Sardinian longevity

Sardinian Longevity




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Orvolda in the mountains of Sardinia, currently has four residents over a hundred years old, and a few more who could also reach that biblical age soon.

A research project at the University of Sassari is examining reasons for this amazing phenomenon. A team of doctors, demographers and historians is collecting data under the direction of professor Luca Deiana.

Their focuses on people who verifiable lived for more than a hundred years. Research in municipal archives and church records confirms this, and so far 1,700 persons have been identified.

Luca Deiana, Biologist, University of Sassari: “They have always been centenarians in Sardinia. Our project is called ACEA, short for Arcentanos which means, “May you live to be a hundred.”

People in Sardinia used this expression when greeting someone.”

Maria Antôni Alodo recognizes all her relatives in her family photo.

Meanwhile researchers have found out why Sardinians lived to such an old age.

Luca Deiana, Biologist, University of Sassari: How can you explain this longevity? The reasons are primarily genetic. Because the chromosome said the Sardinians genes is made up in such a way that some of them, not all of them but a high percentage, can live to be over a hundred years old.”

This genetic factor was determined through blood tests. Blood samples were taken from all the centenarians on the island. This woman doesn’t like it very much but her youngest daughter and her son comfort her.

Family histories also point to a genetic explanation. In some families there has been a higher than average number of centenarians. Who knows if they’re great-granddaughter will also live to such an old age.

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Sardinians were farmers and shepherds, and they lived and worked in a clean environment. Their meager diet consisted of vegetables they grew themselves, sheep’s cheese and wine.

Their staple food was sourdough bread from local durum wheat. In the mountains the women meet to bake bread, especially before feast days.

Sardinia has more than 300 kinds of bread, making it one of the richest bread cultures in the world. Centos, the centenarians’ bread, is produced from an old cereal variety by a female baker in the mountain village of Aroli.

Viviana Sirigu, Baker: “We make up bread with this grain and sourdough, which is 300 years old and comes from my great-great-great grandmother. It contains thousands of living microorganisms, some that give it its taste others a long life.

They’re like us: to survive they need food, otherwise they die.”

But in Sardinia two people do not live on bread alone. Sardinian sheep’s cheese also appears to contribute to their longevity. Their traditional shepherds lifestyle means that Sardinians eat little meat. But cheese is part of their everyday diet which turns out to be rich in protein.

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Virfuoresardo, a naturally produced sheep’s cheese, has a high protein and calcium content, but no cholesterol.

Some people in Sardinia are well over a hundred years old.

Rosa Frau from Ovoda is 108 years old. Every day she listens to the Catholic radio station Radio Maria, and she prays as well.

She no longer hears or sees well, but her mind is still clear. This is characteristic of the centenarians in Sardinia.

Lucca Dieana has visited her many times. Of these four people over 100, only Rosa Frau is still alive. She lives with her daughter, who helps her to communicate with others.

Daughter: “What has Jesus given you?”
Rosa Frau: “He has given me life.”
Daughter: “And what else?”
Rosa Frau: “He has given me everything.”

Luca Deiana, Biologist, University of Sassari: “We’ll come again when you are 109 and 110.
Daughter: “Do you think you can get to 110?”
Rosa Frau: “Even more than that!”

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Sardinia. Only medical experts are studying the centenarians of Sardinia. True or false?

Sicily. Do researchers simply ask residents of Sardinia how old they are?

Corsica. Living to an old age in Sardinia is a phenomenon only after 1900. Is this right or wrong?

Malta. Does longevity depend entirely on our habits, outlook and mindset, or does it in part, run in the family?

Crete. Has Sardinia’s economy always based mostly on trade and tourism?

Ikaria. The stable food in Sardinia is pasta, in the form of spaghetti, feticcini and lasagna. Is this correct or incorrect?

Ibiza, Majorca. Do the locals like to eat sheep and goat?

Rhodes. Are people spiritual or religious?
Cyprus. I am from Sardinia. I live in Sardinia. have visited Sardinia. Yes or no? Have you met Sardinians?

Azores. How would you describe people in your neighborhood, community and society? Are they similar to the Sardinians in the video?

Madeira. Are there parts of your country where people live a slower, more relaxed, casual lifestyle, with close sense of community?

Samos. Would you or your friends like to live in Sardinia or a village similar to the Sardinian one presented?

Thanos. What might happen in the future?

Corfu. What could or should people, governments and businesses do?

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