up in the morning’. There exists a weight lifter club that only accepts members if they are 75 or older. Dr Bergman ( a chiropractor from California accentuates the need to positively plan your life and make it a daily enjoyable experience and quotes :
‘ You have to plan fun’
What is also important is as Dr B quotes :
‘Attitude of Gratitude’
Try to change the way you live, like the blue zone folks, drink organic coffee, organic wine in moderation, eat organically, eat seasonal produce ( not fruit that has been shipped halfway around the world), share what you have, such as the ‘Maoi’ in Okinawa, wake up and calmly take stock of what you have to do …Give what you have away, such as knowledge to maintain health, and checklist your activities when you get up as defined by Dr B.
‘Boy I woke up..number 1 on the to do list…I made it to the bathroom..check 2 on the done list’
The centenarian blue zone community members are living in harmony with nature without the negative trappings of western societies such as vaccine schedule compliance (72 doses of 17 different vaccines by the age of 18), taking prescription medicine, environmental toxins, processed foods, sedentary lifestyle, and encouraging physical chemical and emotional stress. In total contrast to the blue zone communities, life expectancy is declining annually in the US because of a dysfunctional health care system whose only answer is to treat a dysfunctional human body with a toxic synthetic drug. In essence the US population is dying prematurely because they are not healthy. This correlates with high income wealthy countries that have low life expectancy. Fifty four % of US children suffer from a chronic disease and many will never recover from it. Twenty one % are developmentally disabled, while approx 1 in 33 suffer from autism, bowel disorders, depression etc. Twenty thousand US babies die from SIDS ( Sudden Infant death syndrome) each year. The US has the highest vaccine rate and the lowest infectious disease rates, but the highest mortality rates in the world. The US has the highest maternal mortality rates which means more mothers are dying from giving birth (This rate has doubled from 1990 to 2013), due to the ignorant and arrogant medical interventions. One reason is the simultaneous injection of pertussis, tetanus and influenza vaccine into pregnant women, which before 2005 would have been illegal.
In the last 32 years there has been a 38% population growth, but coupled with this, there has been a 300% growth rate in breast cancer, attributed to viral infections, vaccinations, low oxygen ( lack of exercise ), inflammation, and environmental toxins. However, science established long ago that cancer is a metabolic disease caused by a nutrient deficient/toxic lifestyle. In fact Breast cancer is a hormonal imbalance caused by poisonous food and/or the consumption of endocrine disruptors from pesticide laden, non organic produce. The top 10 foods that is known to cause cancer includes GMO food, microwave popcorn, most canned food containing BPA and carcinogenic preservatives, grilled red meat ( specifically meat that is derived from sick animals), refined sugar, carbonated beverages ( soda ), refined bleached flour, farmed fish, and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Cancer is on the increase by a rate of 1% in children and has been on the rise for the last 30 years.
Vaccines that numbered just 3 in 1962 versus the 17 that are in place today, and if asked what vaccines should I get, just answer the 3 they had in 1962 and you will be fully vaccinated and what is more important, avoidance of all the disease that vaccines are causing today. However, by taking just the 3 vaccines from 1962, the response might be, “ you mean the polio, DPT and smallpox vaccines,and isn’t this the polio vaccine that is no longer used here, because it caused blastomas and lymphomas, but its exported to other countries, and after 30 years we discovered it increased polio rates ?“. “ Also, this DPT shot, is this not the vaccine that carried a live vaccine causing pertussis and because it was infecting many children they had to pass the non liability law in favor of the vaccine manufacturers in 1986 ?”. The statistics for vaccines are abominable..50,000/ann who turn 18 that become adults, also become autistic, referred to as the autistic tsunami. Even respectable medical journals like the New England Journal are now commenting that annual checkups are unnecessary because the broken health care system is making sick people sicker, and regulatory agencies are accepting money from the drug companies to approve these drugs that are ineffective and serve no purpose in improving the health of patients. Synthetic birth control medication actually increases breast cancer..why ?because it is causing an estrogen imbalance. Sleeping pills cause brain damage. In summary, accelerated aging is caused by consuming poisonous man made food, taking prescription drugs that poison the body and changes its physiology, unabated stress, lack of daily exercise and a negative outlook and approach to life. As I have mentioned before the WHO estimated only 12% of the American population are healthy..yes 12%, just over 32 million out of a total of 327 million..the health service should be ashamed of that statistic.
The objective of this first part was to discuss centenarians who live in various parts of the world defined by Dan Buettner as ‘Blue Zones’, and compare their lifestyle to the lifestyles of wealthy western societies like the US. One of the major factors is that these supercentenarians are not living in assisted living centers where elderly parents are sent to die. They have fulfilling social lifestyles that are not entangled in the accumulation of wealth and walking over bodies to achieve that goal. They work together as a close knit community that share the wealth and share the burden that may inflict one of its community members. They are eating food that was designed for the body, made and grown in local fields, and not shipped in from other parts of the planet, and they do not consume manufactured food or food that comes from sick animals. They are not visiting physicians that represent a financially and scientifically corrupted system of health, whose only answer is to ply people with poisonous chemicals, adopting a paranoia that everyone in the population must be vaccinated to protect the ‘herd’.
In the western culture, populations have been brainwashed into consuming poisonous processed food and fast food and when they get into trouble they visit the medical end of this broken system to get prescription drugs and are forced into receiving poisonous vaccines in order to carry out their job or attend school. The Blue Zone communities do not supplement particular nutrients because they are living off the land that harvests nutritious crops yielding fruits and vegetables and animals that God designed us to consume, to keep the body adequately nourished. People living in the western zones have to put up with suspect fresh food, even organic food that may not have all the nutrients our body needs, so we are forced to supplement and pay unsubsidized high prices for them.. This is because the subsidy departments of government deem the milk and conventional industrial farming which produce poisonous nutritionless produce as being more important, even though it is slowly making people sick and eventually robbing them of their rightful longevity. The populations that live under this food tyranny need to research or rely on the expertise of naturopath, functional medicine practitioners who can advise them what to choose to fulfill a healthy lifestyle. Exercising the body, move medicine, is absolutely essential, since the body is always primed to move, stimulating essential biological processes such as autophagy, apoptosis, glutathione production, prevention and protection from free radical overdosing to name a few. How many allopathic physicians recommend daily exercising, very few because they do not ( too busy saving lives..lol) which is why the average doctor dies at 58, so why would you accept anything from an individual that rarely lives beyond 60 or 70.
In Chapters II/III on Ageing we will look at the biology of aging by expanding Dr B’s discussion concerning NAD and briefly discuss the various theories of aging and try to make sense of what essential nutrients are required in an attempt to emulate the longevity of the blue zone communities.
“Always keep your smile. That’s how I explain my long life.
Death doesn’t frighten me; now I can think peacefully of ending a long life.
Every age has its happiness and troubles.”
- Jeanne Calment, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, Wikipedia
- Ted Talk: How to live to 100+ Dan Buettner
- ‘Ageing’. True Health Tuesday presentation delivered by Dr John Bergman Dec 8 2018
Author : Eric Malouin
DISCLAIMER: The author’s comments are a reflection of his own thinking. AMCC cannot be held responsible.
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