Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 21 June 2008

How long can mankind live?

ARE PEOPLE LIVING LONGER TODAY?

Apricot KernelsToday the average age of human life is between 70 and 80 years old. Though it is thought that lifespans are increasing as society becomes more “advanced”, in fact the opposite may be true. True, many died in infancy many as close as 100 years ago, resulting in lower population levels and a reduction in the overall life expectancy age. However, excluding all those who died before the age of 14, the average of 70 years was the same. Except for in some cases better nutrition and more sanitation, a healthy 25 year old, such as myself, could expect to see 80 years give or take a few. Much hasn’t changed in the last few hundred years; we may actually be on the verge of living shorter lives, especially here in America. My wife’s nutrition instructor was humorously recalling some information she learned, that though macabre, shows what I mean. Today, when they embalm bodies, they use much less embalming fluid then they did 50 years ago, because we have so many preservatives and toxins already in our own bodies from the foods we eat and the lifestyles we live. In fact did you know that in 1900 the cancer rate in this country was 1 in 33 – some sources list 1 in 50, but let’s run with the 1 in 33 figure. Today it is 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women. What is happening? I am getting a little off topic however, as I will hope to cover cancer in another post; so returning to the title, how long is man’s lifespan potential?

LEGENDS OF LONGEVITYBible Longevity

It is recorded in many cultures legends that before in an age past men lived much longer life spans. In the Bible, the Torah, and the Koran it mentions Adam and those who lived before the Great Flood to have lived around 900 years. The explanation seems to be that – besides a different diet and better DNA – the atmospheric pressure was greater because of a water or ice canopy which was above the earth in those days. For those who want to learn more about those theories, both scientific and theological, I would suggest you put some time in to research the history of early mankind and the relevant topic of young earth creationism on your own. Apparently, according to this theory, after the flood, the canopy fell and the oxygen content of the planet was much less, making wounds heal slower. Do a quick search on Hyperbaric Oxygen and find out more about Oxygen’s amazing healing potential for everything from wounds to stroke recovery and possibly aid in the fight against cancer. Nevertheless, there have been stories of great longevity around the world.

By the time of Moses, who himself is said to have lived to be 120 years old – the 15th Century BC – people were already down to about 70 years. He said in Psalm 90, “The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” America today seems to be lacking in health and longevity compared the the other nations of the world. Japan and Iceland have the average being 5 years longer than in the United States. Let me bring up a few famous centenarians who have lived to extreme ages – IN GOOD HEALTH.

THE OLDEST PEOPLE TODAY

Jeanne CalmentJeanne Calment (1875-1997) lived to be 122 years old. She was from France and is the oldest verified person to have lived, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. She took up fencing at the age of 85, continued to ride her bicycle after the age of 100, and moved into a nursing home only after she was 110. In ironic thing about her is that she smoked most of her life, quitting at the age of 117 because she found it harder to light up and didn’t want to ask for assistance. Everyone knows the dangers of smoking – for some emphysema can even set in in their late 40’s, but for whatever reason, she beat the odds – of all of us.

Maria Olivia da SilvaRank Brazil is another “authenticating” agency like Guinness Book of World Records. They say the oldest woman was older, the 129 year old Maria Do Carmo Geronimo (1871-2000) of Brazil and the current oldest person is stated as being the 128 year old Maria Olivia da Silva who was born 1880 in Sao Paulo of Portuguese descent. India has it’s own “longest lived person” being the still-living Habib Miyan, alias Rahim Khan”. According to documents he was born in 1878 (130 years old this year), though he and his family have claimed a birth year of 1869 (139 years). He has been recieving a pension for old age since 1938!! A woman named Moloko Temo of South Africa claims to have been born in 1874.

Other people in recent times living excessive ages, some validated, some not, include Mary Ewen (1878-2007) of Jamaica, Cruz Hernandez (1878-2007) of El Salvador, Elizabeth Israel (1875-2003) of Jamaica, and Habib Miyan of IndiaSwami Kalyan Dev (1876-2004) of India all lived to be 128 years old. Tshinyelo Dora Muzila (1880-2008) of South Africa lived to be 127 years old. Benito Martinez Abrogan (1880-2006) of Cuba lived 126 years, though his age is widely disputed. He emigrated from Haiti to Cuba in the 1920’s. In the United States the record holders are Jackson Pollard of Georgia (1869-1995), Juan Ramos (1880-2006), and Alberta Davis of Georgia (1881-2007) all living to be 125 years old. The lives of these “ancients” seem to be as varied as can be. Many have been smokers, many non-smokers. Many indulge in the occasional glass of wine, many completely abstain. Some are vegetarians, others like Habib Miyan – except for the foods outlawed by his Muslim faith, doesn’t care what goes into his body, he reported to the Indian equivalent of the Associated Press.

OLD MAN PARR

There is one interesting tale from history of a vegetarian centenarian. Thomas Parr, known as “Old Man Parr” or “Old Tom Parr” was born in Shropshire, England in 1483. Illiterate, he began work in 1500 as a domestic servant. His father died in 1518 so he returned home to take possession. He married Jane Taylor when he was 80 and had two children which both died in infancy. In 1583, at the age of 100 he had to do penance for being unfaithful to his wife. She died in 1605. Later Parr remarried but had no children. He was still farming at the age of 130. Parr had a diet that consisted of “green cheese, onions, coarse bread, buttermilk and mild ale with cider on special occasions.” Thomas Parr said, “Keep your head cool by temperance and your feet warm by exercise.Rise early, go soon to bed, and if you want to grow fat [prosperous] keep your eyes open and your mouth shut“. He opposed the use of either strong spirits or tobacco and urged temperance in both diet and behavior. With failing eyesight, in 1635 at the age of 152, the poor man was spirited away to the court of the King – Charles I, where he began indulging in the many foods – eating sumptuously – and many wines that rich city life had to offer. This radical change in diet, lifestyle, and the excitement of being moved to the bustling city was almost assuredly the reason of his sudden demise that year. When the famous Dr. William Harvey, the man who discovered the circulation of blood in the body, did an autopsy on Parr, he found his internal organs in excellent condition!

Terraced Fields of HunzaLOCATION OF SHANGRI-LA

There are a few places on earth that have gone down in legend as being places where the average life expectancy is much longer – 90 to 100 years or more. One such place in the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan. I find this location, it’s history, and Apricots a most fascinating place. In a future post I would like to discuss more about the Hunzakuts. Author James Hilton made up the term Shangri-La for a fictional place in his 1933 book, Lost Horizion. It is commonly believed that he based this on the land of Hunza where the average age was over 90, and many elders were even into their 120’s. They are a mostly vegetarian people, but do eat dairy products and the occasional meat, usually around holidays. Most of the year they are completely cut off being in the Himalayan Mountains. Another place around the world noted for longevity is the peoples of the Caucasus Mountains. Regions such as Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and the states of Dagestan and Chechnya in Russia – all located in these Mountains – have many reports of people living over 120 years old. Shirali Muslimov (1805-1973) and the Kurdish man, Zaro Aga (1777-1934) are two famous super-centenarians of this area. The Vilcabamba Valley in Ecuador is another amazing place. National Geographic Magazine in the 1970’s did specials on these three areas of longevity. All of the places share some similar traits: all are in remote locations, isolated from their surrounding neighbors. All are in mountainous areas; all respect their elders; all are active throughout life (no retirement); and most consume semi-vegetarian diets.

MY PLAN FOR HEALTH AND LONGEVITY

It is my belief that if someone wants to live a long healthy life (though not necessarily as long as the record breakers) one must have a healthy LIFESTYLE, which should include these steps:

  1. Good nutrition. A lot of processed foods today are void of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are necessary for human growth and life. Be sure to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and herbs for optimal health. Studies have shown than women who eat 7 servings of fresh veggies (preferably raw) per day slash their risk of Breast Cancer in half! The small seeds inFruits and Vegetables Blackberries and Raspberries are very nutritious. Also, though I don’t recommend eating a handful of apple seeds by themselves, when you do eat an apple, eat the seeds as well – the bitter part helps ward off cancer as well. Foods rich in Vitamin C are important, as it supports the immune system. Another note, raw foods still have the enzymes that we need that cooking destroys – keep this in mind. Sugar paralyzes the immune system for four hours after a heavy consumption of it: today Americans eat 160 pounds of sugar per year compared to 1887 when only 5 pounds of sugar was consumed per person. Americans also eat 60 pounds more meat today than we did 40 years ago. Remember me saying above that the cancer rate is now 1 in 2.5 compared with 100 years ago when it was 1 in 33? Eating a healthy varied diet with good nutrition is surely a major component in any healthy lifestyle.
  2. Exercise Regularly. Today many Americans exercise more than before. They work out vigorously and then sit by the television for hours each day thinking they’ve done what it takes. The type of work-out I am talking about is a lifestyle one. Strenuous exercise is not necessary. Stretching and daily brisk walks are some of the best and easiest ways to get your body – and lymph system moving. Longevity rises the more we walk plateauing the charts once we reach 25 miles per week. Just start moving now, because some is better than none.
  3. Pure Clean Water. When we become thirsty, we are usually already on the first stages of dehydration. At least 8 glasses per day is what “they” say, but I have also heard that if you take your body weight, call it ounces, and divide it in half, that is the amount throughout the day one needs to drink. Whichever is more I recommend. Be careful to drink clean water. Though nations in Europe have banned Fluoride, many places in the US still pump it into city water supplies. When I say water, I mean water, not soft drinks, not water that you put a packet of aspartame-laced sweeteners in. REAL water. Come on now.
  4. Sunlight. Many fear the sun because of the risk of skin cancer. While over indulging and getting burned can lead to Skin Cancer, those who avoid the sun are at a higher risk of developing this cancer by not getting enough Vitamin D3 – which is made in the skin by contact with sunlight. Be sure to spend time outside daily. Be careful which types of sunscreen you put on, as you may be doing more harm than good. The axiom I heard once was “don’t put anything on your skin you wouldn’t be able to eat” sounds good, but may be difficult – but keep in mind the point.
  5. Temperance. Avoid common sense things like tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Even in small amounts alcohol damages the liver. Those who claim a glass a day helps with health don’t realize that it is the very amazing Resveratrol in grapes that is the beneficialNordic Walking in Slovenia mechanism, not the alcohol itself. You get more from certain types of grape juices and other plants than you do in wine.  According to a recent article from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7906355.stm: “Consuming just one drink a day causes an extra 7,000 cancer cases…in UK women each year…Overall, alcohol is to blame for about 13% of breast, liver, rectum, mouth and throat cancers, the researchers say.”  Other things to avoid include the many toxins we are exposed to daily, from chemicals in the air to formaldehyde in new furniture and carpets, we are being inundated with dangerous substances. Asbestos and types of mold toxins can be breathed in from old insulation and wet basements. Fluoride and chlorine in drinking water can cause neurological problems. Excess copper, aluminum, and mercury from vaccines can trigger autistic symptoms and early Alzheimer’s Disease. The point is be careful what you surround yourself with and never over indulge in anything. I include abstinence in this “temperance” category, as those who periodically practice fasting or eat less calories than the average 2,000 per day live longer than those who over indulge.
  6. Fresh Air. Go outside daily. Oxygen is vital for life.
  7. Rest. Proper amount of sleep is nearer to 9 hours, yet we as an average each decade, are getting lower and lower in the length of time we spend with the pillow. Today we sleep 5 to 6 hours on average. Ideally the optimal time to sleep is going to bed when the sun goes down and rising with it. “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” was no joke. Bed by at least 10:00pm is ideal.
  8. Stress Relief. Relax. Many in the corporate world and the manufacturing world are rushed and rushed. There always needs to be time to simply relax without worrying. Worrying will not add one hair to your head, Jesus said. Be happy. Those with positive and optimistic attitudes and outlooks always stay stress free and bring joy to those around them at the same time.
  9. Trust in God. Speaking of Jesus Christ, always remember to trust in Him as Proverbs 3:5-6 says. Things will never always go the way we want or expect, but it’s how we react when they happen. If it’s something we’ve done to cause it, we need to acknowledge it, instead of pouting and blaming. If it’s something out of our hands, we need all the more to lean on Him to carry us through. It’s always reassuring to know we can hide the storms of life in the cleft of the rock, which is Christ Jesus.
  10. An Attitude of Gratitude and Benevolence. Develop a good character, being thankful for whatever happens in your life.
  11. Have something to live for. People become depressed and begin to loose it when they CHOOSE not to live for anything. Keep a purpose or goal. These can always change, but if you still have something to look forward to, there is something to work at.

VeggingThese are some of the things I am working on to help ensure a healthy lifestyle. I don’t think a vegetarian diet is necessary, but a drastic increase in vegetables and decrease in the meats we eat is very beneficial. Will you join me on this endeavor to be the healthiest we all can be?  Please post any comments and discussion questions you can think of!

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Responses

  1. This is a very helpful article. There is a website worldlifeexpectancy.com
    that offers a lot of information and education on life expectancy in all countries of the world, you can even see the causes of death in each country, which believe me in some cases is very surprising. For instance, in Russia, the number 4 and 5 causes of death are poisonings and suicides! Check it out, you won’t regret it.

  2. You missed one more thing, very powerful for long life, Deprenyl

  3. i reaally that place and want to tour of it..
    i love huza amd thats my dream to come their and tour of all noteran areas….

  4. great article. i have a passion for wellness and i find your article very helpful. will apreciate more of such. thanks.

  5. i loved that someone realises that it is through the grace of our lord jesus that we are here in the first place and bringing him into our well being just clinches it for me.

  6. Nestled close to the Chinese border, this immortalized Kingdom lends considerable age to the myths attached to it. Famous for, the longevity of its people, its `Hunza Water`, its fresh fruits, its atmosphere – for almost everything. Which of these rumours is true? Hunza beckons you to find the answer yourself, and it is assured that though you face the road winding under the auspicious Rakaposhi with trepidation, you will return firmly convinced and believing in the majestic wonder that is Hunza.

    Though remained important throughout known history for its strategic location, Hunza was first introduced in Europe in modern times, by British officers who traveled in the region in the 19th century. Inspired by the splendour of nature, these missions gave graphic accounts of Hunza in their travelogues and other publications and coined phrases like ‘SHANGRI-LA’ and ‘the most spectacular mountain valley on the earth’. Erec Shipton called Hunza ‘the ultimate manifestation of mountain grandeur’.

  7. i read your artical and i am very impressed from it and i try my best to tell about it to more people and i my self do these good things in my life.thanks again.

  8. hunza is lovely place to visit.
    it attracts the tourists from all over the world

    • Perhaps I shall one day visit there myself, as I am fascinated with the area and its culture.

  9. Trust in God. Speaking of Jesus Christ, always remember to trust in Him” – u never met this person, u know nothing realistic about it…just years, decades etc of storIes and believes from human imagination.

    ITS IMPORTANT NOT TO MAKE THIS ONE AS ONE OF THE RULES, COS OUT THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO LIVE THEIR OWN DREAMS, MIND CONCEPTS AND STYLES, WHICH ARE BASED UPON THEIR PICTURE OF LIFE AND CONCEPTIONS. AND STILL THEY CAN DO IT EVEN BETTER THAN U WHO HAS A LACK OF BELIEVEING IN UR INNER SELF.

    Its so much easier to “believe” blindly in something and nothing changes.

    It is much more logical and powerful 4 each one of us, if u say BELIEVE IN UR SELF, IN UR MIND, IN THE ABILITY TO WIDEN OUR HORIZONS.

    Anyways, article is insightful.

  10. у вашего сайта необычный дизайн, сами верстали?

    родословная моей семьи котельников григорий никанорович

    • I didn’t do the design itself – it is a template on Word Press that i enjoyed. But the content is mine. 🙂


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