Live to 100… Or more
Television, movies, and comic books are filled with inspirational and imaginative figures. We call them superheroes.
But we have real life superheroes living among us. And there are hundreds of them.￼
There called “Super Centenarians” and they are people who live past 110 years.
In 2015, Japan had 146 of them.
Their “superpower” is hi cognitive function and physical independence, even after 100 years of age.
They’re not just living long, they’re living well.
So, if you want to live to 100 or more it makes sense to look at these real life superheroes.
The common belief is that as we age, our immune systems diminish, making us more vulnerable to infections, cancers, and diseases.￼
Maintaining a low level of inflammation is a promising way to counter this immune decline.
And our immune systems are made up of several different cell types.
One of cell types are called B cells and super centenarians have less than 1/5 the amount of B cells in their blood.
And the B cells they did have were more likely to be “trained” meaning they were prepared for certain types of immuno challenges.￼
Another cell type is called T cells. The super centenarians had the same amount of T cells as non-super centenarians.
But the super centenarians had a much higher proportion of a T cell subtype – Cytotoxic T cells - about 8 times higher. ￼
The cells are special as they have been demonstrated to have the ability to directly kill tumor cells and eradicate some establish tumors.
They also fight and protect against viruses including influenza, hepatitis, and HIV.
The Takeaway? To live past 100 and to live well, we need a low state of inflammation and a specifically strong immune system.