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Genes, Not Lifestyle, May Be The Key To Longevity

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Genes lead to longevity

Key word being "may", so don't give up on that new fitness routine yet!

A new gene study has found many nonagenarians drink, smoke and don't get regular exercise, which suggests that genetic factors, not lifestyle choices may have more to do with the longevity of our lifetime.

Researchers examined a genetically homogenous group of 477 Ashkenazi Jews between the ages of 95 and 109 to find factors that contributed to their long life. They then compared the results with another group of over 3,000 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey at 70-years-old.

While the average BMI was similar between the two groups, 60% of the longer-living men had smoked in their lifetime and a similar proportion consumed alcohol daily. The longer-living participants had also engaged is LESS exercise than their counterparts who lived shorter lives.

Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the ongoing Longevity Gene Project and the paper's lead author, believes this is further proof that certain genes protect people against certain health problems that occur with age.

Much like us, he doesn't want people to give up on those fitness routines yet either! Recounting a story of a man who had heard about his research, he said:

"He said, 'I was at the gym, I saw the interview and I realized my grandmother is 102.' And he said he's not going to the gym anymore. I thought, no, no! If you have longevity in your family, you have a higher [chance] of longevity yourself, because it is highly inheritable. But you don't know if you inherited it."

Exactly! Just because there are those who will naturally live longer because of a gene, that doesn't mean you have it!

The important thing to remember here is that life isn't all about longevity, but enjoyment! We STILL guarantee you will enjoy life more if you live a healthier lifestyle!

[Image via AP Images.]

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