Longevity, or our healthspan and lifespan, has been a topic of interest for people for a very long time. Some people believe that how long (and how well) we can live is determined only by our genes, socioeconomic factors, or adherence to a strict diet or exercise regimen. But these ideas don’t necessarily hold up to the latest scientific research.
In this post, we’ll look at seven common myths about longevity and find out what’s really true about living a long, healthy life.
1. Myth: Longevity is determined by genes
Reality: While genes do play a role in longevity, research suggests that only about 10% of longevity can be attributed to genetic factors (R). Lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, supplementation, and stress management play a more significant role in determining how long we live.
2. Myth: Aging is a natural process that cannot be slowed down.
Reality: While aging is a natural process, research suggests that certain lifestyle choices can slow down the aging process and extend healthspan and lifespan. For example, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management techniques have all been shown to slow down cellular aging. In fact, 73% of those taking NOVOS Core and Boost in a case study, without making other lifestyle changes, were able to slow down their pace of aging. Of the remaining 27%, none had accelerated aging, despite lifestyle stressors.
3. Myth: Only the wealthy can live longer.
Reality: While income and access to healthcare can have an impact on longevity, research suggests that socioeconomic status is not the only factor. Dietary habits, physical exercise, stress management, as well as supplementation are all within reach of most people and can significantly impact how long we live. In fact, we went into depth about how you don’t have to be rich to slow your aging in this article.
4. Myth: Longevity requires strict adherence to a specific diet or exercise regimen.
Reality: When it comes to longevity, perfection is not the goal! Research has shown that every positive change to lifestyle habits such as diet, physical activity, supplementation, and stress management, no matter how big or small, can still have an effect on your healthspan and lifespan. The NOVOS Longevity Regimen was designed to provide guidance and useful tips to help you make sustainable changes that still feel achievable.
5. Myth: Only the elderly need to worry about longevity.
Reality: Longevity is important for people of all ages. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits early on in life can increase the likelihood of living a longer, healthier life. Additionally, some health conditions that can impact longevity, such as heart disease and certain cancers, may develop earlier in life. For every 8 years after puberty, your risk of death doubles (R). When you’re 25, the odds are 1 in 3,000; at 33, it’s 1 in 1,500; and by 40, it’s already 1 in 750. By getting a head start on the aging process, you can extend the timeline and decrease the odds in your favor.
6. Myth: Drinking red wine every day will make you live longer and its compound, resveratrol, is good for longevity.
Reality: While red wine contains compounds that some purport to have health benefits, such as resveratrol, the quantities are extraordinarily small and even larger quantities are unproven.
In fact, while earlier studies showed that resveratrol (made famous by researchers like Dr. David Sinclair for its presence in grape skin and red wine) could extend lifespan in various animals (R,R,R,R), more recent or better-conducted studies have shown that resveratrol doesn’t extend lifespan.
And as acclaimed longevity researcher Dr. Matt Kaeberlein has said, “As soon as I see resveratrol in anybody’s supplement stack, they lose all credibility. It’s been disproven over and over and over in the longevity field, at least.”
Further, drinking red wine excessively can have negative effects on our long-term health, including an increased risk of liver disease and certain cancers.
7. Myth: Living in a certain location will help you live longer.
Reality: While there may be some regions of the world where people tend to live longer, such as the Blue Zones, there’s no guarantee that living in these areas will automatically lead to a longer life. Instead, research has shown that the lifestyle choices of people living in these areas play a significant role in their longevity. Specifically, people in Blue Zones tend to eat mainly plant-based diets, consume fish and healthy fats, and lead active lifestyles. They also have a work-life balance that leads to lower levels of stress. These lifestyle choices, combined with avoiding air pollution in major cities by using air filters, can have a positive impact on health and longevity. By making similar lifestyle choices, we can all work towards living longer, healthier lives, no matter where we are in the world. Read more about what Longevity Zones have in common here.