Quotes by: S. Jay Olshansky
In centenarians and supercentenarians - people over 110 - you see a higher level of fecundity much later in life.
In the developed world, we live 30 years longer, on average, than our ancestors born a century ago, but the price we pay for those added years is the rise of chronic diseases.
As long as humans have existed, we have always desired to live longer. Every society, every religion, every culture. Of course, they all failed at dramatic life extension.
A lifetime of low calories has come naturally to the longest-lived people in the world... in the Japanese archipelago of Okinawa.
Someone will eventually succeed in this hunt for a longevity pill, and when they do, one of the greatest advances in the history of medicine will have been achieved.
While eliminating smallpox and curtailing cholera added decades of life to vast populations, cures for the chronic diseases of old age cannot have the same effect on life expectancy. A cure for cancer would be miraculous and welcome, but it would lead to only a three-year increase in life expectancy at birth.
People pushing the idea that everyone can live to be 100 are perpetuating a myth that goes all the way back to the Bible.
The field of ageing research is full of characters. We have hucksters claiming that cures for ageing can be bought and sold; prophetic seers, their hands extended for money, warning that immortality is nigh; and would-be Nobelists working methodically in laboratories in search of a pill to slow ageing.
There is a possibility that there is somebody out there alive today over 122, but we'll probably never know it, because in all likelihood they come from either China or India, and they don't have reliable birth records.
Humans will die like all living things do, but we have the added burden of knowing that we will.
We have grown accustomed to the wonders of clean water, indoor plumbing, laser surgery, genetic engineering, artificial joints, replacement body parts, and the much longer lives that accompany them. Yet we should remember that the vast majority of humans ever born died before the age of 10 from an infectious disease.
Exercise is roughly equivalent to an oil lube and a filter for a car. You don't have to do it, but when you do, it makes the car run a lot better.
The bodies we have are not made for extended use. We must cope with accumulated DNA damage, cell damage, muscle atrophy, bone loss, decreased muscle mass, and joints worn out from overuse during a lifetime of bipedal locomotion. It might have worked great for prehistoric humans, but it wreaks havoc on our knees and hips.
Ageing is very rare. We only see it in humans and laboratory animals and in zoo animals and in our pets. Basically, organisms that are protected from the external world. Once you create that protection, you live long enough to see ageing.
Physical immortality is seductive. The ancient Hindus sought it; the Greek physician Galen from the 2nd Century A.D. and the Arabic philosopher/physician Avicenna from the 11th Century A.D. believed in it.
A lot of people are living in a dream world - they want to deny that aging occurs or believe it doesn't have to occur. They'll hold on to this belief until the moment they die. The reality will eventually hit them.
Once you avoid the things that accelerate aging like smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and excessive sun exposure, you've done about as much as you can to influence your aging process.
Researchers have been looking for biomarkers of age for a long time and have failed. People sell tests out there to measure your biological age, and none of them work. There's no evidence that you can measure biological age with any reliability.
As soon as a handful of scientists come up with an intervention shown to influence aging in other species, they begin selling it as an intervention for humans, even though there may not be evidence it works.
How long you live is less important than how healthy you are along the way.
What we know for sure from our work and from others' is that mice have a life span of 1,000 days, dogs have 5,000 days, and we humans have 29,000 days. Recognizing that the duration is limited, and aging is inevitable, focus the attention on enhancing the quality of the days you have.
Exercise is roughly the only equivalent of a fountain of youth that exists today, and it's free to everyone.
You can open up a centenarian's brain, and you'll see some areas that look like that of a 50-year-old or of a 110-year-old. You can have variation in the basic process of aging, called senescence, in different parts of the same body.