Furthermore, quitting smoking in your 60s may add up to 3. In fact, quitting in your 80s may still provide benefits 44 , Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to liver, heart, and pancreatic disease, as well as an overall increased risk of early death Wine is considered particularly beneficial due to its high content of polyphenol antioxidants. In addition, one review observed wine to be especially protective against heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, and metabolic syndrome To keep consumption moderate, it is recommended that women aim for 1—2 units or less per day and a maximum of 7 per week.
Men should keep their daily intake to less than 3 units, with a maximum of 14 per week It's important to note that no strong research indicates that the benefits of moderate drinking are greater than those of abstaining from alcohol. Feeling happy can significantly increase your longevity In fact, happier individuals had a 3. A study of Catholic nuns analyzed their self-reported levels of happiness when they first entered the monastery and later compared these levels to their longevity.
Those who felt happiest at 22 years of age were 2.
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For instance, women suffering from stress or anxiety are reportedly up to two times more likely to die from heart disease, stroke, or lung cancer 56 , 57 , Similarly, the risk of premature death is up to three times higher for anxious or stressed men compared to their more relaxed counterparts 59 , 60 , If you're feeling stressed , laughter and optimism could be two key components of the solution.
However, both laughter and a positive outlook on life can reduce stress, potentially prolonging your life 62 , 63 , 64 , Studies also link healthy social networks to positive changes in heart, brain, hormonal, and immune function, which may decrease your risk of chronic diseases 68 , 69 , 70 , 71 , A strong social circle might also help you react less negatively to stress, perhaps further explaining the positive effect on lifespan 73 , Finally, one study reports that providing support to others may be more beneficial than receiving it.
In addition to accepting care from your friends and family, make sure to return the favor Conscientiousness refers to a person's ability to be self-disciplined, organized, efficient, and goal-oriented. Conscientious people may also have lower blood pressure and fewer psychiatric conditions, as well as a lower risk of diabetes and heart or joint problems This might be partly because conscientious individuals are less likely to take dangerous risks or react negatively to stress — and more likely to lead successful professional lives or be responsible about their health 79 , 80 , Conscientiousness can be developed at any stage in life through steps as small as tidying up a desk, sticking to a work plan, or being on time.
For instance, the polyphenols and catechins found in green tea may decrease your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease 82 , 83 , 84 , 85 , Similarly, coffee is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers and brain ailments, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's 87 , 88 , 89 , 90 , 91 , Just remember that too much caffeine can also lead to anxiety and insomnia, so you may want to curb your intake to the recommended limit of mg per day — around 4 cups of coffee 97 , It's also worth noting that it generally takes six hours for caffeine's effects to subside.
Therefore, if you have trouble getting enough high-quality sleep, you may want to shift your intake to earlier in the day. Sleep is crucial for regulating cell function and helping your body heal. A recent study reports that longevity is likely linked to regular sleeping patterns, such as going to bed and waking up around the same time each day Too little sleep may also promote inflammation and increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. These are all linked to a shortened lifespan , , , On the other hand, excessive sleep could be linked to depression, low physical activity, and undiagnosed health conditions, all of which may negatively affect your lifespan These include drinking coffee or tea, exercising, getting enough sleep, and limiting your alcohol intake.
Here are their inhabitants' common lifestyle…. A few major studies have now shown that the people who drink the most coffee have the lowest risk of dying from several common diseases. Scientists refute previous research that concluded humans can only live to a maximum of about years.
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Genetic research is attempting to explore compounds and develop drugs that could extend the lives of our cells. What's the secret to longevity?
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Find out what people living well in their 90s and beyond have to say. Recent research done on humans indicates that calorie-restricted diets can slow down the aging process and increase longevity. The gap in life expectancy between counties has grown since In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes, as Benjamin Franklin famously wrote. Few of us find taxes exciting, but death — even just thinking about it — affects us profoundly in many different ways.
This is why researchers across so many different fields study it from their perspectives. Here are five research findings — biochemical, medical, genetic, sociological and psychological — that you may not be aware of. It is difficult to describe what the stench of death is like, but most people agree it is bad. However, the smell of human decomposition is actually very complex, involving over volatile chemical compounds.
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We share many of these with other animals, but a recent study found that there might be five esters — organic compounds that react with water to produce alcohols and acids — that are unique to humans. This is compared to 26 in other animal species from frogs and robins to pigs. The interesting thing about them is that they are also produced by fruits, especially when they rot. Now we might know why. You may have heard that our nails and hair keep growing — at least for a while — after we die.
This conjures up creepy images of exhumed corpses with an urgent need for barbers or pedicurists. The truth is that the rest of our bodies shrink due to dehydration, making the nails and hair look longer. What we think of as hair and nails are actually already dead : the only living parts are the the hair follicle and nail matrix under the skin.
But these organs require hormonal regulation to produce hair and nails, not to mention the supply of ingredients like proteins and oils which cease upon death, or very soon after. For a long time we thought that our cells might be immortal, and that under the right environmental conditions, they would go on replicating forever. A decade later a hypothesis was put forward: telomeres — repeated DNA sequences at the ends of our chromosomes — shorten with every division, and when they get too short, divisions stop and the cells die.
Since then, there has been increasing evidence that telomere length can be used to predict lifespan, and not just in humans. However, not all research confirms this, and it is not yet clear whether shortened telomeres are the cause of ageing or just a symptom. If telomere length does control ageing, then it may be possible to significantly lengthen lifespans by manipulating their length.
At the moment we still know too little about telomeres to do this, but watch this space. It seems counter-intuitive to think that we would fear death less as we get older, but studies run in the United States have shown this is the case. One study found that people in their 40s and 50s, expressed greater fears of death than those in their 60s and 70s. Similarly, another study found that people in their 60s reported less death anxiety than both people in middle age 35 to 50 years and young adults 18 to 25 years. For men, the decline plateaued in their 60s, whereas for women, there was some evidence for a slight bump between their 40s and 50s.
I found similar patterns in my own research for a forthcoming book — but only in the United States. All of these studies also survey people of different ages but fail to follow individuals across their lifespans. It is therefore possible that the relationship between age and death anxiety is driven by a generational effect: maybe our forebears were just made of sterner stuff than we are. Briefly describe the emotions that the thought of your own death arouses in you. Jot down what you think will happen to you physically as you die and once you are physically dead.
These are instructions that have been given to thousands of people across over studies over the past 25 years. The results suggest that thinking about death — compared to thinking about more banal stuff, or even other sources of anxiety — makes people more tolerant of racists ; harsher toward prostitutes ; less willing to consume foreign goods ; and even makes liberals less supportive of LGBT rights.
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However, it also makes people want to have more children and to name their children after themselves. In other words, thinking about death makes us want to pursue symbolic immortality, the vicarious living on through our offspring or through groups we identify with. There is even some evidence that, in the face of death, nonreligious people are more willing to believe in God and an afterlife. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
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