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Scientists ‘find key to longevity’ in Italian village where one in 10 people live beyond 100 years

Fresh food, sex, or is it the rosemary? Research team spends six months investigating the health and habits of the elderly residents of Acciaroli


Acciaroli in south west Italy is no ordinary place. It is home to an extraordinarily high number of centenarians.

More than one in 10 of the population of 700 is over 100 years old, and the hamlet has been the focus of a study to discover the factors that contribute to its residents’ longevity.

After spending six months in the area, researchers from Rome’s Sapineza University and the Sandiego School of Medicine found that elderly people in the region have unusually good blood circulation for their age.

The research team analysed blood samples from more than 80 residents, and discovered extraordinarily low levels of adrenomedullin, a hormone that widens blood vessels.

The levels of adrenomedullin were similar to those you would normally find in people in their 20s and 30s, the researchers said.

High levels of the hormone can cause blood vessels to contract, causing circulatory problems which can lead to other serious health conditions.

The scientists found the hormone “in a much reduced quantity in the subjects studied and seems to act as a powerful protecting factor, helping the optimal development


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