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New York - L’Chaim! Want to Live to 100? Check Your Genes.

Published on: March 15, 2010 09:40 AM
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photo of Ashkenazi Jews who are 100 years old, or close to it, who have been participating in a study conducted by Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York. Photos Courtesy Dr. Nir Barzilai, Albert Einstein College of Medicinephoto of Ashkenazi Jews who are 100 years old, or close to it, who have been participating in a study conducted by Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York. Photos Courtesy Dr. Nir Barzilai, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

New York - Last week, Louis Biderman turned 99. Yet he can recall, in perfect detail, the trip he took to Los Angeles in 1938, 72 years ago.

“I drove 3,000 miles to the coast, 3,000 miles back - all that within six weeks,? he said by phone from his Yonkers, N.Y., home. He was riding in a 1937 Pontiac, which he bought for $1,002.

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Biderman may see nothing special about himself - “I’m not interested in glorifying my past,” he said - but his crystal-clear memories serve as a reminder that he belongs to a small demographic that is holding the medical community rapt: individuals who are living to 100 with no trace of illnesses that plague the elderly, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes and heart disease.

At the forefront of the research on these winners of the genetic lottery is Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York.

Wanting to take a closer look at centenarians, their lifestyles and their genes, Barzilai initiated a long-term study in 1998 that would allow researchers to find out what may set this group apart and lead to their excessive longevity.

Through media promotion and word of mouth, he assembled a cohort of Ashkenazi Jews, as their genetic makeup is in many ways homogeneous. The group included not just people who had lived to 100 or close to it, but their 70- to- 80-year-old children as well.

Read the full story at The Jewish Jounal 



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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 15, 2010 at 10:19 AM what a joke Says:

Its got nothing to do with genes. Rav Shach lived to 107 and Rav Kaduri to 108 and he smoked his entire life. Take your finger and point to the heavens and there's your answer. Or you can waste billions on research which will in the end prove nothing.

2

 Mar 15, 2010 at 10:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Per my genes, I should live until about 85-90. But I will likely become grouchy and bitter by 65-70 lol

5

 Mar 15, 2010 at 10:51 AM Anonymous Says:

If he would have been driving a Prius instead of a Pontiac he would not be the subject of any study today or at anytime and the makeup of his genes would be inconsequential.

6

 Mar 15, 2010 at 10:58 AM #1 is wrong Says:

Reply to #1  
what a joke Says:

Its got nothing to do with genes. Rav Shach lived to 107 and Rav Kaduri to 108 and he smoked his entire life. Take your finger and point to the heavens and there's your answer. Or you can waste billions on research which will in the end prove nothing.

Everything with nature is controlled by Hashem yet Hashen did make laws of nature and we are instructed by Hashem to do our best within the laws of nature to increase our chances for the best of health and longest lifespan.

If you open a new business, if it succeeds or fails is also in the hands of Hashem but that does not mean you should ignore everything you can do within nature to give you the best chance at success and just to "point your finger at heaven" while ignoring doing everything right within the laws of nature which could help your success.

You health and your lifestyle and longevity can be increased or decreased based on what you do within the laws of nature. Although some laws of nature have changed over the years but the general idea that things you do can help or detract, remains the same principal and as an example the Rambam details what causes increased health and increased longevity and what causes the opposite. Even if these particulars have changed but the concept of using the laws of nature remains the same rule according to Torah.

Just because there are exceptions to the rule doesn't mean the rule is not a rule and smoking sure doesn't help!

7

 Mar 15, 2010 at 11:22 AM Anonymous Says:

However, there is an inyan of nishmartem me'od es nafshoseychem, so anything you can do to keep your body reasonably healthy is a mitzvah, starting with eating habits. I had a relative who recently dropped dead at 70 from a stroke who drank and smoked for years but was not overweight.

8

 Mar 15, 2010 at 12:40 PM Jack Says:

Rav Shach was not well the last years of his life

10

 Mar 15, 2010 at 12:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Everytime you post a picture of one of these old timers, nebech you post their obituary a few weeks later. Leave them alone!

11

 Mar 15, 2010 at 01:04 PM Anonymous Says:

when it is your time to go home it is time......genes won't stop a car

12

 Mar 15, 2010 at 01:49 PM Ride the Local or the Express Train? Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

when it is your time to go home it is time......genes won't stop a car

It's true that from the moment a baby is born, it's on it's destiny headed toawrds eventual death and there is no escape until the 2nd stage of Yemos HaMoshiach when all death will end.

But you can head down the road on the Local or on the express track depending on which train and lifestyle you decide to ride throughout your lifetime.

13

 Mar 15, 2010 at 03:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Ride the Local or the Express Train? Says:

It's true that from the moment a baby is born, it's on it's destiny headed toawrds eventual death and there is no escape until the 2nd stage of Yemos HaMoshiach when all death will end.

But you can head down the road on the Local or on the express track depending on which train and lifestyle you decide to ride throughout your lifetime.

But you can head down the road on the Local or on the express track depending on which train and lifestyle you decide to ride throughout your lifetime.”

You can observe all 613 mitzvahs and that will not guarantee you a long life.

14

 Mar 15, 2010 at 04:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
what a joke Says:

Its got nothing to do with genes. Rav Shach lived to 107 and Rav Kaduri to 108 and he smoked his entire life. Take your finger and point to the heavens and there's your answer. Or you can waste billions on research which will in the end prove nothing.

#1, What a Joke: You are absolutely right!

15

 Mar 15, 2010 at 05:18 PM 5T Resident Says:

Longevity is only partially determined by the genes. The rest is determined by lifestyle and diet. My father's family is long-lived - my grandfather lived to 100, his father lived to 104, various cousins (who didn't perish in Auschwitz) lived into their late 80s or early 90s - but my father died at 52. He worked the hardest - he sent two kids to yeshiva for 12+ years and supported the family (my mother didn't work; it wasn't in style for women in frum homes to work in the 1970s), and his parents. The stress killed him.

16

 Mar 15, 2010 at 10:59 PM Rachel W. Says:

Reply to #15  
5T Resident Says:

Longevity is only partially determined by the genes. The rest is determined by lifestyle and diet. My father's family is long-lived - my grandfather lived to 100, his father lived to 104, various cousins (who didn't perish in Auschwitz) lived into their late 80s or early 90s - but my father died at 52. He worked the hardest - he sent two kids to yeshiva for 12+ years and supported the family (my mother didn't work; it wasn't in style for women in frum homes to work in the 1970s), and his parents. The stress killed him.

Or his time was up.

17

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