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World's oldest person Emma Morano celebrates 117th birthday

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"Ms Morano's longevity, she admits, is partly down to genetics - her mother reached 91 and several sisters reached their centenary - and partly, she says, down to a rather unusual diet of three eggs - two raw - each day for more than 90 years."

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38134004

 

Oh, no, 3 eggs a day for close to 100 years - that's a whole lotta eggs! And chicken every dinner! Quick, someone call Dr. Greger to provide some vegan advice so that Ms Moreno's health won't suffer! Instead of obsessing over dietary minutia we should get on with improving what clearly really matters - our genes. Better genes for a healthier longer life - that's the way!

 

"It does defy all accepted advice on healthy living, her doctor of 27 years, Carlo Bava, told AFP news agency:

"Emma has always eaten very few vegetables, very little fruit.

"When I met her, she ate three eggs per day, two raw in the morning and then an omelette at noon, and chicken at dinner."

Despite this, he noted, she seems to be "eternal"."

 

What the hell - she may not eat a healthy diet, but at least she enjoys it!

 

In the end, it's probably all that active lifestyle and exercise she does - all that walking... oh wait, that's not it:
 

"Ms Morano herself has not left her two-room flat for 20 years but she was surrounded by well-wishers on Tuesday who took part in her birthday celebrations."

Edited by TomBAvoider

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Tom,

 

Oh, no, 3 eggs a day for close to 100 years - that's a whole lotta eggs! And chicken every dinner! Quick, someone call Dr. Greger to provide some vegan advice so that Ms Moreno's health won't suffer! 

 

Nice ☺. In my campaign to encourage AI and machine learning technology that helps flag fake news on the internet, I recently installed a Chrome plugin (called propornot), that aims to flag links to Russian propaganda. I was amused when It flagged all of Nutritionfacts.org. Here is what I tweeted, along with the image of the website:

 

@propornot plugin to flag fake news still needs work. It labels alI of http://NutritionFacts.org as Russian propaganda. Agenda too pro-vegan?

 

I see. @propornot thinks Dr. Greger & @NutritionFacts is part of sinister Russian plot to turn American's vegan. :-)

 

So we'll be crushed under the weight of our own healthy old people. Very clever Mr. Putin...

 

zloqaXX.png

 

 

Tom wrote:

Instead of obsessing over dietary minutia we should get on with improving what clearly really matters - our genes. Better genes for a healthier longer life - that's the way!

 

I (obviously) agree 100% on the dietary minutia. But wait - funding for health research will soon be slashed under the new Director of Health and Human Services (Tom Price) that President Trump is appointing. So forget about funding for gene therapy to cure diseases for a while, to say nothing of proactive CRISPR-based gene editing to improve health/longevity of otherwise normal people.

 

--Dean

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The cases of the Italian ultracentenaries Salvatore Caruso and Emma Morano have been discussed by Valter Longo in his book.  I'm going to post a translated excerpt from an Italian newspaper. From Longo's words it would turn out that the abundance of animal food has been introduced in Emma's diet only pretty late, about 90 years of age. The 3 eggs + raw beef is something which most newspapers failed to pinpoint as a very late dietary feature.

 

In the following excerpt emphasis is mine.

 

 

Three eggs a day, meal and ground beef strictly eaten raw: this is the diet that ensured  longevity to Emma Morano, the oldest woman on the planet who turned 117 years (29 November 1899).

To unlock the secrets of the 'grandmother of Italy' to the weekly 'Today' is  Emma herself along with her doctor Valter Longo, a leading longevity expert in the world. Of course, not everything can be attributed to the 'daily menu' Emma adopted by the age of ninety.

"The diet has its importance, of course, but if you take 100 centenarians, you will find 100 different potential long life menu - Longo explained to the magazine -. In the case of Emma Morano  her diet was sure rich in vegetables, complete with rice and soups, and only in a very advanced age more ingredients of animal origin have been introduced . "
Edited by mccoy

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Yes, because anecdotes are the foundation of any good health regimen  ;)

By this measure the chocolate and cigarette diet of Jeanne Calment who lived to age 122 should be the gold standard.

 

Dean, Dr. G does recommend Russian Red Kale, which means he is a Russian propaganda machine.

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Anecdotes aside, the real take-away is not that there are so many supercentanarians (those over the age of 110) who engage in what would be regarded as suboptimal dietary and lifestyle behaviors. That's a given. After all, the vast majority of people engage in such behaviors - it therefore seems no surprise that a tiny percentage of them would - thanks, presumably to good genes and luck - manage to nonetheless reach supercentenarian status. That's just statistics.

 

No, what is remarkable to me, is that if we take the supercentanarians as a group, we would expect to see the whole range of dietary behavior reflected in that group, barring the more extreme ones such as alcoholism etc. So if f.ex. health nuts represent 2% of the general population, shouldn't you also see at least 2% of the supercentanarians be health nuts? I mean, that's statistics! If, say, severe alcoholics are 8% of the general population, and yet you find 0% of them represented among supercentanarians, it would seem to indicate that severe alcoholism is not conducive to reaching supercentanarian age. Same with health nuts. If health nuts are 2% of the population, but 0% of supercentanarians - what does it say about health-nut behavior impact on reaching extreme old age?

 

If healthy behaviors (extreme version) really were the key to reaching extreme old age, you'd expect the 2% prevalence in the general population to be reflected, by, say, at least 4%-6%-8%-?% prevalence among the supercentanarians. Yet that does not seem to be the case. I am not aware of any - a single - example of a supercentanarian who can be said to engage in health-nut behavior (a study of healthy behavior involving diet, exercise, not smoking, and drinking moderately etc. estimated only 2% of the population engages in all healthy behaviors). And that's certainly true for the very extremes as in the example of this story, or Calment, and several others. Far from not showing even the 2% prevalence rate, they seem to show 0%. What do we make of that?

 

To sum up: it's less surprising that the extreme oldsters enage in suboptimal health practices, than the fact that none of them seem to engage in optimal health behaviors. The whole point of healthy behaviors is to end up overrepresented amongst the very old - instead, the outcome seems to be not merely underrepresented but unrepresented. Why are health nuts not overrepresented amongst the very old?

Edited by TomBAvoider

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My explanation for the lack of representation of health nuts amongst the very old, is that the rigors of enaging in such extreme health behaviors are too great to allow survival into the very old age. Our bodies are just not made to sustain that much strain - similar to alcoholism. Supercentanarians may enage in behaviors such as light smoking, saturated fat consumption, fried foods etc., but with very strong bodies and exceptional genes, they can take the abuse and rise above it. But nobody can take the strain of superhealthy behaviors - no genes are strong enough to withstand that. Just look at what folks on this board enage in: starvation, cold exposure, supplementation, dietary extremes - all in pursuit of remarkable and elite biomarker numbers. But as with athletes who train incessantly in order to reach the elite status of gold medal winners, it takes a toll on their bodies. So we, the health nut community, pay a price for our pursuit of excellent and elite level number in all our biomarkers. We just don't get to live very long.

 

Now I'll take the tongue out of my cheek and have my first meal of the day.  

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...

If healthy behaviors (extreme version) really were the key to reaching extreme old age, you'd expect the 2% prevalence in the general population to be reflected, by, say, at least 4%-6%-8%-?% prevalence among the supercentanarians. Y... Far from not showing even the 2% prevalence rate, they seem to show 0%. What do we make of that?

 

...Why are health nuts not overrepresented amongst the very old?

 

My personal hunch is that the concept of 'health buff' is a relatively recent one, so such a person cannot belong to the supercentenarians group by simple mathematics.

When those guys were born, there was no such thing as a reasoned dietary regime. You ate what you could, often the purpose of your day was to go to bed with a partially full stomach and if so you could expect nothing better. Survival was the keyword. Unless you were an aristocrat or a rich person, but those guys used to develop gout and other disorders related to excess of proteins (too much meat, the staple of noble status). Some people were compelled to be health buffs uncounsciously by simple environmental constraint, like their environment offered mostly healthy food and healthy conditions. Those who belong to the blue zones are ostensibly part of such environments.

Now, by simple inference, we could also expect that within the next generation of supercentenarians, those born let's say from 1950, there is going to be statistically a significant subset of health buffs. These may equal the age of non-health buff centenarians, those who were born with a genetic makeup favourable to longevity. But we can also expect to have a minor subset of people who were born with a genetic makeup favourable to longevity AND display an health buff behaviour not environmentally constrained, so much more rigorous and consistent. These guys are probably going to break the longevity records, since they are going to enjoy the benefits of right genetics plus right behaviour. This assuming of course there are no treatment breakthroughs in the meanwhile.

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Longo in the book remarks the importance of genetics for centenarians...if I remember rightly He makes the example of monkeys, they have a slightly different set of genes, and even if they would follow a 'perfect' diet and physical exercises they could never live more than 50 years...

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Your assumption that no supercentenarians engage in "health nut" behavior is definitely wrong.  True there are plenty of them that don't APPEAR to do anything special (appearances can also be deceiving), but there are also quite a lot of them that do various permutations of CR, TRF, and plant based diets.  Here is one list I found.

 

 

There are so few supers though that I'm not sure how statistically relevant they are.  We have quite a lot of data around behaviors that get people to the 90's and sometimes 100's (California Adventists being the best, Okinawans second)...  

 

Calment and LaPallo both rubbed their bodies down in olive oil regularly.

I haven't noticed many exercise nuts in the data I've looked at, and personally I don't think excessive exercise is good for longevity, although I do remember seeing some Indian centenarian marathon runner (his pace seemed more like walking really).

Edited by Gordo

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But wait - funding for health research will soon be slashed under the new Director of Health and Human Services (Tom Price) ...

In the interest of not compounding fake news with false predictions, could you define - this week - what you mean by "slashed"? Also, which fiscal year - exactly - is "soon".

 

Example replies:

 

a) failure to increase beyond 10% ?

b) failure to increase beyond the rate of inflation ?

c) failure to increase ?

d) budget remains the same ?

e) budget decreases 5% ?

f) budget decreases 10% ?

g) budget decreases more than 10% ?

 

Do you have specific predictions based on positions - like stem cells - that would impact this domain?:

 

HHS is a sprawling department with a $1 trillion budget. Its Medicare and Medicaid programs affect more than 100 million Americans young and old. It regulates the nation’s food and drugs. Through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it runs public health programs that reach into every state and around the world. It is an engine of biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/28/trump-to-name-rep-tom-price-as-next-hhs-secretary/

NIH research is about 3% of $1 trillion:

 

The NIH invests nearly $32.3* billion annually in medical research for the American people.

 

More than 80% of the NIH's funding is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive grants to more than 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 universities, medical schools, and other research institutions in every state and around the world.

 

About 10% of the NIH's budget supports projects conducted by nearly 6,000 scientists in its own laboratories, most of which are on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

 

 

https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/budget

You made a specific prediction that ought to be quantifiable (as outlined above) yet 'slashed' is a fuzzy word. If not, can you - in the interest of saving readers time - admit to the abandonment of fact-based discussion?

 

It'd be nice to avoid unjustified allegations of 20:20 hindsight just because I don't live in somebody else's particular bubble. I'm still in a bubble (e.g., my cable/dish cord has been cut over 5 years, no facebook/twitter) but facts are allowed to permeate my particular bubble.

 

The sobering reality is that there doesn't appear to be fiscal responsibility on the horizon from the electoral college winner. This is without discussing how he runs his businesses (his towers fail without the help of Saudis).

 

FWIW, I'd like to see military spending slashed. And by slashed, I mean option "h) budget decreases more than 25%" (you may not see that option above, it is only available in certain bubbles). It's not likely to happen, but I can wish it would.

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Tim,

 

Thanks for your thoughtful response. You're right - that I was speculating about what the Trump team is going to do about health & longevity research. It is impossible to tell what will actually happen and when - especially with madman Trump at the helm. Heck, maybe his narcissism will compel him to pour a ton of money into life-extension research, so he can personally benefit and bless us with his leadership for many years to come...

 

FWIW, I'd like to see military spending slashed. 

 

I'm with you (and Tom) and would like to see our military budget slashed, but agree it's unlikely to happen, despite Trump's claim of wanting to be a less interventionist President. Given the hawkish people he's putting on his cabinet, and the dealing/pandering Trump is known for (Mr. "Art of the Deal"), I suspect big defense contractors like United Technologies (the company which owns the Carrier A/C (actually furnace) plant Trump "rescued" from sending jobs to Mexico), are in for some salad days ahead...

 

But again, we can only speculate, and hope not...

 

--Dean

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I was joking about how being homebound in the last 20 years or so, didn't seem to impair this woman's longevity, and therefore our obsession with exercise as life-prolonging is amusing, but I was going through the recent papers Al so kindly posted, and I came across PMID: 26666586.

 

Physical activity in adulthood: genes and mortality

 

"Observational studies report a strong inverse relationship between leisure-time physical activity and all-cause mortality. Despite suggestive evidence from population-based associations, scientists have not been able to show a beneficial effect of physical activity on the risk of death in controlled intervention studies among individuals who have been healthy at baseline. On the other hand, high cardiorespiratory fitness is known to be a strong predictor of reduced mortality, even more robust than physical activity level itself. Here, in both animals and/or human twins, we show that the same genetic factors influence physical activity levels, cardiorespiratory fitness, and risk of death. Previous observational follow-up studies in humans suggest that increasing fitness through physical activity levels could prolong life; however, our controlled interventional study with laboratory rats bred for low and high intrinsic fitness contrast with these findings. Also, we find no evidence for the suggested association using pairwise analysis among monozygotic twin pairs who are discordant in their physical activity levels. Based on both our animal and human findings, we propose that genetic pleiotropy might partly explain the frequently observed associations between high baseline physical activity and later reduced mortality in humans."

 

Yet again, it's better to be lucky than good - it's down to genes here too. If you have bad ones, and your parents are alive, go and slap them :)

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Your assumption that no supercentenarians engage in "health nut" behavior is definitely wrong.  True there are plenty of them that don't APPEAR to do anything special (appearances can also be deceiving), but there are also quite a lot of them that do various permutations of CR, TRF, and plant based diets.  Here is one list I found.

 

Gordo, I read all the comments relative to the supercentenarians of at least 115 and none struck me as an helath buff, whereas some struck me as anti-health buff or maybe pulling a leg at the interviewers. Of course some of'em might have been true health buffs as meant today, that is 90% to 100% committed to an healthy diet and lifestyle, but it is not at all evident from the info I read.

My observation stems from the fact that people born from 1900 to 1915 usually had problems in surviving. Their priority was eating to survive, not to be healthy. They may have developed some good habits later, but statistically, unless they belonged to rich families, there was no possibility nor awareness nor, often, knowkledge of habits leading to longevity.

 

For example, since Italy is my country, I know that the sardinian Italian shepherds (Sardinians included) ate lots of dairy products, so many saturated fats to make Dr Greger flinch big time. Farmers were compelled to eat vegetables, cereals and legumes but surely were no health buffs, since, as soon as they could, they would eat meat and sometimes rats when meat was missing (although it is statistically probable that many of them developed a dislike to meat, like the soldiers of Ceasar's legions, ancestral farmers, are told to have done by Ceasar himself.

 

In the below quote my comments are red italic. I live in a Region with similar ancestral tradition of farming and shepherding. When a young lad I had the opportunity to know some traditional farming communities. 

 

(from the bluezone site) To live like a Sardinian, try the following practices.

Eat a lean, plant-based diet accented with meat.

The classic Sardinian diet consists of whole-grain bread, beans, garden vegetables, fruits, and, in some parts of the island, mastic oil. Sardinians also traditionally eat pecorino cheese made from grass-fed sheep (Shepherds ate a lot of it being their main product), whose cheese is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Meat is largely reserved for Sundays and special occasions (true in the lower income classes).

The diet described is typical of Italian farmers in central-southern Italy up until about 1960-1970. Cheese was frequent, meat occasional, olive oil abundant, shepherds ate more cheese than farmers, who ate more vegetables, cereals and legumes. Not every farming community displays abundance of centenarians though. Just few of them. In particular, Sardinia is a very backwater region. Those guys were out of the world, outside of main events. A very boring life conducing to longevity??

- See more at: https://www.bluezones.com/2012/02/sardinias-blue-zone-lessons/#sthash.dkelzWEt.dpuf

 

The issue is complex and many aspects overlap. As cloud wrote previously, probably most of it is the right genes whereas, with knowledge and steadfast effort we can hope to intervene into some metabolic pathways and mimick the genetically pre-ordered metabolism of centenarians and supercentenarians.

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Tom, thanks for the exercise study, it confirmed my suspicions.  

 

Regarding Trump (wrong thread?) I can definitely see that "maybe his narcissism will compel him to pour a ton of money into life-extension research" - I can see Trump more than any other person, leaning in this direction.  Even if he hasn't thought of it yet, I can see him being more easily persuaded by someone who can get to him, to fund these important initiatives.  SENS - get on this!  It's the chance you've been waiting for!

I too would love to see military spending largely diverted into non-military research and funding of promising work.

 

 

Mccoy: "I read all the comments relative to the supercentenarians of at least 115 and none struck me as a health buff"

 

Many of these folks claimed "healthy eating" or "clean living" although that doesn't tell us much.  There isn't a whole lot of information to make a case either way.  But seriously, if you take 5 billion people, and 600 make it to 115, couldn't that just be the random few who just happened to both have genetics which resist heart disease and cancer, and luck to avoid pathogens?  The only real value there might be in studying this group is to look for genetic markers optimizing longevity (with the hope that they could be imparted to others via genetic modification).

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Trump

My shallow understanding is that every hair atop a human head is its own separate, complicated organ. So would spending money on baldness cures mean you're spending money on organ regeneration?

 

Allocate billions to cure head wounds and hair diseases; thus shall we bow to our emperor.

 

SENS - get on this! It's the chance you've been waiting for!

How might SENS go about this? I would argue SENS pursue the external, superficial signs of aging like -- cosmetology -- isn't this what most white people desire anyway -- aging skin and hair regeneration cures for the empire elites. Let it then trickle down. I mean, if the jesters of immortality science won't dance, make him laugh, and cure his orange senectitude, then they should, duh, don't you think?

 

Dear SENS: Tweet Trump Now.

 

On second thought: Dean shall tweet Trump about skin and hair regeneration, since Dean is already regularly tweeting at the empire.

Edited by Sthira

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Tom, thanks for the exercise study, it confirmed my suspicions.  

 

It's shocking isn't it? Particularly the part where in rats they found that excecise actually dramatically shortens lifespans! The design of the study is very strong. First, because it is voluntary exercise. That's significant, because one could imagine that perhaps being forced to exercise might have some kind of - maybe stress-related - deleterious effects. There are shades of this reasoning in the general finding that involuntary exercise - such as at work for human beings where they perform physical labor rather than office work, they find that this exercise does not translate into better health, rather the opposite (of course there are other confounders). But in the rats, this was eliminated as a confounder - this was completely voluntary exercise. Second, they already sorted the genetic strains, into high-fit runners and low-fit runners, and the effect of exercise was deleterious on both. That's significant, because you can't say "oh, here we are dealing with subjects that are genetically predisposed to have poor (or good) exercise fitness". Instead, it looks like even if you take the extremes of both natural fitness profiles, you still get the effect of exerecise dramatically shortening lifespans. The graph there is quite shocking. Of course, this is in rats, but it really makes me think about all those findings in humans where the higher frequency/intensity exercisers showed shorter lifespans compared to moderate and low-level exercisers. 

 

Even more stunning, the monozygotic twins and exercise results - exercise is just not looking like any kind of lifespan enhancing regimen. The weakness in all exercise/lifespan studies is genetic heterogeneity and  lack of double-blind randomized control studies, which are obviously hard to do in humans (how do you placebo exercise?). But this twin study is very clever - because not only are you taking genes and a lot of the environment confounders out, but you would think, if there are further confounders for the non-exercising twin, it would be to the disadvantage of the non-exercising twin, as it's possible that the twin is not exercising due to some weakness/illness - yet, despite that, there is no advantage to the exercised twin. That's a very strong result. Of course, one would wish for more subjects and a longer followup period, but insofar as what's realistic, this is a very strong study.

 

And here we are, as usual, not much firm consensus. And since you brought politics into it, I'd like to say consensus is overrated anyway - pretty much nobody expected Trump to win. Yet here we are. We don't really know as much as we think we do. I'm staying humble. 

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Sthira,

 

I was being pretty facetious when I suggested Trump might fund life-extension research out of his own narcissism. But who knows, maybe he will. You never can tell when you've got an insane clown as the most powerful man in the world.

 

On that note - I took your prodding as an opportunity to remind you (and everyone) where I think we're at, and where we may be headed in the really big picture, over on the Singularity thread.

 

--Dean

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105-year-old Frenchman sets cycling world record

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/robert-marchand-velodrome-national-cycling-1.3920941

 

Robert Marchand rides 22.547 kilometres in 1 hour

By Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press Posted: Jan 04, 2017 12:52 PM ET Last Updated: Jan 04, 2017 1:01 PM ET

 

Cyclist Robert Marchand reacts after setting a track cycling world record in the over-105 age group at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines race track in France on Wednesday.

(Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Nearly a century ago, Robert Marchand was told by a coach that he should give up cycling because he would never achieve anything on a bike.

 

He proved that prediction wrong again on Wednesday.

 

In a skin-tight yellow and violet jersey, the 105-year-old Frenchman set a world record in the 105-plus age category — created especially for the tireless veteran — by riding 22.547km in one hour.

 

Marchand had ridden faster in the past on the boards of the Velodrome National, a state of the art venue used to host the elite of track cycling. But he had warned before his latest attempt that his current form was not as good.

 

"I did not see the sign warning me I had 10 minutes left," Marchand said after his effort. "Otherwise I would have gone faster, I would have posted a better time. I'm now waiting for a rival."

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I should have added:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The diminutive Marchand — he is 1.52 metres tall and weighs 52 kilograms— rode from Bordeaux to Paris, and Paris to Roubaix several times. He also cycled to Moscow from Paris in 1992.

Ten years later, he set the record for someone over the age of 100 riding 100km.

No real secret

"If the president of his teenage club who told him he was not made for cycling because he was too small could see him today, he would kick himself," Marchand's coach and good friend Gerard Mistler told the AP.

According to Mistler, the secret behind Marchand's longevity relates to his healthy lifestyle: eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, no smoking, just the occasional glass of wine and exercising on a daily basis.

"He never pushed his limits, goes to bed at 9 p.m. and wakes up at 6 a.m., there's no other secret," Mistler said. "If he had been doping, he would not be there anymore."

To stay fit, Marchand rides every day on his home trainer and puts himself through outdoor training sessions on the road when the weather is good enough.

"One needs to keep his muscles working," said Marchand.

"Reading a lot keeps his mind alert," Mistler said. "He does not watch much TV, apart from the Tour de France stages."

At 105, Marchand is not making plans for the future. His coach would not be surprised to see him back on the boards, though.

"Setting goals for himself is part of his personality," Mistler said. "If he tells me he wants to improve his record, I'll be game. Robert is a great example for all of us."

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 If health nuts are 2% of the population, but 0% of supercentanarians - what does it say about health-nut behavior impact on reaching extreme old age?

 

There was a study in the UK done a few years ago where they found only 15 out of 2,235 men ate more than 5 fruits and vegetables a day. Less than 1% followed all 5 healthy behaviours. I don't know how typical this is in places like the US. I imagine it's worse?

 

2% of the population being health nuts? I'd be shocked. I rarely ever come across anyone who eats a super healthy diet. A decent diet, not amazing, not really bad, but nothing in comparison to what we do.

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Matt, unfortunately, I can't locate at the moment the study that showed that 2% of the population engaged in all of the 7 (if I recall the number correctly) behaviors that were classified as "healthy". I am quite sure however that it was 2%. But not having the study in front of me, I must say it's of limited use, since I can't even recall all the 7 behaviors to begin with (I believe "not smoking" was one). In any case, I think we can agree that it's a pretty tiny minority of the population that can be classified as true "health nuts" - which is not the same thing as "health faddists", even though I suppose what yesterday may have been regarded as healthy, today we'd regard as "faddist" and no doubt so it is with today's behaviors, probably some will be regarded in the future as a "fad" (like, perhaps CR) - there's a fine line between "not evereating" and "CR". 

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