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A tiny Greek island with exceptionally long-lived people


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Living to 100 is common on Ikaria, and one in three inhabitants lives past the age of 90.

Considered a world “blue-zone”—a designation for places of exceptional longevity.

A longitudinal survey on over 1,400 inhabitants seeks to find the reasons behind extraordinary lifespan.

Physical activity, diet, avoiding smoking, and embracing mid-day naps, seem to power the famed Ikariot longevity.

People in the north of the island live significantly longer than those to the south.

"This appears to be tied to the excess in gamma rays in the north," - Christodoulos Stefanadis, lead researcher.

The north is predominated by granite rocks, which contain uranium and emit very low doses of gamma radiation.

This theory is controversial because high-energy radiation is linked to cancer at low doses.

Perhaps it’s diet, perhaps genetics, perhaps some completely unknown factor, or maybe it’s a combination of all of them.

Study by the NKUA and Harokopio University published in Nutrients.

Besides geology, scientists believe multifactorial hormesis contributed to longevity benefits

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Professor of Cardiology at the University of Athens


Public research university in Athens


Public, self-governed research university


Open access journal delivering informaton in the field of Human and Clinical Nutrition.