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Acciaroli, a small village of the Campania region divided between the Cilento park and its beautiful coastline, is the place where the elixir of life has been found!  This is confirmed from a study conducted in conjunction between the University La Sapienza in Rome and the School of Medicine in San Diego, California:

“A remote Italian village could keep the secrets of longevity”

This stands out clearly on the ‘homepage of the University of California, the San Diego School of Medicine who is conducting a study on 300 centenarians in Cilento and particularly on over one hundred of them living in this small village. For the results it will take about six months.

“The objective is a study of the long life term of this group of three hundred people analyzing the genetics and lifestyle behaviors, such as their diet and movement. The results of this study on longevity may be applied in San Diego to patients or residents in the rest of the world”

reports Alan Maisel, head of the UC San Diego School of Medicine and professor in the cardiovascular department. The special interest lies in the particular feature of this village in Cilento: 30 centenarians for every one hundred thousand inhabitants, more than double than anywhere else. The long life of the inhabitants surpasses the national average even by eight years, with the women who are now living, on an average of 92 years (throughout Italy the average is 84) and men 85 years (national average is 79). The average life expectancy of an American life is 78 years, but only 0.02 of citizens reaches a hundred years.

Apparently the secret of Acciaroli is determined by several factors; first of all a very low rate of heart disease and Alzheimer’s. According to the researchers a contributing factor is the Mediterranean diet, with a strong use of rosemary and walking activity. Here the locals walk for kilometers every day, due to the conformation of the village, also making trips on foot to the nearby hills. But in addition to the living habits genetics is also under examination. In most Cilento centenarians  there is a FoXo3 variant, a gene associated with longevity, studied by a geriatrician in Boston, Thomas Perle, who has found that these subjects also have a lower frequency of diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and Parkinson.
In short, genetics , climate and, above all, the Mediterranean diet which means that Italy is home of longevity!

Gerardo Soglia