Zaraska – Growing Young

tl;dr: Bedeutungsvolle Beziehungen verlängern das Leben (mehr als Ernährung und Sport).

Meine Unterstreichungen:

Studies show that building a strong support network of family and friends lowers mortality risk by about 45 percent. … Of course, such numbers should be taken with caution, coming as they do from studies with varying methodologies. (S. 3)

Among the French, 61 percent of those in their thirties and forties eat dinner with their family, at the table, each and every day. Now compare that to the mere 24 percent of Americans that age who do so. (S. 4)

Maybe the life-prolonging aspect of the Mediterranean diet is not the amount of vegetables and olive oil it contains, but the way these foods are eaten–together with others. Maybe it’s not what they eat, but how they eat. (S. 4)

Number one? A committed romantic relationship, which according to some studies can lower your mortality risk by a staggering 49 percent. Second, having a large social network of friends, family and helpful neighbours can reduce the probability of early death by about 45 percent. Third is having a conscientious personality. (44 percent) (S. 6)

From the perspective of mind-based longevity, becoming a centenarian or raising one often means less work, not more. (S. 7)

A recent survey found that the top aging worry for people in their thirties, forties and fifties was financial security. (S. 7)

Unfortunately, as one researcher aptly put it, “In our experience, claims to age 130 exist only where records do not.” (S. 14)

She [a 120 year old] admitted to Robine that she would tell the media whatever they liked to hear, and a cigarette-puffing, boozing centenarian does make for a good story. Even the New York Times fell for it. (S. 16)

Studies show that the longe you live, the higher the likelihood of staying in close-to-perfect shape until the day you drop dead. (S. 17)

In a way, it’s less remarkable that a centenarian can run long distances than an eighty-year-old. (S. 17)

For most of us, how long we live is only about 20 to 25 percent heritable. (S. 18)

With time, the mitochondria decline in function – they simply stop producing enough energy to power the cell. That’s one of the main reasons why the old, wrinkly C. elegans I observed under Cox’s microscope barely moved. (S. 22)

As it often is in biology, telomeres are about balance, keeping in check cancer versus degenerative diseases, and oversimplifications may be dangerous. (S. 23)

A healthy young cell ist a cell that grows and divides. If it’s useless or too damaged, it commits suicide. (S. 24)

Scientists now believe that the female-male longevity gap is actually imprinted into our bodies, and one of the clues comes from how women and men survive catastrophic conditions. (S. 27)

Women in general tend to survive starvation better … The reason for this, scientists argue, is that women tend to be smaller than men, have a lower basal metabolic rate and a larger proportion of subcutaneous fat. (S. 28)

In a comparison of fifty-nine species inhabiting zoos, only four had males that outlived the females. (S. 28)

An analysis of lifespans of eunuchs living in nineteenth-century Korean courts revealed that they survived on average twenty years longer than did other men in the court, including the kings. What eunuchs are short on, of course, is testosterone, which studies show, tends to suppress the immune system, making men more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. (S. 29)

Chronic loneliness … can up your mortality risk by 83 percent – which is worse than cigarettes. (S. 32)

Optimism can prolong life by as much as ten years, while lack of rumination on past mishaps boosts the immune system in the elderly. (S. 33)

Since cortisol takes up fat from places such as the legs and arms and then lets it settle around the waist, you may grow chunkier in your mid-section – that’s why some researches use a high waist-to-hip ratio as a marker for stress. (S. 42)

About 10 to 15 percent of people who die plunging into an ocean or a river have no water in their lungs, indicating that they haven’t, in fact, drowned at all. In animal experiments similar cases have been attributed to the overstimulation of the vagus nerve. Such sudden vagal death, some scientists believe, could also explain the mortal power of voodoo curses. (S. 45)

In one particularly revealing study scientists have taken stool from depressed patients and transplanted it into some unlucky rats. The rodents became instantly depressed themselves, losing interest in things they used to enjoy. (S. 50)

When researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany made middle-aged turquoise killifish nibble on the feces of their younger companions, the animals lived 37 percent longer than those that were not provided with such unusual food. (S. 52)

In 1959 a Russian geneticist named Dmitry Belyaev set up an experiment to test a new research idea: he started breeding wild silver foxes, selecting animals for their lack of aggression or fear toward humans. After a few years–or about eight to ten fox generations–a weird thing happened: some of the foxes started to resemble dogs in both their behaviour and looks. (S. 59) Belyaev did not select foxes for the floppiness of their ears or their forehead sports, no matter how cute. He selected them solely for their temperament. Yet what occurred was a whole set of appearance changes–something that scientists came to call the domestication syndrome. (S. 59)

Our evolutionary selection likely went like this: imagine you had an aggressive and untrustworthy bully in your tribe, Other males would gather, and talk up a plan to get rid of the guy. … Papua New Guinea’s Etoro people, for instance, eliminate about 9 percent of men this way, inadvertently purging their ranks of the bullies’ genes for low oxytocin and serotonin. (S. 61)

Of the dozens of primate species examined, only we have white scleras. … The thing about white scleras is that without them, it’s really hard to read much from the gaze of animals–not too much in the way of emotions, or even what the creature is looking at. (S. 62)

Yet these days many people ignore the many links between our mind and bodies – and instead of investing in their relationships obsess about their diets and exercise. (S. 75)

Curcumin is basically a “con artist” of the chemical world, showing false activity in poorly designed studies. (S. 89)

In one investigation of over 1,700 products available on the British markt, researches have found that gluten-free products such as breakfast cereal, bread, pasta, etc., tend to have more fat, sugar and sodium than do their regular alternatives. (S. 90)

When we are hungry, we should look for food. When we are lonely, we should seek connection with others. (S. 108)

When we feel lonely, Cacioppo once told me in an interview, our immune systems switch away from fighting viruses toward a better antibacterial response. (S. 109)

We simply don’t sleep well because out lonely bodies are in savanna survival mode. (S. 109)

It’s no wonder that lonely people tend to have increased activity of the HPA axis and elevated cortisol levels. (S. 110)

In study after study it’s the husbands who benefit most from sporting a wedding ring, and who suffer exceedingly when their spouse dies. (S. 123)

Yet when studies control for pre-selection into marriage, the effects on health remain. … A hefty pile of evidence suggests that it’s all about commitment. (S. 124)

Gottman told me about a fascinating experiment in which holding hands reduced activity of the amygdala in gay couples, but only if they considered themselves married. (S. 126)

rolling eyes at your spouse could make you fat. (S. 131)

When pairs of friends were asked to talk either face-to-face or online, the degree of emotional bonding was the lowest among those who chatted over a messaging system. (S. 137)

So if you ever find yourself in front of the fridge at midnight, consider that your attachment style may be to blame. (S. 149)

Frans de Waal, a renowned Dutch primatologist, believes that mood contagion evolved so that primates such as our ancestors could coordinate their behaviour, a crucial thing for a species that travels in groups. (S. 152)

De Waal: the empathy of the mother was more vital to the baby’s survival than the empathy of the father–whether she was quick to nurse in response to hunger, for instance. (S. 153)

If we give money to a needy person we know, rather than to some vague charity cause, our amygdala becomes less reactive to scary things, and our fight-or-flight response calms down. (S. 182)

Although treating yourself to an organic matcha latte could have positive effects on your physical well-being, you’d likely benefit more by buying it for a friend at work and leaving it on her desk, no strings attached. (S. 184)

The personality type that appears particularly important for health and longevity is conscientiousness–having a penchant for tidying, planning and preparing. … A person two standard deviations below the mean in conscientiousness has a 44 percent higher mortality risk compared to someone two standard deviations above the mean. (S. 195)

One study done on over three hundred spouses living in Florida revealed that over the first eighteen months of marriage, new husbands became much less extroverted. For those who find that disturbing, the upside is that said husbands also became more conscientious – that is, more likely to pick up their dirty socks from the bathroom floor. Women on the other hand, became considerably less neurotic after the vows. (S. 199)

So if you ever find yourself affected by a bacterial infection, don’t indulge in a horror-movie marathon at that very moment – instead of helping you feel better, it could make your immune system less efficient. (S. 210)

The positive effects of meditation reach down all the way to the DNA level – even after just a few of meditation, you can see reduced expression of pro-inflammatory genes in white blood cells. Genes associated with antiviral protection, on the other hand, get upregulated (their expression is increased) … So here a tip: try meditation before your next round of vaccinations. Experiments with the flu vaccine confirm that this can help produce higher antibody titres, lowering the chances of you ending up sick despite the injection. (S. 213)

… but many other trials showed no effects of gratitude on health. A 2017 review of thirty-eight studies concluded that “those expecting huge and lasting gains, or ‘life-changing’ outcomes from the activity, are likely to be disappointed. (S. 218)

The review concluded that “yoga interventions appear to be equal or superior to exercise in nearly every outcome measured except those involving physical fitness.” (S. 221)

What he needs is ikigai, purpose in life, and that’s why one day at the age of sixty-five he showed up at the Silver Human Resources Center and asked for employment – joining 49 percent of Japanese men this age who work at silver-hair jobs. (S. 227)

One famed Japanese longevity researcher, Shigeaki Hinohara, used to repeat: don’t ever retire, but if you must, do so a lot later than age sixty-five. He stayed true to his words, working as long as eighteen hours a day until the day he passed away at the ripe age of 105. (S. 239)

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