(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists conducted an extensive study of the genomes of people over 100 years old and identified key features that allowed the organism to live for more than a century.
If you eat well, exercise often, and avoid many bad habits, you have every reason to hope for a long and healthy life.
Of course, many age-related diseases seem almost inevitable, whether they catch up with you in your 80s or 90s. But some people show a propensity for very long life and good health even after 100 years.
New longevity research
Studies have shown that people over 100 years old have exceptionally healthy signs of aging.
They were less likely to be hospitalized at an earlier age and avoided many of the age-related diseases that most people face, such as heart disease or neurodegeneration.
The new study is a comprehensive analysis of 81 long-lived people (over 105 years old) and super-long-lived people (over 110 years old).
Scientists compared this selection with a group of healthy, geographically comparable people aged 60 and over.
The goal was to genetically isolate those who were able to live to 100 years and reveal the secret of their longevity.
Genetic features of people who live long
“Our results show that DNA repair mechanisms and a low number of mutations in certain genes are two central mechanisms that protect people who have reached the limit of longevity against age-related diseases,” said study author Claudio Franceschi.
The study identified five specific types of genetic changes centered around two genes called STK17A and COA1.
STK17A is involved in the body’s response to DNA damage. As we age, our body’s DNA repair mechanisms become less efficient.
Accumulated DNA damage is known to be responsible for some signs of aging, so increased expression of STK17A may promote healthy aging by maintaining DNA repair processes even in old age.
Fewer mistakes mean fewer negative consequences for the body.
A decrease in COA1 expression was also found in the elderly. This gene plays a role in communication between the cell nucleus and mitochondria.
The researchers also found that long-lived individuals showed unexpectedly low levels of somatic gene mutations that we normally accumulate as we grow older.
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