Updated: Feb 22, 2021
National Geographic Magazine published an interesting article way back in May of 2013 about longevity. The image to the left paints an interesting picture that is NOT intuitive to most of us. That is:
If you live to 80, on average you experience 19 years of declining health...but
If you live to 100, you only experience 9 years of declining health.
Interpretation: As you live longer - your "healthspan" increases by even more.
Doing the math:
80 61 years
100 91 years
(for you math junkies, healthspan is even longer than 30 years because "declining health" is an asymptote, not linear! - Good news for all of us working to achieve longevity.)
Thus living 20 years longer gives 30 years of extra healthspan.
How do you achieve great longevity, thus extra great healthspan? Make sure your repair and recovery is optimal for life.
In the Natgeo article, they search for the holy grail of genes among centenarians to better understand longevity. But they didn't find a strong association. Instead it was about lifestyle. Here is a quote from the article:
It’s another reminder that although molecules and mechanisms yet unfathomed may someday lead to drugs that help us reach a ripe and healthy old age, a little luck doesn’t hurt either.
Now I know none of you are counting on drugs. In fact, Americans use drugs more prolifically compared to other developed nations but, on average, we live SHORTER lives. So much for the current drug theory.
I believe we MAKE our luck by understanding health. It's not really a mystery. And, good repair and recovery is key to overcoming "luck."
Free cholesterol is a very important substance and is highly involved in repair and recovery. LDL and HDL play important roles too. If you read Part 1 and watched the video, you now realize that LDL and HDL are molecules that transport fats through our water-based blood vessels to tissue in need. One such fat is the cholesterol molecule. But, other fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamin D (pro-hormone that is), Vitamin Ks, D, and A, are also transported to our tissue within LDL. HDL, I consider the fat recycling lipoprotein, as it transports fats back to the gut. These are crucially important molecules for our healthspan to be optimal.
I encourage you to watch the video linked below.
How not to die young - part 2. Please watch this video. All 4 parts, with this being part 2, discuss repair and recovery with focus on how important cholesterol is to your cellular health.
Hint: In youtube you can increase the playback speed by up to 2 times.... to get through it more quickly. You can change the speed under by clicking on the "settings" (gear" menu.