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How Can We Live Longer Essay, Research Paper



I. Why do We Age

A. Theories of Aging

II. What is Longevity

A. Life Span and Life Expectancy

III. What determines Longevity

III. Why Don?t Most Americans Live Past the Average Life


IV. Leading Causes Of Death (table)

V. What Do We Do to Live Longer



What is the fear of most humans? The fear is aging and death. In

this paper you will find out a lot about aging. You will learn what

longevity is, what determines it, the average length of life and how you

can exceed it. You will find it amazing that doing simple things every day

will help you to feel better an live longer.

Why Do We Age?

From the time we are born we start to die. This is life. No one

knows how long they are going to live, but we can try to do all that we can

to live longer. Aging is not controlled by any one. Aging is a genetic

process. We get so old until our bodies breakdown. What causes the

breakdown, the decline of energy, The inability of the body to function.

There is nothing to fully explain why we age, but their are some theories

the will help explain what happens.

Theories of Aging

The Genetic Theory states that cells contain ?aging? genes that

tells the exact number of times the cell can duplicate itself, for humans that

about 110 to 120 years. Another theory suggest the cells DNA somehow

becomes defective after a certain point and synthesizes defective protein.

The defect disables normal cell functioning, causing the cell to deteriorate-

fall apart.

The Immune System Malfunctions is a theory of aging involving the

immune system. It says that the body begin to miscalculate in

synthesizing proteins and make proteins that the immune system cannot

recognize. The immune system then would attack them as it would any

foreign substance, destroying the cells and impairing the body functions.

Some other Theories are much more complicated. the programmed

theories are:

Programmed Senescence. Aging is the result of the sequential switching

on and off of certain genes, with senescence being defined as time when

age- associated deficits are manifested.

Endoctrine Theory. Biological clocks act through hormones to control the

pace of aging.

Immunological Theory. A programmed decline in immune system

functions leads to an increased disadvantage to infectious disease and as a

result is aging and death.

Error Theories include:

Wear and Tear. Cells and tissue have vital part that wear out.

Rate of Living. The greater an organism?s rate of oxygen basic metabolism,

the shorter the life span.

Cross linking. An accumulation of crossed linked proteins damage cells

and tissues, slowing down bodily process.

Free Radicals. Accumulated damage caused by oxygen radicals causes

cells and eventually organs to stop functioning.

Error Catastrophe. Damage to mechanisms that synthesize proteins

results in faulty protein which accumulate to a level that causes

catastrophic damage to cells and organs.

Somatic Mutation. Genetic occur and accumulate with increasing age,

causing cells to fall apart and stop working.

Having read the list of theories you could gain an underrating of

what happens through the different processes . Like Dr. Hayfick say,

?Instead of asking why do we age? we should be asking why do we live

as long as we do.?

What is Longevity?

Longevity is a term , taken from infoplease encyclopedia, denoting

the length or duration of the life of an animal or plant, often used to

indicate an unusually long life.

Life Span and Life Expectancy

How long can we live? Gerontologists always mentions two kinds

of life spans, Maximum Life Span and Average Life Span. Most scientist

declare that our maximum life span is 120 years. The average life span of a

human is the average age that is reached by members of the population.

Life Expectancy is the number of years a person or individual can expect to

live, this is based upon average life spans.

Average life span and life expectancy has grown dramatically in

this century. In 1900 the average life span was 47years now 1990 it

increased to 75 years. This advancement is mainly because of medical

improvements and sanitation improvements.

On the other hand maximum human life span seem to be a problem.

There is no evidence that this has changed for thousands of years despite

the fabled fountains of youth and biblical tales of people living to be 500

years. Life expectancy has moved from legend to laboratory.

Gerontologist explore the genes , cells, and organs envolving aging. they

are tring to uncover more secrets of longevity.

What Determines Longevity?

There are certain factors that determine how long we can live.

Sometimes these factors can have a fairly large impact on us.

The first is genectics. We cannot change the genectic hand we are

dealtin life. Some of us are inherently predisposed to various degenerative

diseases and cancers. Others are given a very long life span, if they don?t

mess it up. Those with a bad genectic background can change their

outcome through appropriate vigilance and behaviors. ?Collated Damge?

should be avoided. Meaning if you have lung cancer, refrain from


The second would have to do with oxidation damage. The chemical

process of oxidation is involved in many of the changes of aging, including

heart disease, the promotions of many cancers, and Alzhimer?s disease.

Oxidation is increased with exposure to the sun, radiation (including

x-rays, ultra violent light, and cosmic radiation) and various chemicals.

The process is slowed down by the body?s anti-oxidant system which

relies on a number of different vitamins, minerals, and other compounds

found in foods.

The third is Trama. Physical and chemical damage can shorten our

life span, by a little bit at a time or in whole chunks. Physical trama

includes sun damage and that caused by improper exercise or being

overweight. Chemical trama can be from pollution with tobacco or excess

alcohol, many physical and chemical tramas are those we put upon


Last but not least our emotional status plays an important role.

People who are happy tend to live longer. Studies have shown that happy

people have less heart disease and fewer cancers. happily married people

live longer than single people. Do what you can to make your self happy.

Develop hobbies, make new friends, get a dog.

Why Don?t Most Humans Live Past the Average Life Expectancy?

Why do you think people don?t live to become 100 or 120? Most

people don?t live that long because of what they do. Most people don?t get

to see age 75. It?s what you do and don?t do that makes you live longer.

most people say that happy people live longer. Is this true? Think about

it, what are happy people doing? They are mostly smiling and they are

occupied doing something.

Some causes of death before life expectancy are stress, anxiety, heart

attacks, cancer, physical injurices, and physical and substance abuse.

All of these I mentioned are bad health Conditions. Stress is bad on

the body especially for older people. Stress can trigger heart attacks and

strokes. All kinds of cancer can be developed in different ways and can

harm you just as bad as anything else would. To much sunlight and

raidiation is bad for the skin. Smoking hurt the body physicaly and


Elderly people should abstain from strenuous activities or work that

includes heavy lifting and excessive pain. The reason for this being is that

elderly people take longer to heal when injured. Sometime physical

injuries could lead to death.

To be on the safe side you should avoid the leading causes of death.

Heart disease, cancers, tobacco, strokes, and other cerebrovascular

diseases, alcohol, Alzhimer?s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary

disease, and diabetes. Some of these diseases we have no control over.

Some humans are born with these diseases. Just don?t put yourself in an

early grave, help your self fight these diseases and live a long properous


What Do We Do to Live Longer?

For the minute we all been waiting for, what do we do to live

longer? To live longer or to prolong our life span we should balance our

activities with the proper amount of rest. Exercising on a daily basis may

actually add years to your life span. For elderly people, exercisin may

increase your muscular strenght and speed.

Exercising reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. It lowers

the risk of cancer. It lowers the risk of cancer. It builds bone density, so

fractures would not easily happen. when exercising you can maintain a

normal body wieght. It alsoreduces the risk of infections by incresing the

circulationof the immune cells. Exercising also increases memory.

Happiness is one of the best things for your mental and physical

state. People are attracted to someone who has a sense of humor. You also

get a workout while laughing. You know when you laugh until you

stomach hurts, you are working your abdominal muscles. If possible try to

stay happy.

Maintain a proper diet. This does not mean no salt, a little piece of

meat and a lot of vegatables. This means don?t eat a lot of one thing but a

little of everything. Limit yourself to how much you are eating.

Remember , try to maintain a normal body weight.


A book with one author

Josephson, M. (1959). Edison: a biography. New York: McGraw-Hill Book.

A book with two or more authors

Cole, B. & Gealt, A. (1989). Art of the western world: from ancient Greece to post-modernism. New York:

Summit Books.

A book with an editor

Hersch, Jr., E.D. (Ed.) (1991). What your first grader needs to know: fundamentals of a good first-grade

education. New York: Doubleday.

A translation of a book

Rilke, R.M. (1939). Duino elegies. (J.B. Leishman and S. Spender, trans.) New York: W.W. Norton.

An anonymous book

The Chicago manual of style: fourteenth edition. (1993). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

A later edition of a book

Scully, V. (1988). American architecture and urbanism (new revised edition). New York: Henry Holt.

A work in more than one volume

Magill, F.N., ed. (1961). Masterpieces of world philosophy in summary form (Vols. 1-2). New York: Salem Press.

A signed article in a journal

McCartney, K. (1984). The effect of a quality day care environment upon children?s language development.

Developmental Psychology, 20, pp. 244-60.

A signed article in a monthly magazine

Beardsley, T. (1994). For whom the bell curve really tolls. Scientific American, January 1995, Volume 272, Number

1, pp. 14-17.

A signed article in a daily newspaper

Moore, M. (1994, December 27). Speculation irks Flores. Journal American, Section D, p. 1.

An unsigned article

What Vietnam did to us. (1981, December 14). Newsweek, pp. 46-97.

A film or videotape

Hand, D. (Supervising Director) and Disney, W. (Producer). (1937). Snow White and the seven dwarfs.

[Videotape]. Burbank, CA: The Walt Disney Company.

Computer software

Microsoft Works for Windows 95 (1995). [Computer program]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft.

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