The Whole City Is In The Focus Of Science
How can people age healthily in the long run? This question has been investigated in South Tyrol, Italy for more than 30 years with the help of a long-term study. The whole city is undergoing this research that examines age-related diseases. The so-called Bruneck Study has been running since 1990 and this town is ideal place for this purpose. After all, the people here are deeply rooted. Migration is low as only a few of locals move away from here. At the same time, the residents maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes a lot of exercise and a traditional diet and the health parameters are comparable to many other regions in Europe.
The two local doctors Johann Willeit and Friedrich Oberhollenzer, initiated the study in the local hospital. Cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis are the main focus. Since then, the scientists extended the research several times, and the focus expanded. The Bruneck study is now the second-longest lasting study in the world. More than 150 studies have emerged from the data and their range includes strokes, heart attacks, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, diabetes, and rheumatism.
The model for the Bruneck study was the Framingham study in the USA which has been running since 1948. For the moment, even the children of the original test subjects have taken part in the survey. The investigation began in Bruneck in 1990. The focus was on 1,000 participants between 40- and 79-year-olds. From the original 1,000 subjects, 350 are still alive today. That is why the scientists recruited a new cohort five years ago.
Healthy Eating and Workout Stop Aging
The participants themselves also benefit from this as their examinations are free of charge. Thanks to the advice and prevention, cardiovascular diseases in the city have decreased significantly. During this study, the scientists also found out that the protective structures at the end of the chromosomes shorten over time. That happens with every cell division. However, these structures play a significant role in vascular diseases. The shorter the structures, the greater the risk of developing cancer. A healthy diet and regular exercise slow down the shortening of these so-called telomeres. That gives the scientists important information on cancer prevention and treatment.
The studies also examined the effect of spermidine on the process of ageing. This molecule plays an essential role in cell purification and those who eat more of it live longer. You can find this substance in fruits, vegetables and nuts. In this way, people can bring their cell cleansing to the level of a young person. At the same time, it protects against memory disorders. Scientists are currently studying nicotinamide, which you also know as vitamin B3. You can find it in peanuts, beef, and seedlings. Consuming large amounts of it reduces your risk of heart disease. Maybe we can use the substance therapeutically for heart failure. That proves that the study needed a lot of important information.