Many have questioned the “secret” behind the longevity of centenarians, who sometimes cross the 100-year barrier, even though many do not live a healthy lifestyle, precisely what a recent Japanese study revealed.
Researchers from the Riken Center for Integrative Medical Sciences and Keio University in Japan conducted a study of seven centenarians aged over 110 years, including tens of thousands of cells, to study the difference between them and those taken from people between the ages of 50 and 89 years.
By studying these cells, the scientists found that the “reason” for the longevity of the centenarians is not due to their lifestyle as it was commonly believed, but to the nature of their immune system, which differs from what is found in human bodies at younger ages.
The difference lies in white blood cells, specifically what is known as T cells.
In the elderly, scientists have found that T cells attack viruses and cancer cells directly, while they do not attack them in this way in the average person, according to the site “Science Daily”.
The number of CD4 T cells, a type of immune cell, increases in the centenarians compared to younger people, and the “mission” of these cells also varies.
For younger people, they play an “adjunctive” role, that is, they help other white cells fight off infections and cells that may develop cancer.
Among the centenarians, they attack viruses and diseases.
This is in addition to studies conducted in the past and noted that the centenarians appear more able to adapt to heart disease, cancer, and others.
“People who have lived an exceptionally long life tend to spend their entire lives in good health. This means that their immune system is active to protect against infections and tumors,” said lead author Dr. Kosuke Hashimoto.
There are great examples of characters who have lived long despite their unhealthy habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
Last year, an American man named Overton, a World War II veteran, died at the age of 112 after being used to daily doses of ice cream, cigars, and whiskey.
Frenchman Jean Clemente died in 1997 at the age of 122 with a sound medical record, making her officially the oldest person ever to live. But most of her life remained a heavy smoker, claiming that it was olive oil, wine, smoking and chocolate that kept her alive for a long time.