Looking to live past 100 and seeking a secret to accomplishing that? A new study has one answer: low levels of inflammation.
According to a study by Newcastle University, low levels of inflammation, or the long-term overactivation of the immune response, is the key to living past 100, The Huffington Post reports. The study looked at 1,500 adults between the ages of 50 and 115 years old in England and Japan.
Dr. Thomas von Zglinicki, a cellular gerontologist at Newcastle University and the study’s lead author, found that centenarians and supercentenarians (people over 110 years old) are aging differently than others. ‘Centenarians and supercentenarians are different — put simply, they age slower,’ he said. ‘They can ward off diseases for much longer than the general population.’
These results aren’t surprising, says Dr. Cheri Gostic, a geriatric specialist at Stony Brook University who has studied the effects of inflammation.
‘Research has demonstrated that chronic systemic inflammation is a key factor in the development of many common chronic diseases, including … heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease and most strokes,’ Gostic told The Huffington Post. ‘Old age does not cause death; disease does. If one can minimize inflammation in the body and reduce the risk or progression of disease, then it makes sense that individuals have a better chance to live longer.’
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So how can you reduce inflammation? Eat whole foods, exercise, and cultivate positive emotions, The Huffington Post reported. Avoiding sugary or processed foods and getting enough sleep wouldn’t hurt, either.
Want more longevity tips? Recent studies revealed that eating spicy foods and being a man who has a kid after 25 lead to living a longer life.