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Oct 2023

The Centenarian blood tests revealed the secret to a longer life

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Oct 28, 2023

What is the life expectancy of an average person? 70 perhaps? We are always wanting to know how long humans can stay alive. Philosophers including Aristotle and Plato have already written and discussed aging theory more than 2300 years ago.

Centenarians are considered as the fastest-growing demographic group in the whole world’s population, and the numbers have kept doubling every ten years since 1970. Scientists have long been interested in centenarians to get to know their secret of longevity and to understand how to age gracefully.

This investigation into understanding the key to longevity was not easy. Fortunately, a recent study has investigated the secret behind people who are 100 years old or older. The authors of the study were searching for dissimilarities in the body functions of the centenarians before their exceptional old age that helped us understand longevity.

In the research, they compared the blood biomarkers of the centenarians measured at their early age against those who are not centenarians. Their research has shown that centenarians have lower levels of glucose, uric acid, and creatinine than other people.

Measuring the 12 blood biomarkers

As mentioned earlier, centenarians are probably the fastest-growing age group throughout the world. A 2015 study showed there were half a million centenarians alive, and it is anticipated that there will be more than 3.5 million people globally older than 100 years.

The authors of the research have studied the evidence from over 44,000 Swedish people who have enrolled in the AMORIS (Apolipoprotein Mortality Risk) cohort. The biomarkers of these participants were then measured between 1985 and 1996, and observed until 2020.

The researchers have examined the 12 blood biomarkers in the metabolic report and function. These biomarkers included glucose, total cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate amino phosphatase, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, and lactate dehydrogenase. All these biomarkers are related to liver health.

They measured creatinine as a marker of kidney health. To check for anemia, they measured iron and iron-binding capacity. They also analyzed the measurement of albumin to determine nutrition.

The most important thing is that the authors of the research have also mentioned that the values of biomarkers were different in centenarians, except for albumin and amino alanine transferase.

Understanding the contrast between glucose, creatinine, and uric acid

Creatinine depends on kidney or renal function and muscle mass. A healthy kidney’s function is to filter creatinine out of the blood. High levels of creatinine indicate chronic kidney disease. The researchers have found that most centenarians have low levels of creatinine in their 70s, which indicates good renal function. A good lifestyle and a healthy diet are extremely important in order to maintain glucose levels and higher renal functions.

The findings have also mentioned that people over 100 years old have lower levels of uric acid. A slightly lower uric acid level in this age group indicates that they do not have any issues with the kidneys, such as chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, or gout. However, a very low level of uric acid might be related to neurological problems.

Scientists recommend that having an average reading of the biomarkers is actually better for our health. Measuring the levels of albumin, iron, and total iron binding capacity might be less appropriate to understand people’s nutritional status because they can also be influenced by inflammation or other chronic illnesses. Therefore, people with too low or too high levels of these components are most unlikely to reach 100 years of age.

In spite of everything, the study does not convey a conclusion on which genetic and lifestyle factors are responsible for these biomarker standards. However, we do know that it is very essential to take notice of our diet and alcohol consumption as we grow older. Managing blood sugar and uric acid levels is quite crucial. With that being said, researchers have stated that both genetic and lifestyle factors play a huge role in longevity.