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  • What It’s Like To Be 107 Years Old?

    December 26, 2018: by Bill Sardi

    Oldest barber: 107 years old

    Photo: Corey Kilgannon

    Before I get to the incredible story of Anthony Mancinelli, age 107, there is also the story of Joao Coelho de Souza, born March 10, 1884 (there isn’t supposed to be anybody alive that was born in the 1800s) who has records to prove he was 131 years old in 2016. Is the Coelho de Souza report valid?

    Last year (2017) there was another news report of a man who died at 146 years. There is also the report of a woman in Russia, claimed to be 128 years of age published in May of 2018.

    There are very, very few people verified to have lived to 111 or older.

    Oh no!

    Of course, the title of oldest living person goes to Jean Calment of France who reportedly lived 122 years. But now there is skepticism over that. As the Fight Aging website reports, a reinvestigation finds the person we know as Jean Calment may have actually been her daughter, Yvonne, who took the place of her mother after her death in 1934 in order to help her family avoid heavy financial losses related to inheritance. Oh no! Is the whole field of superlongevity riddled with false reports of superlongevity? No, there are valid reports.

    The Gerontology Research Group updates its list of confirmed supercentenarians frequently. The oldest living person as of Dec. 7, 2018 is 115 years old. The oldest deceased person (2008 to present) lived 117 years.

    “I never want to live that long!”

    How many times have I heard that? Most people wince at the idea of living to be a supercentenarian. Of course, the answer to the question of how long we want to live is — as long as we remain healthy.

    A massive study of 400 million people has just been concluded and it reveals genetics accounts for (maybe) 15-30% of life expectancy. Longevity may be familial but not genetic. Due to “selective mating” we tend to live longer. That is, we tend to eat the same food, get the same amount of sunshine, drink the same water as our forefathers. So longevity may run along family lines. But according to the recent study DNA accounts for only about 7% of lifespan.

    But that doesn’t scratch genetics off as a longevity factor altogether because there is epigenetics, not the inherited DNA structure of our genes but the dynamic protein-making properties of our genes that respond to our environment.

    Here come the anti-senolytic drugs

    And as recent reports indicate, 2018 was the year when senolytic drugs, that is molecules that can keep living cells in the body from becoming senescent (they no longer divide into daughter cells), are at hand. While the research community wants longevity seekers to hold their breath for these upcoming senolytic drugs, it is obvious various natural molecules will be quite effective and affordable compared to the anti-senolytic drugs that biotech firms plan to introduce in the near future.

    Killing off senescent cells to prolong human health span has been demonstrated in animals and is achievable in humans. The field of senolytic drugs is so new that there are only 73 published studies on the topic with the earliest published report dating back to 2015.

    The world’s longest living barber

    Unexpectedly, the story of Anthony Mancinelli provides longevity seekers with hope they don’t have to lose their independence and be on 15 drugs and wet their pants to reach superlongevity.

    Mr. Mancinelli works full time as a barber (for the past 97 years mind you). Born in Italy in 1911 he has all of his original teeth, takes no medications, has never relied upon eyeglasses to read, drives to work every workday, shops for himself, even does his own yardwork. What to make of this astounding report?

    Anthony Mancinelli says people press their noses to the window in the barber shop he works at to see what he eats for lunch. Maybe there is some secret of aging he is hiding. But he says there is no secret. He is just “made in Italy!” Must be the pizza, right? Maybe the wine. But he says he doesn’t drink alcohol and has never smoked tobacco.

    Get this, he even helps some of his older clients into the barber chair.

    Anthony Mancinelli says he has no plans to retire. He never calls in sick. When asked about retirement, he replied, “Why would I?”

    He still has a sense of humor. He says he eats thin spaghetti so he won’t get fat.

    He has told his son, that when he dies he wants scissors and a comb placed in his coffin. “I might find a customer up there who needs a haircut!”

    A recent video will make you a believer. Healthy, active, independent longevity is achievable.

    Mancinelli’s story gets even more intriguing. Turns out, early in his career, he practiced anti-aging medicine from his barber chair. He practice blood-letting. As a news report documents, customers with high blood pressure heard about him. “They’d say: ‘Can you take some blood from me?'” he says, noting that the drugstore across the street sold leeches, which he bought for 2 cents each to apply to the customer’s skin to draw blood.

    For customers with chest pains, he employed “cupping,” which involved placing glass cups on their chest to “draw the pain out,” he says. “I was the only barber doing that. I don’t know if it was legal or not, but nobody stopped me.”

    Virtually none of the people who have achieved superlongevity have reached that accomplishment because they were trying to live longer. So we wonder, just how long people will live when they make an effort to take anti-aging pills? We will soon find out.

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