There is a new study that suggests an amazing longevity number. Apparently humans can potentially live for as long as 150 years. Wait, hold on a second, I’m not aware of anybody living that long. The oldest officially verified human is pictured above. Jeanne Calment lived to the age of 122. There are of course claims of people living longer, up to 130, but none of them have been independently confirmed.
Side story. Jeanne is old enough to be interesting. She personally met Van Gogh at the age of 13 where she was introduced to him in her Uncle’s shop. She remembered the meeting as a disappointment, and described him as ugly and “very disagreeable”, adding that he “reeked of alcohol”. Another highlight is that in 1965, at age 90 she had no direct heirs left, so signed a life estate contract on her apartment. For this she retained the right to carry on living there until her death and also receive a payment of 2,500 francs every month. Upon her death the property would be owned by the guy who signed the contract with her. The problem for him is that she carried on living a lot longer. He died in 1995 after having paid her more than twice the value of the property over the years, while she still lived on.
Anyway, back on topic. What exactly is in this new study. If nobody actually lives to be 150, then why are they making this claim?
Let’s take a peek. This will just be a quick surface scan. Title aside, I’ll not drown you with befuddling technical terms.
Study: Longitudinal analysis of blood markers reveals progressive loss of resilience and predicts human lifespan limit
The paper was published in Nature Communications on May 25, 2021. It is open access, so if you check via the above link you will not hit any paywall.
What exactly is going on here?
The researchers are asking this question: If you lived a greenhouse life totally free from all stress, then what is the longest possible human lifespan that you might expect?
In other words, put aside the stuff that usually kills us, such a heart disease via bad diet or cancer via smoking, and instead take a look to see if there is a natural upper limit, then what exactly in that upper boundary?
What they have discovered is that as we grow older there was something beyond disease that limits lifespan. As we decline there comes a point beyond which our bodies simply can’t recover and maintain normal balance and function.
They worked this out by studying three different groups. It involved measuring their blood counts, and also the daily number of steps they took. This revealed a measurable decline of both over time. Plot that out and the point at which a limit was reached is the age range of 120-150.
That’s where this 150 number comes from.
Can we break through this limit?
Today, no we can’t.
The end of the paper does offer this interesting hope …
The proximity of the critical point revealed in this work indicates that the apparent human lifespan limit is not likely to be improved by therapies aimed against specific chronic diseases or frailty syndrome. Thus, no dramatic improvement of the maximum lifespan and hence strong life extension is possible by preventing or curing diseases without interception of the aging process, the root cause of the underlying loss of resilience. We do not foresee any laws of nature prohibiting such an intervention. Therefore, further development of the aging model presented in this work may be a step toward experimental demonstration of a dramatic life-extending therapy.
In other words, curing cancer and also curing heart disease will not be the ultimate answer. This is because doing that does not change this hard limit. However, addressing the root cause of ageing, the natural loss of resilience, will. They also don’t see any laws of nature that would prevent that happing one day.
What can you actually do right now?
If indeed there is an upper hard limit to the human lifespan, and right now that can’t be changed, then what is perhaps a far more immediate and interesting question to ponder over is this. What is the human health span, and how can we maintain and extend that so that it fills the available lifespan as much as is possible?
What is of course well-known, deeply studied, and well-understood is quite obvious. There are no magic pills and no expensive potions, nor do I need to sell you some deep dark secret.
You don’t need to buy lots of expensive and quite frankly utterly useless supplements. Anybody selling you on that idea is conning you (Yes, I’m looking at you Mike Adams, you and your brand, Natural News, are an outright pseudoscientific fraud that sells lies just to make $$).
The scientific evidence makes it clear that what really does work are these five …
healthy diet, regular exercise, lean body mass, not smoking, and limited alcohol use
… and I’m not making that up, there is good solid robust evidence that those five really do work and are highly effective.
For reference, here is the latest of many studies that confirms that these five basic lifestyle factors really do have a dramatic impact on longevity and the risk of death from heart disease, cancer, or other causes.
This is something you probably already knew or at least could have guessed, and yet many of us don’t pay attention to them. If you are not doing these now, then pause and consider them because the evidence is both clear and robust that this is your best bet for a longer health span.