Living to 100 and beyond: the right genes plus a healthy lifestyle

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What is it that lets some people live to age 100 and beyond? A new study from the ongoing New England Centenarian Study suggests that protective genes may make a big contribution.

In what the researchers describe as the first study of its kind, they analyzed and deciphered the entire genetic codes of a man and a woman who lived past the age of 114. The two so-called supercentenarians had:

  • DNA that appeared to be very similar to people who did not have long lives
  • about the same number of gene variants linked to increased disease risk as seen in people from the general population whose genomes have been sequenced
  • more than 50 possible longevity-associated variants in genes, some of which were unexpected and had not been seen before.

The researchers hypothesize that the genes linked with long life may somehow offset the disease-linked genes. This might then allow an extended lifespan. The results were reported in the journal Frontiers in Genetics.

Taking control

At the beginning of the 20th century, the average life expectancy at birth in the United States was just under 50 years. Today, the average newborn can expect to reach 80 years. This great leap forward has little or nothing to do with genes, and everything to do with advances in public health and healthy lifestyles.

During the first 75 years of life, genes have a relatively small influence on longevity, accounting for only 20% to 25% of the reasons that you make it to that age. Not smoking, eating healthfully, getting plenty of exercise, and limiting alcohol matter the most.

Once you hit your mid-80s, genes matter more and more. And once your reach your 90s, how much longer you are likely to live was largely determined the day your father’s sperm fertilized your mother’s egg.

There’s no need to have your DNA sequenced yet to determine what genes you carry. It won’t change what you need to do now. You have the power to change many things that influence your health and how long you live. Here are 10 steps that will help you have the longest, healthiest life possible:

  1. Don’t smoke.
  2. Be physically active every day.
  3. Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, and fruits. Reduce or avoid unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats. Instead, use healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  4. Be sure to get enough vitamin D and calcium.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight and body shape.
  6. Challenge your mind.
  7. Build a strong social network.
  8. Protect your sight, hearing, and general health by following preventive care guidelines.
  9. Floss, brush and see a dentist regularly. Poor oral health may have many effects. It can lead to poor nutrition, pain, and possibly even higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
  10. Discuss with your doctor whether you need any medicine to help you stay healthy. These might include medicines to control high blood pressure, and treat osteoporosis or lower cholesterol, for example.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

2 Corinthians 13:9 For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.

Colossians 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.

2 Corinthians 10:15-16 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Ephesians 1:17-18 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 3:16-19 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, read more

Recommended contacts for prayer requests and Bible study

www.agapetemplesda.com

www.adventistontario.org

https://www.hopechannel.com/au/learn/courses

breathoflife.tv/

https://3abn.org/all-streams/3abn.html

http://www.nadadventist.org/article/15/contact-us

https://www.adventist.org/en/utility/contact/

It Is Written

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