Healthy circulation is the key to a longer life, research suggests.
People with good blood flow to their body’s smallest blood vessels live for longer, scientists found, according to express.co.uk.
The link between longevity and ‘micro-circulation’ was uncovered by research into Italian ‘SuperAgers’ with a median age of 92.
The body’s microcirculation delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells while removing toxins and waste products.
It also controls blood pressure and body temperature by dilating or constricting the capillaries that supply the muscles, organs and skin.
Centenarians showed similar levels of a chemical called Bio-ADM that boosts blood flow in the body’s capillary networks as people 30 years their junior.
Genetics, exercise and a Mediterranean diet all play a role in living longer, but scientists have been searching for ‘biomarkers’ that indicate longevity.
Professor Salvatore Di Somma said: “Very low concentrations of this biomarker (Bio-ADM) indicate a microcirculatory system allowing good blood perfusion of organs and muscles.
“A good microcirculation is what makes marathon runners perform better than the average man or woman at the same heart rate.”
The La Sapienza University pilot study looked at residents of the Cilento region in the province of Salerno in southern Italy.
Women in the region live to an average of 92, eight years more than the Italian average, while men live to 85, six years longer than average.
The first group consisted of 29 ‘SuperAgers’. The second was made up of 52 relatives with a median age of 60 living in the same household.
These were compared with a group of 194 healthy people with a median age of 64.
Scientists found that the SuperAgers’ bio-ADM values were as low as those in both younger groups.
Andreas Bergmann, of the German diagnostic company Sphingotec which carried out blood analyses, said: “We are excited about the connection between bio-ADM levels and a good microcirculation as an indicator for good quality of life.
“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.”
Researchers now plan to explore whether elements of the local Mediterranean diet affect bio-ADM levels.