Centenarians—people who have survived to the age of 100—appear to have genes that provide natural resilience to aging. The data on centenarians are all observational, not experimental, so we can’t truly infer cause and effect. But by understanding centenarian genetics, which turns out to account for most of their remarkable longevity, we can infer which strategies the rest of us can employ to try to reap the same benefits. 

By studying exactly how certain genetic variants provide benefit, we learn a very important lesson from these masters of longevity: They don’t live longer with disease; they live longer without disease. It’s from this observation that we derive a key principle in extending lifespan: to delay death, we must delay the onset of chronic disease as long as possible, not figure out ways to live longer with chronic disease.

Below is a compilation of past clips and podcasts specifically discussing centenarians and how to train for, what I like to call, the “Centenarian Olympics.”


How to Train for the Centenarian Decathlon™

This clip is from “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode #05, originally released on April 22, 2019.

Lessons from centenarians: why prevention of chronic disease is critical

To me, the takeaway for us, as physicians or people who want to have an extra five years of life or 10 years of life… is nothing matters more than prevention of chronic disease. And by the way, you don’t get to prevent it once you have your heart attack. Secondary prevention is not prevention.” – Peter Attia, M.D.

#204 – Centenarians, metformin, and longevity | Nir Barzilai, M.D.

If you prevent aging and age-related disease, you’re going to compress morbidity, too.” — Nir Barzilai

Qualys #241 – The genetic gift of centenarians

This episode of The Qualys is from podcast #35, Nir Barzilai, M.D.: How to tame aging, which was originally released on January 7, 2019.

#123 – Joan Mannick, M.D. & Nir Barzilai, M.D.: Rapamycin and metformin—longevity, immune enhancement, and COVID-19

“I think what the mTOR inhibitors are doing is not stopping people from getting infected [with a virus], but if you get infected, there’s a better immune response and your symptoms will be milder.” — Joan Mannick

#50 – AMA #5: calcium scores, Centenarian Decathlon™, exercise, muscle glycogen, keto, and more

“We’re really talking a completely new model, which is actually forcing your way to become a centenarian rather than just sort of gliding your way into it and therefore, I think it’s going to require much more deliberate attention around what your mind and body are doing at that point and time.” — Peter Attia

#35 – Nir Barzilai, M.D.: How to tame aging

“I think the prevention of aging is really a good place to be. . .and I think life is going to be very different in the next decade with our advances.” —Nir Barzilai

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