Who lives to be 100 or more years old?

No other topic, perhaps, abounds, at first glance, with such wild logical errors as discussions about long-livers and "recipes" for a long life.

Life expectancy in Cuba is high. It is customary in Cuba to smoke cigars. Conclusion: To live long, smoke cigars. Smokers generally love to triumphantly quote centenarians, they say, they have also smoked all their lives and lived to be 100. But no one knows how long they would have lived if they had not smoked. Maybe up to 120, as prescribed in the Bible?

120 years is the average life expectancy of one of the mountain tribes living in the valley of the Khunza River, the Khunzakuts. And what is not attributed to this phenomenon of longevity!

On the one hand, Hunzakuts eat very little (compared to Europeans). On the other hand, apricots, nuts and grains make up the bulk of their diet. On the third, they eat local melt water, which supposedly has a special power. On the fourth, the high-altitude climate slows down metabolism. Fifth, they have no concept of "doctors" (and, consequently, diseases), if someone has a fracture or other trouble that they cannot cope with, they have to overcome a mountain pass to get to the nearest village. With the sixth, having a child after 100 years is a common thing for them. And here it is already unclear whether this is a cause or a consequence.

The Hunzakuts are certainly an incredibly interesting tribe with rich traditions worthy of a separate article. However, gerontologists (scientists dealing with the problems of old age and longevity) put in place all this chaos of reasons, each of which can, if desired, become a sensation a la Cuban cigars.

Under the influence of various factors, the human body is subject to destruction. Therefore, the first thing that should come to mind if you are concerned about the length of your life is how to reduce the influence of harmful factors on your body. How to get enough sleep, how to minimize stress, how to eat right, how to cleanse yourself in a timely manner, how to strengthen the immune system and many, many other tasks that are not fully achievable.

In youth, nature provides for the ability to restore (active cell renewal), but with age, the body loses it. Scientists explain this fact by the fact that nature is "concerned" with the continuation of the species and supplies the body with everything it needs until it fulfills its reproductive function. Thereafter, the organism has no evolutionary interest and is allowed to age and eventually die. So making love and having children can be safely attributed to rejuvenating factors, but, alas, not prolonging life. This is not enough to get a little closer to Methuselah.

The easiest thing to do (and this has been proven experimentally) is to limit the calorie content of food and diversify your lifestyle with exercise. This will slow down the metabolic process and can extend your life by 10 years. By the way, that is why there are so many inhabitants of mountain regions among centenarians - thin air and low pressure are natural factors that slow down metabolism.

There is one "but" in this simple recommendation. A slowed down metabolism can affect, for example, the intellectual development of a person, although this has not yet been experimentally proven (no wonder, because the experiments are carried out mainly on rats). Of course, it's great to live up to 100 years or more, but whether quantity will turn into quality, that is the question. As Aldous Huxley said: "Everyone wants to live forever, but nobody wants to be old." Huxley, dying of cancer, knew what he was writing about.

Other factors affecting life expectancy include avoiding bad habits, preventing cancer, genetic predisposition (i.e., the life span of your ancestors), and even where you live. Interestingly, each region has its own traditional factors that contribute to longevity. As you know, Japan is one of the leading countries in terms of life expectancy, and this is often attributed to the consumption of seafood and fish. Apparently, they play the same role as apricots - among the Hunzakuts. I wonder what takes on this role in Moscow? Over the past couple of years, the number of centenarians, whose age has exceeded 100, has doubled and reached 785 people. But this, it seems, is no longer the concern of gerontologists, but of sociologists ...

Finally, I note that scientists are unanimous that a positive attitude and optimism have a beneficial effect not only on the quality of life, but also on its duration. And they most likely came to this conclusion without the help of rats.