Scientists suggest that the secret of longevity may be hidden in the blood biomarkers of people who have crossed the 100-year mark.
This is reported by Health with reference to a study published in the scientific journal GeroScience.
Exceptional longevity (over 85 years) is the result of a combination of many factors, including genetics and lifestyle. However, a group of scientists from the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) found that long-lived people have lower levels of glucose, uric acid and creatinine in their blood than other people.
The differences were noticeable long before these people turned 100 years old – even at the age of 65.
For the study, scientists used data from more than 44,000 people who underwent laboratory testing at the Central Automated Laboratory in Stockholm between 1985 and 1996.
The measurement continued until the end of 2020. Then scientists calculated that among this cohort, 1,224 people lived to be 100 years old.
The researchers studied 12 biomarkers:
- uric acid (inflammation);
- total cholesterol and glucose (metabolism);
- alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, albumin, gamma-glutamyltransferase, alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase (liver);
- creatinine (kidneys);
- iron (risk of anemia);
- albumin (food).
Centenarians had lower levels of blood glucose, uric acid, and creatinine, and higher total cholesterol and iron, than average people. However, the difference was not great.
Long-lived individuals had relatively uniform biomarker profiles overall—they rarely had values at the lower or upper end of the normal range.
However, study co-author Shunsuke Murata says much more research is needed to fully understand all the major factors behind longevity.
“In this study, we studied the biomarkers one by one. The next step will be to study their combinations.
Furthermore, we are not sure how much the biomarker values depend only on lifestyle, or how much they also depend on genetic factors.” – explains the scientist.
Lower levels of uric acid, creatinine and blood glucose indicate a healthier lifestyle overall, says endocrinologist Rekha Kumar, who was not involved in the study.
“I really think that diet and lifestyle are important factors. All of the biomarkers in question are modifiable, they are not genetically determined.” – she explains.
According to geriatrician Luke Kim, a lower level of creatinine — a byproduct of protein digestion and the breakdown of muscle tissue — may indicate better kidney function. At the same time, a lower glucose level means a better metabolic profile.
Lower uric acid levels also indicate a healthy lifestyle.
“Uric acid, a marker that is influenced by various factors, including diet and alcohol consumption, shows differences between the two groups (long-lived and average people – ed.).
These results suggest that dietary and lifestyle factors may play a role in exceptional longevity.” – concluded Shunsuke Murata.
Luke Kim says to increase your chances of longevity, you need to take preventive measures, including medical examinations for common diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and hyperlipidemia.
“I would encourage people to always move. It doesn’t have to be extreme structured exercise, just any activity to get the blood flowing, the muscles active, the glucose metabolism fast, and the ligaments and joints flexible. All of that improves metabolic health and also reduces the risk of injury.” Rekha Kumar added.
We will remind you that earlier we wrote that salt abuse increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
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