We all know anti-aging is about more than just keeping wrinkles at bay. Though it's not an exact science, most experts these days agree that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a well-kept mind can go a long way towards helping you live well into your 80s and, more importantly, live well. But, what about those rare birds who make it even further, into their 90s and even over 100? What can they teach us about the aging process, and the possible secrets to preventing it?
These are questions that scientists — and drug companies that see an opportunity to make some serious money — have been trying to figure out for a long time. In fact, both the time and the money poured into anti-aging and longevity research is growing year after year. So, what's the secret? Well, according to a 106-year-old Southern Italian man named Salvatore Caruso, it's "no smoking, no drinking, no women." And, when National Geographic writers spoke to Caruso and others for this fascinating article, going very easy on the red meat probably helps, too.
Southern Italy and parts of Japan have recently been the subject of studies by scientists trying to understand why these areas have such high concentrations of unusually old people, including centenarians like Caruso. Some researchers have found genetic abnormalities, while others claim it's a lifestyle choice. Get the full story after the jump. If nothing else, you'll be charmed by some of these centenarians' lust for life.
Photo: Fritz Hoffmann/Courtesy of National Geographic.