Most of us want to be able to live up to a ripe age while enjoying the company of our grandkids and great grandkids, right? However, it seems that even researchers have not found an exact method that we can use to live as long as possible.
There have been people who have claimed yoga, a healthy diet, bathing in hot springs, relaxing away from the cities, and even getting daily massages to promote long life.
However, now there is an interesting study that has been published which talks about how drinking alcohol in moderation, more than exercising daily, has shown to help many people live past their 90th birthday.
Wouldn’t That Mean I Will Live Forever?
If you are someone who enjoys his/her drink and likes to binge on your favorite pastime, wouldn’t this mean that you could live forever? Well, no it won’t. This is because the study mentions that the amount of alcohol that seems to be most effective at helping increase lifespan is two glasses of wine or beer a day.
What Was The Aim Of This Study?
The lead researcher on this study is Dr. Claudia Kawas who a specialist in neurology from the University of California. This research was named The 90+ Study which started in 2003 with the aim of finding out the different reasons some people manage to reach the ripe age of 90 and more while most don’t. This research has been going on for over 15 years and is still being continued to understand this phenomenon better.
How Was This Research Conducted?
The group of researchers worked to analyze data from over 1,700 participants in different locations. The researchers from the Clinic for Aging Research and Education (CARE) would visit the participants every six months and find out about their medication, medical history, diet and activities they performed regularly. The oldies were also asked to perform a few physical and cognitive tests to measure their physical and mental health. And after doing this for 15 years, the researchers made a shocking discovery.
What Were The Findings Of The 90+ Study?
According to the published study, there were a few surprising finds:
- Drinking coffee or alcohol can help live longer: When people drink moderate amounts of coffee or alcohol throughout their lives on a regular basis, they could live longer by 18% compared to those people who didn’t drink coffee or alcohol on a daily basis.
- Being overweight can help liver longer: If someone was overweight (but not obese) in their 70s, this study states that they could live a little longer than those who were underweight or of normal Exercising too much and losing weight was found to be detrimental to the lifespan.
- Almost half of Dementia sufferers should not have Dementia, according to modern science: Almost half of the participants who had Dementia were found not to have sufficient issues in their neuropathology to cause their Dementia.
- Reaching 90 can mean that you have a good chance of being disabled or have Dementia: The study found that 80% of the participants in the study had some disability while over 40% of the participants had Dementia. Women were also shown to have a great chance of being disabled or having Dementia then men.
- Those with APOE2 gene have a lower risk of having clinical Alzheimer’s: It was found that the participants who had the APOE2 gene had a lower percentage of people with Alzheimer’s disease which still showing signs of having Alzheimer’s neuropathology.
So Is Alcohol The Long Lost Fountain Of Youth?
Well, when asked, the researchers admitted to not knowing how alcohol improved the lifespan of the patients. During the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference on February 17 in Austin, Texas, Kawas stated: “I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.”
But before you start heading towards the fridge for a guilt-free beer, remember that many factors are involved in staying healthy and alive until your 90s including exercise, mental health, stress, and diet.
However, you also need to remember that those men and women who were overweight in their 70s managed to live longest. So, it seems that drinking a glass or two of wine might just be better for us that exercising and losing weight in terms of increasing our lifespan.