Longevity And BBC

BBC Report About Longevity And Japan

by Izat Khan

Longevity

It has been the desire of every human since time immemorial to find a food, drug, or method that can cause longevity. On June 20, 2022, the BBC presented a report on longevity related to Japan’s people. That was very informative. I am going to present the same report, which will lead to a good increase in your knowledge.

It has been the desire of every human since time immemorial to find a food, drug, or method that can cause longevity. Although this desire has not yet been fulfilled, man has increased his effort and research instead of giving up. Man has discovered many reasons for longevity. A person can increase his age by following it.

As far as my research and observation are concerned, I would like to describe it in one word: “naturalism.”. Humans who have been close to nature since the beginning of life cook natural foods in a natural way and eat natural foods. Along with this, cultivate positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts in the mind and positively spend more time with family, friends, and fellow human beings. Physical work, daily exercise or games, and busyness, but all these things must be done while staying close to nature. So there is a possibility of a good increase in age.

And this is the year 1903.

Ken Tanaka passed away 119 years later, in April 2022, and was officially declared the world’s ‘oldest person’.

He spent the last years of his life in a nursing home. In the last days of her life, her routine consisted of waking up at six in the morning, solving math problems, playing board games, eating chocolate, and drinking coffee and soda avidly.

There was a time when elders of the family used to pray for their younger ones to live for a hundred years, but such a thought was considered impossible to be true, but it is not so now.

So what is the reason for longevity, and what is the recipe for living a hundred years?

To find out the answer to this question, the BBC spoke to four experts.

Another life
Dr. Hiroko Akiyama, vice president of the Science Council of Japan, says, “It’s not unusual to live to be a hundred years old now.”

Dr. Hiroko Akiyama’s expertise is in the ‘Study of Aging’.

She points out that Japan’s population is aging rapidly. The average age of women in Japan is now 88, and the average age of men is 82. Remember that 29% of Japan’s population is 65 years of age or older.

Only Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain come close to Japan in terms of average age. According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, 86,510 citizens of the country were 100 years old or older last year.

Dr. Hiroko says there are many reasons why people live longer in Japan. One of them is the Universal Health Insurance System. We started it in the 1960s. Here, people have easy access to health facilities. Another reason is that people here are health-conscious and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Japanese people work very hard. They take preventive measures to avoid cancer and heart diseases.

Dr. Hiroko explains that Japanese people pay attention to food. Use less fat. Consume more fish, vegetables, and green tea. In Japan, the average age of people is increasing, but their overall population is decreasing. The birth rate has been declining for some time, and the number of people of working age is also steadily declining.

With the increase in the number of elderly people came the realization that the needs of older people are different.

Dr. Hiroko says the government’s main focus has been on the health care system and the pension system. Housing and transport systems have also been taken care of, but the infrastructure of society needs to be restructured. Dr. Hiroko and his team conducted several social experiments to find ways that the elderly could live independently.

Dr. Hiroko says, ‘We are trying to restructure communities to meet the needs of an aging society. We want to create a society where people are healthy, active, and feel connected and secure well into their 100s. We are working not only for the elderly but for people of all ages.

People are starting new jobs after retiring in Japan. They are starting their second career, or, in other words, they are starting their second life. They say it helps maintain a routine and stay healthy.

Dr. Hiroko Akiyama is 78 years old and enjoying her second career.

She says, ‘I was a university professor for a long time. When I turned 70, I started farming. Four people, including me, with different skills, formed a company together and started farming. When I was young, I wanted to do farming. It was an old dream.’

When asked if she wants to live to be 100, Dr. Hiroko Akiyama says that she was 98 when her mother died. She says that a hundred years of life is enough. And they have no desire to live more than a hundred years.

What is aging?

Cathy Slack, senior lecturer at the Aston Research Center for Healthy Aging in Birmingham, says, ‘Aging is a very personal process. No two people’s aging process is the same.

Why we age and whether this biological process can be slowed down—Cathy’s lab is looking to answer this question.

The visible signs of aging are well known. Like wrinkles and gray hair, a lot is changing inside our bodies as well. Kathy explains that aging affects all tissues of the body. It affects everything, from the brain to fertility. These changes are called signs of aging.

Cathy explains: ‘There can be many factors involved. Loss of protein quality control within the cell. Dysfunction of mitochondria. Mitochondria are the parts of the cell that produce energy. It may stop working with age.’

Kathy says that when old age sets in, so does the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes. Regulating the supply of nutrients is essential for cells to function. When a problem occurs, the stem cells are destroyed. Stem cells repair other cells. Changes also occur in the mind.

Cathy Slack explains: ‘Some people’s brains tend to get smaller as they age. Due to this, the memory of many elderly people becomes weak. They have difficulty multitasking. Their behavior also changes. Either they become more anxious or go into depression. But the important thing is that all these things are not the same in every old person.

Cathy says, ‘There are many people today who are very old. And their health doesn’t look good either; that’s the aspect that needs to be worked on. It may sound like an ancient recipe, but we need to adopt a healthy lifestyle. We should try to be proactive. Try to keep up with your activities as you get older. Eat well—neither too much nor too little. Determine how much alcohol you will drink. Quit smoking.

There are still many things we don’t know about aging. Kath

Dr. Nir Barzilai says about his research that he is conducting experiments to make as many people as possible live for a hundred years or more. He is also taking help from 750 people and their families who have completed 100 years of age.

They are looking for genes that can slow down the aging process. This information can also be used in drug development.

Slack says that historically, we have focused more on the disease process.

There are many scientists who are working on cancer and other diseases, but now there is a group of people like him who are looking at the diseases as age-related diseases.

​Interesting experience

“In my lab, we show that the aging process can be slowed down through effort,” says Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College in New York City. In some cases, it can be prevented, and in other cases, it can be reduced. Its movement can also be changed. And it is possible to do so.

Important It is difficult to estimate how many people in the world are 100 years old or older.

The United Nations Population Division estimates that the number of such people in 2021 will be 573,000.

Dr. Nir Barzilai says about his research that he is conducting experiments to make as many people as possible live for a hundred years or more. He is also taking help from 750 people and their families who have completed 100 years of age.

They are looking for genes that can slow down the aging process. This information can also be used in drug development.

They are looking for genes that can slow down the aging process. This information can also be used in drug development.

His team is working on three anti-aging possibilities. The first of these aims to slow down the aging process. It is named after the fictional character ‘Dorian Grey’, who is not affected by age, but the effect is visible in his invisible painting.
​Nir Barzilai explains: ‘The second stage we call the ‘Fountain of Youth’. It’s all about rejuvenating people. Making it possible is the most difficult task. The third thing is the most interesting step. His name is ‘Peter Pan’. This is also a fictional character who does not age. The idea is to take people into their twenties or thirties. They should be treated once every few months or years, and they can stop or greatly slow down the effects of aging.

Biomarkers are molecules that indicate internal diseases, such as cholesterol, which indicates heart disease. However, identifying signs or factors of aging is not easy to do.

“We need a lot more biomarkers,” says Nir Barzilai. We are looking for biomarkers that can provide two pieces of information. The first is that they can tell the difference between real age and biological age. You know, some people look younger than their age, and some look older than their age. Second, we want the drugs we’re developing to slow aging to induce changes in biomarkers when administered.’

Some anti-aging drugs have been approved by regulators and are being developed. They are also used in other cases. For example, after a transplant, these drugs are given to prevent the body from rejecting the new organ.

Dr. Nir Barzilai is leading the clinical trials campaign for another target of metformin, a drug used to control type 2 diabetes.

Asked by the BBC if he expected any breakthroughs in his life in that direction, he said, “Yes, of course.” We tend to overestimate what we can do in two years. But we underestimate what we can do in five or 10 years. I think there is a great wave in this sector. Rich people from all over the world are also investing in it, and it is going to accelerate.

Friends make you live longer

Robert Waldinger, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, says, “People who have good relationships with others and have warm relationships live longer and healthier lives than those who don’t.”

Robert Waldinger is also the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development.

He explains: “This is the 84th year of our study. To our knowledge, this is the longest study on a single group of people. It started when they were teenagers, and it continues until they are old. Now we have started research on their children. We have tried to find out what went wrong in human life, which will also help study life on the right path.

This study was started in 1938.

Robert points out that there were 724 participants initially. Most of them are dead. But some of the ninety and over a hundred years of age are still alive.

He says that this research revealed some things that we are aware of. These are nutritious foods and lifestyle habits that help in living a long life.

According to Robert, the research found that being more connected to other people, more connected to the people around you, and showing warmth helps people stay healthy.

Robert Waldinger says, ‘There’s been a lot of research on this. The best hypothesis in this case is related to stress and stress management. Suppose that if something happened during the day that upset you, you would feel tightness in your body. You come home, and if you have someone you trust to listen to you, you will feel that your tiredness is gone. We believe that for people who are alone, their anger is never completely gone. It begins to disrupt the body’s systems. Through research, we learn that good relationships help us come out of stress.

Of them, Robert Waldinger says: ‘This is an important point. We all want to be in touch with good people. Some of us are introverts, and that’s not a problem. Introverts think that most people around them are stressed. Only one or two close people are enough for them. There is no formula for how many relationships one should have for a healthy life. Not only that, pets also bring us happiness and can reduce our stress levels.

Robert explains that he has also studied people who are in their seventies and eighties and trying to have a relationship for the first time in their lives. Some people fall in love for the first time. So it can be said that it is never too late.

Coming back to the same question, what is the recipe for living a hundred years?

No such recipe can be given with a guarantee in this case, but if you do more than one, it may help in this case.

Keep your diet right. Maintain physical activity. Find a friend or pet you can talk to. If you live in a country where the elderly outnumber the young, changes may occur where your evening of life is exciting and comfortable.


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