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How to live a long life

Living a long and healthy life is the dream of many. Human longevity is the result of many factors such as genetics and the environment. Some of the latest research findings are mentioned below:

Restrict your calorie intake by 20-40%

By eating less, you reduce the incidence of age-related disorders, such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Calorie restriction should not be understood as starving yourself. Starving is detrimental to your health. When restricting calories, it is more important than ever to maintain a high quality and well balanced diet. The severity of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, which can lead to death, is a fitting reminder that proper nutrition is a basic prerequisite to good health.

Research has shown that calorie restriction extends the lifespan in a number of organisms, including rodents and possibly non-human primates. It is therefore possible that it could extend your life too.

How calorie restriction prolongs life has not yet been fully established. It is possible that changes in metabolism, improvement in insulin sensitivity and altered hormone function play a role.

Additional vitamin intake

There are conflicting results. Some studies have shown that a high intake of antioxidant vitamins either through a regular diet or as food supplement can lower the risk of major chronic diseases, such as stroke or heart disease. However, other trials have not confirmed these results. Indeed, there is concern that pharmacological supplementation of vitamins may in some circumstances even increase the risk of death. 1

Some vitamins that could be of benefit (cited by Thomas, 2006) include

  • Folate reduces the incidence of neural tube defects

  • Vitamin D in association with calcium decreases the risk of fractures

  • Zinc, betacarotene and Vitamin E appear to slow down progression of macular degeneration of the eye, but no not reduce the incidence

  • Vitamin E and lycopene seem to decrease the risk of prostrate cancer.

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The information contained on this site is for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for expert medical advice, and does not take your medical history or specific circumstances into consideration. Always seek your doctor's advice if you have a medical or health-related condition. While every effort has been made to ensure that the above information was correct at the time of writing; medical knowledge is constantly being reviewed and updated, and the above information may therefore be superseded by additional knowledge.