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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Aug-11-19, 05:29
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
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Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
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BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
Default Blue Zones, Birth Certificates, Oh My!

Surprisingly, search didn't come up with a thread title on Blue Zones, so I needed to add this one. It is too good to miss. Last week I picked up a copy of the Blue Zone Solution at a thrift store, knowing in general about "blue zones", but not having read the details before. You can imagine my surprise a few days ago (timing is everything, only a few chapters into book, not exactly riveting prose) when the following study was published, and now Mark Sisson provides his take on it.

Quote:
Good morning, everybody.
Blue Zones, what about the Blue Zones?

I'm talking about certain spots in the Mediterranean like Sardinia and Ikaria, and in Okinawa, which produce the most per-capita supercentenarians—the oldest of the old, the longest lived of the longest lived—in the world. They get lauded for their diet and lifestyle, and used as examples for what we should all be doing. They're often used to argue against Primal and keto diets because they're neither keto nor Primal.

But then there's this paper, which recently came out:

"Supercentenarians and the oldest-old are concentrated into regions with no birth certificates and short lifespans."

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/704080v1

It looked at "new predictors" of supercentenarian status in various regions around the world, including the United States and the aforementioned Blue Zones. What'd they find?

Red wine consumption didn't predict supercentenarianism.
Legume consumption didn't predict it.
The presence of hills didn't predict it.
It turns out that a strong predictor of super-longevity is the absence of detailed birth records.
In the United States, whenever a state introduced birth certificates, supercentenarianism miraculously dropped by 69-82%. A full 82% of all supercentenarians on record in the U.S. were "born" before birth certificates were used. Only 18% have birth certificates; only 18% of American supercentenarians can actually be verified. Oops.

In Okinawa, Sardinia, and Ikaria, the strongest predictor for regions with high reported supercentenarianism was high crime, low income, and low life expectancy relative to the national average. Ninety-nine percent of male Italian centenarians smoke. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese centenarians are actually dead or missing. These aren't what you'd expect. Oops again.

The conclusion of the paper is that the primary causes of reported supercentenarianism in these countries are pension fraud and reporting error.
Everyone's always asking me about these regions. And as I've always admitted, they have a lot going for them.

Whole foods.
Strong sense of community.
Long tradition of daily movement like walking. Much of it through hilly regions.

But I just have to chuckle at this latest paper. Is Blue Zone research all for naught? No. It's not all fraud. But it's clear that these areas aren't magical, and that a closer look at the longevity data might be in order.

Thoughts on this? Let me know in the comment section of this week's WLL.
And enjoy your Sunday, everyone.
Best, Mark
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Aug-11-19, 07:59
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is online now
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Plan: atkins
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Default

Funny, how easily we accept facts as real.

I realized some time ago, I dont get to go live where these people have long lives. Arriving at this as environmental varuables are far more than diet, or exercise.

Im glad I stopped envying those centurians and ficus on what I can change in my life and my family's.

Fasting. Maybe these poor people have benefitted from involuntary fasting due to lack of food, and when they do eat, its not laden with pestcides, its super fresh, and not contaminated by pathogens.
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, Aug-11-19, 08:40
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Plan: Atkins-ish (hypoglycemia)
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Quote:
"Supercentenarians and the oldest-old are concentrated into regions with no birth certificates and short lifespans."

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/704080v1

It looked at "new predictors" of supercentenarian status in various regions around the world, including the United States and the aforementioned Blue Zones. What'd they find?

Red wine consumption didn't predict supercentenarianism.
Legume consumption didn't predict it.
The presence of hills didn't predict it.
It turns out that a strong predictor of super-longevity is the absence of detailed birth records.
In the United States, whenever a state introduced birth certificates, supercentenarianism miraculously dropped by 69-82%. A full 82% of all supercentenarians on record in the U.S. were "born" before birth certificates were used. Only 18% have birth certificates; only 18% of American supercentenarians can actually be verified. Oops.

In Okinawa, Sardinia, and Ikaria, the strongest predictor for regions with high reported supercentenarianism was high crime, low income, and low life expectancy relative to the national average. Ninety-nine percent of male Italian centenarians smoke. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese centenarians are actually dead or missing. These aren't what you'd expect. Oops again.

The conclusion of the paper is that the primary causes of reported supercentenarianism in these countries are pension fraud and reporting error.


This really doesn't surprise me at all.

My own MIL wasn't sure of her actual birth year. I'm not sure why this was, but I always suspected she must have lied about her age at some point in her life, and decades later (I think it was when she applied for social security), couldn't remember which year she was actually born. The county/town where her birth was recorded had lost all their records in a fire decades earlier (this happened long before there were such things as state-wide databases for birth records), and neither of her older sisters could remember exactly which year MIL was born either. (They did finally agree on a year that they thought must have been the year she was born)
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, Aug-11-19, 12:46
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
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Funny how us humans can behave like lemmings and follow the latest health fad without concrete proof of research. Any positive association becomes the next best thing usually based purely on anecdotal information and at least one "expert" jumping in to support the trend. Usually, these fads make enough sense for someone to provide a plausible description that people buy lock, stock and barrel. Respectful skepticism, on the other hand, has always served me well.
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  #5   ^
Old Sun, Aug-11-19, 13:33
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is online now
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Plan: atkins
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Even doctors dont require "concrete" proof to then dictate advice to patients....

Seems like it is up to the masses to disern the truth. Or the few professionals willing to buck the system....
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  #6   ^
Old Sun, Aug-11-19, 14:10
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deirdra deirdra is online now
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Default

People who smoke and work outside most of their lives can look 80 when they are 40. Many have the same name as their parent or grandparent and the oral tradition of storytelling is a common. Just because an "oldtimer" can recite tales of WWI doesn't mean he himself was there. He probably heard the stories on grandpa's knee and the vividness of the stories usually increases with each retelling.
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Aug-12-19, 14:00
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Dodger Dodger is offline
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An interesting article on old age exaggerations.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062986/
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  #8   ^
Old Mon, Aug-12-19, 18:01
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teaser teaser is offline
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Plan: mostly milkfat
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Fun snippet from the New York times in the '70s;

Quote:
The Abkhasian view of the aging process is clear from their vocabulary. They do not have a phrase for “old people"; those over 100 are called “long living people.” Death, in the Abkhasian view, is not the logical end of life but something irrational. The aged seem to lose strength gradually, wither in size and finally die; when that happens, Abkhasians show their grief fully, even violently.

FOR the rest of the world, disbelief is the response not to Abkhasians’ deaths but to how long they have lived. There really should no longer be any question about their longevity. All of the Soviet medical investigators took great care to cross‐check the information they received in interviews. Some of the men studied had served in the army, and military records invariably supported their own accounts. Extensive documentation is lacking only because the Abkhasians had no functioning written language until after the Russian Revolution.

But why do they live so long?


I dunno. 'Long-living people' sounds suspiciously like a phrase for 'old people' to me.

The claim of what constitutes good data on aging here was pretty crummy. If you're going to fraudulently take on an older relation's identity, you're in a position to know something about them.

https://www.nytimes.com/1971/12/26/...aces-in-an.html

Looked this up because I remember decades ago reading about welfare fraud in this region, with people claiming to be older relatives.

I'm not sure I even fault people doing what they thought was necessary to get by in Soviet Russia...


Liked the beginning of the article;

Quote:
NOT long ago, in the village of Tarnish in the Soviet Republic of Abkhasia, I raised my glass of wine to toast a man who looked no more than 70. “May you live as long as Moses (120 years),” i said. He was not pleased. He was 119.


Sometimes there's a good reason why somebody looks 70...

When there's an article where the latest holder of the 'world's oldest person' title finally passes away--these people are generally better documented--I've notice that they never look no more than 70. In fact--they pretty much look how you'd expect them to look.

Maybe we should just learn to be highly suspect of any data set that makes the PCRM smugly nod their heads in agreement. Of course people surviving largely on corn meal mash would be long-lived.
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  #9   ^
Old Mon, Aug-12-19, 18:15
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
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Default

Yes, the amber liquid type from the charred oak barrels . . . . . those who look 80 and are really 38.
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  #10   ^
Old Tue, Aug-13-19, 00:18
s93uv3h s93uv3h is offline
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Plan: Atkins & IF / TRE
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Dr. Valter Longo's 2016 book The Longevity Diet gets more into blue zones and is probably a more credible read.
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Aug-13-19, 06:45
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bluesinger bluesinger is offline
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Plan: Atkins 72~Induction
Stats: 170/140/140 Female 62 inches
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Default

I've lived in California, Texas, Nevada, Norway, Germany and France. All my personal Blue Zones. I still believe it's about diet and lifestyle more than location. But maybe that's your point.
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, Aug-14-19, 05:46
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
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When I was a child, it was all about the Hzunda (not sure of spelling, can't find it online) and yogurt.

I think how a person's genetics reacts to their environment is the real key to health.

As a child, I grew up in a farm tradition where the goal was "meat at every meal." Or it wasn't a meal. And for generations these people had brought over their ancestral farming, herding, and eating patterns.

Until puberty, that's how I ate, and I was healthy and energetic. Now, I do a version that works for a body that needs maintenance, not growth, which eliminates the carbs. I still eat my favorites, actually!

I knew lots of people, including family, who lived into their nineties. But if you moved them to somewhere else, with different foods and patterns: they would not.

Famously, "retiring to Florida," became something of a death sentence. I think it was because they didn't handle the sun the best way, ate out a lot more, snacked a lot more, got bored a lot more.

That cut into their potential span.
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