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Longevity

Genetics and Favorable Cholesterol Profile are Secrets of Japane

16 years, 11 months ago

1865  0
Posted on Oct 14, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A study of Japanese centenarians suggests that genetics and especially healthy cholesterol levels are the keys to a long, healthy life. Researchers found that people who lived to see their 100th birthday and beyond had significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and so-called "bad" (LDL) cholesterol.

A study of Japanese centenarians suggests that genetics and especially healthy cholesterol levels are the keys to a long, healthy life. Researchers found that people who lived to see their 100th birthday and beyond had significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and so-called "bad" (LDL) cholesterol. The centenarians also had lower levels of apolipoprotein B (apo B), a cholesterol-carrying compound that has been linked to heart disease. Further research found that the apolipoprotein E (apo E) gene, which comes in three forms: E2, E3, and E4, appeared to have a strong influence over blood-lipid levels, as those who possessed at least one gene for apo E2 had low LDL and apo B levels. Altogether, 12% of the centenarians were found to possess the apo E2 gene, whereas the gene is only found in 0.023% - 0.037% of the general Japanese population. Dr. William R. Hazzard, who wrote an accompanying editorial to the study, said of the findings: "Apo E status appears to be a significant determinant of longevity."

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2001; 49:1434-1441, 1568-1569

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