Every year, the WHO publishes the world longevity list, and Japan has been the winner for many years, with “longevity” being the biggest impression Japan has on the world. 2015 Japanese census showed that they have more than 61,000 centenarians, including nearly 150 super-elderly people over 110 years old.
To find out why, scientists from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medicine and Keio University School of Medicine analyzed the immune cells of a group of super centenarians.
High concentration of rare cells showed up
At first, the researchers isolated immune cells from the blood of seven supercentenarians and five control participants, whose ages ranged from their 50s to their 80s. The scientists then used the advanced method of single-cell transcriptomics to find out the respective functions of each immune cell.
From the results of the single-cell transcriptomic profiling, the number of B cells in the supercentenarians was significantly reduced compared to the control group, while the number of T cells was again about the same as the control group. However, after careful examination of the different paradigms of T cells scientists made a new discovery: in the supercentenarians, the proportion of cytotoxic T cells accounted for 80% of the total number of T cells, which was much higher than the 10%-20% in the control group.
The cytotoxic T cells are high concentrations of rare cells, which can be called the body’s “guards”, when they encounter cancer cells, virus-infected cells or other damaged cells, these “assassins” that are not good for the body, they will kill these “assassins”. The “assassins” are killed when they encounter cancer cells, virus-infected cells or other damaged cells, which are not good for the body. The majority of cytotoxic T cells in supercentenarians are CD4-positive T cells, and the percentage is nearly 10 times higher than in young controls. When the two characteristics of “killer cells” and “high concentration” are combined, it is likely that these individuals are the reason for their exceptional longevity.
Why are there so many long-lived elderly people in Japan?
According to the World Health Statistics 2018 report released by the WHO, Japan continues to be number one on the life expectancy list, with an average life expectancy of 84.2 years, including 87.1 years for women and 81.1 years for men. How are the Japanese able to live longer? This all depends on the unique diet of the Japanese, you may also want to try.
1. Diet focus on nutrition
Japan in 1985 released the “for a healthy diet life guide” recommended that residents eat 30 kinds of ingredients a day. And the Japanese and follow this advice, each meal dishes of many varieties and small quantities. A single meal may contain meat, vegetables, fish, fruits, etc. Such a rich diet is undoubtedly to ensure that the daily intake of adequate nutrition.
2. Diet focus on the control of the amount
In Japan, “portion control” is part of the traditional culture of Japanese cuisine. Japanese people control the amount of food they eat, and they can eat until they are eight percent full. Zhang Shengsheng, director of the digestive center of the Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine affiliated with the Capital Medical University, said that people eat too much to increase the burden on the gastrointestinal tract, thus causing indigestion, and even induce gastric erosion, gastric ulcers and other diseases. Therefore, it is recommended that when you eat, do not eat too much, it is best to stop eating when you feel a little full but can continue to eat.
3. Eating pay attention to chew and swallow slowly
Japan pays attention to table manners, and because of this Japanese people have developed a good habit of chewing and swallowing slowly. Chewing and swallowing slowly is good for the health of the stomach and intestines. Chewing slowly turns food into small particles as much as possible, which makes it easier to digest in the digestive tract. Generally, as we age, the human gastrointestinal tract peristalsis decreases, and chewing slowly can reduce the burden on the gastrointestinal tract.
At the cellular level, what determines the life span of a person?
According to scientists’ research, human lifespan is likely determined by telomeres. What are telomeres? Telomeres are special structures that maintain the integrity of chromosomes and control the cell division cycle. Each time a cell divides, the telomere length becomes shorter, and the longer the telomere, the more times a cell can divide, and the longer a person lives.
In fact, if you want to live longer, try the Japanese diet and control your diet on a daily basis. Focus on nutrition, control the amount, chew slowly, do these three things, and perhaps closer to longevity.