Unlocking the mystery of long lifespans in three special places

What are the secrets to living to a ripe old age? Scientists have been working on this for a long time, but some answers remain elusive.

In three places around the world people have been known to live very long lives, but no one theory can yet link these three locations. They are: the Japanese island of Okinawa, the small mountain town of Ovodda on the island of Sardinia and Loma Linda in California.

Denise Winterman lays out some interesting facts in an article in the BBC News magazine.

People in Okinawa eat many fruits and vegetables in a diet rich in tofu and soy products. They apparently have a tradition of never eating more than is necessary; they stop when they're about 80% full.

In Ovodda, on the other hand, the townsfolk don't count calories and they eat meat. Only 1,700 people live in the town and many are related through marriage. While interbreeding results in a greater probability of genetic disorders, it also increases the chances of higher percentages of centenarians.

In Loma Linda, religion seems to be a factor: many residents are Seventh Day Adventists. A significant number of people in the community don't drink or smoke. Many are vegetarians. And, as one researcher points out, people who are regular churchgoers - regardless of faith - live longer.

You can read Winterman's article here:

Other source for this post: The Toronto Globe and Mail

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