Movement, Coffee, Alcohol - 3 Keys to Longevity?

Movement, Coffee, Alcohol - 3 Keys to Longevity?

Could the secret to a long, happy life really be as simple as having a couple of glasses of wine every night?

That appears to be the case according to the latest research, which showed alcohol trumps exercise when it comes to living longer.

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The Study on Longevity

The age 90+ study is a long-term epidemiological study that began in 2003 by researchers from the University of California and the Clinic for Aging Research and Education. The study tracked 1,700 nonagenarians (90-year-olds) daily habits to see how each one impacted their longevity.

While tracking the day to day activities of 90-year-olds may not sound that intriguing, you might be surprised to learn that the fastest growing age in America happens to be nonagenarians. So, researchers set out to determine what exactly is the “secret sauce” for making it to those twilight years.

Led by Dr. Claudia Kawas of the University of California, the 90+ study tracked and tested the elderly folks to determine exactly what differences in their lifestyles contributed to the long lifespan. The results may shock you.

Subjects who drank two glasses of wine or beer per day were 18% less likely to die early than those who avoid alcohol altogether, while coffee drinkers were only 10% more prone to live a longer life. Additionally, individuals who spent two hours practicing some sort of hobby were 21% less likely to meet an early demise.

The big surprise came when researchers found that exercise only reduced the risk of an early death by a mere 11%. And, you might also be shocked to learn that individuals who were overweight, but not obese, in their 70s lived longer than underweight or “normal” weight people did.

Overall, 40% of the nonagenarians suffer from dementia while just under 80% are disabled. But, researchers were not able to identify why 50% of those with dementia experienced their cognitive impairment.

Researchers believe it may have something to do with a gene known as APOE2 (Apolipoprotein E), a collection of proteins involved in fat metabolisms that have also been linked to Alzheimer’s dementia. [2] 90+ year olds with the APOE2 gene were less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.

In her keynote address, Dr. Kawas commented on the study’s findings:

“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.” [1]

She also added:

“It’s not bad to be skinny when you’re young but it’s very bad to be skinny when you’re old.” [1]

Takeaway

Given the findings of the 90+ Study, are you more apt to imbibe a little more from time to time? Is alcohol really the secret to living longer?

Leave us a comment below with your thoughts.

References
1) "The 90+ Study." UCI MIND, 12 June 2017, www.mind.uci.edu/research-studies/90plus-study/.
2) Wu L, Zhao L. ApoE2 and Alzheimer’s disease: time to take a closer look. Neural Regeneration Research. 2016;11(3):412-413. doi:10.4103/1673-5374.179044.
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