British scientists understand why Crete is so many centenarians
Scientists have discovered one reason why remote Greek villages in the North of Crete so many healthy centenarians.
The reason lies in the newly discovered varieties of the gene that is available to all residents of these villages and, apparently, protects the heart, reducing the level of harmful fats and cholesterol.
Despite the fact that the diet of the inhabitants of the region of Mylopotamos rich in animal fats, they do not suffer cardiovascular disease. And besides, they love cheese!
What could be so special?
The remote village of Zoniana and Anoia located high in the mountains in the North of Crete.
The population there remains the same: few people come there for permanent residence, and few leaves, but a lot of centenarians.
Heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases here are rare, and this despite the fact that the local eat a lot of lamb and his Cretan cheese.
By the way, in these villages, a yearly cheese festival.
Usually such a diet straight will lead to health problems, because these foods contain large amounts of saturated fats that increase cholesterol in the blood, and high levels of low-density lipoproteins [LDL — protein compounds that carry cholesterol from the liver to the tissues] increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
However, the residents of these villages do not.
However, they found type II diabetes as in the General population of Greece, but they do not suffer from the usual consequences, such as diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease).
What is so special in their genes?
This question has set itself the scientists from the Sanger Institute, a British genomic research center based charitable Foundation the Wellcome Trust: is there something in the genetic material of these people that protect their heart muscle from diseases?
The results of their study, published in the online edition of Nature Communications, say that.
these people identified a new type of gene that has a positive impact on the heart.
Its essence is that it lowers levels of “bad” natural fats and “bad” cholesterol and is actually unique to the population of the two mountain villages.
As reported by scientists from the Institute of Sanger, of the many thousands of people in other European countries undergoing the process of sequencing (decryption) of the genome, with the same kind of there was only one person in Italy.
How did they find out?
To solve this mystery, scientists have deciphered the genome of 250 of the inhabitants of these villages.
This means that they had taken blood samples from them taken DNA and conducted a detailed analysis of its structure — a long chain of three billion base pairs that comprise the human genome.
What does this mean for us?
This discovery for us all does not mean, unfortunately, that we can eat as many cheese and other animal fats — quite the contrary, we don’t have this variant gene, as in the Cretan longevity.
However, scientists say that this discovery may help them understand what the gene variants, or alleles, play a role in causing vascular diseases.
And this, in turn, may help explain why some people suffer from cardiovascular disease, while others do not.
In this study, the researchers found a gene variant that was previously completely unknown, but they do not know why the inhabitants of these two isolated populations present.
Is it connected with the way of life of the inhabitants Zoniana and Anoii, with the environment, or is it just passed down from generation to generation?
Hence, the study of isolated populations benefit?
Great. Other studies of isolated populations, for example, the Amish in the United States or the Inuit living in the North of Greenland and the inhabitants of the Islands of Orkney in Scotland, also help us to understand how members of these communities rarely get sick and live long.