TIME Secrets of Living Longer
The Editors of TIME
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The editors of TIME reveal the new data on how best to live, not just a longer, but also a happier life. Join TIME to find out what diet helps people live the longest, to learn if brain games can keep your mind young, and to discover the latest news from the frontiers of longevity.
• Learn how your outlook can change how you age – at the cellular level.
• Find out why married people really do live longer.
• Discover the truth about a modern antiaging elixir.
those who don’t own a pet, according to the American Heart Association. In fact, one study found that the risk of death from cardiovascular disease was four times as high for people who don’t own dogs as for proud dog parents. Studies have also shown that people who own pets have significantly lower blood pressure than people who don’t. That’s in part because dogs don’t walk themselves, so having one means you’re guaranteed to exercise more. One survey of 5,253 Japanese adults found that dog
when cord blood is drawn from newborns, the babies whose mothers had experienced more stress when they were pregnant showed shorter telomeres than those whose moms had easier pregnancies. “We replicated that original finding,” she says, “and it suggests healthy telomere maintenance doesn’t start when you’re born but before you’re born.” Some researchers believe that improvements in exercise and other healthy behaviors can increase the output of telomerase, and animal studies in test tubes show
games is hard to come by, experts say, when it comes to measurably improving aspects of mental fitness, like having a good memory or sound reasoning. “People would really love to believe you could do something like this and make your brain better, make your mind better,” says Randall W. Engle, the primary investigator at the Attention and Working Memory Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “There’s just no solid evidence.” That’s not to say brain games are without benefit altogether.
than people in the rest of Japan. “Despite sharing the same genes, these calorie-restricted Okinawans lived longer than people on mainland Japan,” says Eric Ravussin, the associate executive director for clinical research at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Their rates of heart disease and cancer were also up to 40% lower than in their countrymen, according to a 2006 study. Ravussin says he often brings up the Okinawa research because it’s difficult to study
the effects of lower food intake on large numbers of genetically similar people. “We have many animal studies showing calorie restriction extends life span,” he says. “But it’s hard to replicate in people.” (For one experiment, he and his colleagues asked a group of people to cut their calorie intake by 25% for two years. “They couldn’t manage it, and we can’t make someone do it,” he says.) Despite those challenges, studies of calorie restriction in humans have revealed marked improvements in