It is not just genes, diet or physical activity which decide how long you will live. A good blood micro-circulation in the body is another key factor in centenarians who live healthy and long, reveal researchers.
In a pilot study on some of the oldest people in the world, Italian researchers from La Sapienza University in Rome discovered that the perfusion of organs and muscles of the centenarians was as efficient as that in people who were 30 years younger.
Micro-circulation describes blood flow through the smallest vessels (capillaries) in the circulatory system.
In these regions, oxygen and nutrients are directly delivered to cells, while metabolic debris, toxins and CO2 are shunted out.
Results of the CIAO (Cilento Intitiative on Aging Outcome) pilot study suggest that low blood levels of the peptide hormone Adrenomedullin (bio-ADM) are an indicator for such a good micro-circulation.
“Very low concentrations of this biomarker indicate a well-functioning endothelial and micro-circulatory system allowing good blood perfusion of organs and muscles,” said lead researcher professor Salvatore Di Somma.
The study measured levels of the heart function biomarker MR-proANP, as well as a marker for kidney function (penKid) and bio-ADM.
A good micro-circulation is what makes marathon runners perform better at the same heart rate than the average man or woman on the street.
The team carried out comprehensive health and lifestyle assessments of two study groups that live in the Cilento region, located in the province of Salerno in southern Italy.
In the first group were 29 “SuperAgers” (median age 92 years), while the second group was made up of 52 younger relatives (median age 60 years, living in the same household) who are expected to live just as long because they have the same genetic background and have been exposed to the same environmental and lifestyle factors.
Blood biomarker analyses were carried out by the diagnostic company sphingotec from Hennigsdorf, Germany.
“We are excited about the connection between bio-ADM levels and a good micro-circulation as an indicator for good quality of life,” added sphingotec founder Andreas Bergmann.
“If bio-ADM proves to be a reliable biomarker for longevity this will open up the avenue to a systematic analysis of the factors contributing to longevity”, he added in the findings presented in the Italian town of Pollica on Monday.
The researchers are currently planning to extend the pilot study to 2,000 people from the Cilento region.
“Making longevity measurable has long been a scientific goal as it could open up the avenue to a systematic identification of factors contributing to an extended life span,” the authors noted.