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Longevity

How can we live a healthier, happier and longer life?

oldnnewThe lifespan of human beings has always fluctuated, during some periods in history, the average lifespan of some hunter gatherer groups seldom exceeded 30 years due to inadequate nutrition and a harsh climate while some biblical characters are reputed to have lived for many 100s of years.

Today in the developed world life expectancy is 77 - 83 years of age and anyone who lives longer than this is considered fortunate and an exception, especially when they exceed 100 years. In the less well developed world life expectancy is lower with an average lifespan of 35 - 60 years and anyone living beyond 80 years is exceptional.

Longevity

The word 'longevity' is often used as a synonym for 'life expectancy' or to connote a life longer than the recognized 'norm' and lifespan today has increased for some sectors of society due to the intervention of modern health care and scientists and researchers think that it is possible to live happily well beyond 100 years and a lot of money is being poured into researching how we can live longer.

There has been a lot of publicity about regional cultures who have a longer lifespan than the rest of the developed world and the key elements in these cultures are that they have clean fresh water, far fewer pollutants in their environment and they have a very active lifestyle that most Westerners would consider hard. They often have far less access to medications and hospitals and indeed are hardy people.

The rational for a longer life are:

  • clean living without pollution in our foods and environment
  • exercise
  • avoiding excess, especially foods that are not good for us
  • eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as vegetarians live on average nine years longer than meat eaters.
  • In our modern existence, it's impossible to avoid pollutants; our food and environment are saturated, but if we can avoid excess while eating well and use good quality dietary nutritional supplements like growth hormones and exercising, we can in a general way slow our ageing process.

While our personal individual lifespan which in most countries has been increasing over the past generations, another distinct aspect to the longevity debate which impacts us as a species is the increasing level of infertility of men.

The cause of the growing infertility rates as well as an increase in miscarriages of male babies are the petrochemicals used to make plastics and many household commodities. With the current trend and if nothing is done, the human race will become extinct within a hundred thousand years.

Do you really want to live longer in a diminishing world?

It is possible to live for 120 years and many have lived as long but there seems to be little common ground between ethnic groups that have greater longevity. In Okinawa, the food is fresh and unpolluted despite the proximity of the US naval presence.  The people live an active lifestyle with hard work and exercise however the children born there today are succumbing to the western lifestyle. Their preference for convenience foods has resulted in a sharp increase in diabetes and cancers that will ensure their demise before their parents who maintain the traditional diet and lifestyle.

In parts of the Mediterranean, people often live beyond 100 years, but in contrast with the Okinawans, the Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil wine and rich meats, but both diets contain a very low level of pollutants and chemicals.

Other elements common to long lived cultures are the strong family ties, excellent friendships and social activities.

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