What is the Truth about Life Expectancy?


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by Warren Matthews of Xtend-Life

I am sure that from time to time you read in the media about how the average human life expectancy in the western world is steadily increasing thanks largely to the intervention of modern miracle drugs and other techniques. But is this really true? Are people living longer, or are the statistics being distorted?

Life expectancy is now somewhere around the late seventies for most western countries whereas a hundred years ago it used to be around fifty. That’s an impressive improvement! But is it really, and does it tend to lull people into a false sense of security?

I believe the answer is no and yes. No, it’s not an impressive improvement, and yes it does lull people into a false sense of security! Now, before you start thinking I have gone ‘loco’ let me tell you why it is not an impressive improvement.

It’s all to do with statistics…

I must first state that I am not suggesting that the published statistics are in any way tampered with or inaccurate. The problem is that the presentation which is used is somewhat skewed and thus distorts the real results. Maybe they are prepared by politicians!

These are the facts in a nutshell.

Average life expectancies are based on, as you would expect…averages! When a new born child comes into the world they become part of the overall statistics and remain there during life and after death. Changes in infant mortality rates can have a significant impact on overall average life expectancies. I’ll try to demonstrate this by giving you a simple mathematical example:

For this hypothetical example let’s use a base of 100 people. Let’s say for the first part of this example that these 100 people lived about 100 years ago and the following table illustrates how long each of them lived.

• 30 lived one year or less • 12 lived to age 50 • 21 lived to age 60 • 24 lived to age 80 • 13 lived to age 90

The above figures amount to 4,980 years of ‘life’ which is equivalent to an average life expectancy of 49.8 years. Now, let’s have a look at a possible result 100 years later when the infant mortality rate is much lower and could well be as the following table. Note: The table reflects the increased number of people living beyond one year and spread evenly throughout the other age groups.

• 1 lives one year or less. • 19 live to age 50 • 28 live to age 60 • 31 live to age 80 • 21 live to age 90

We now have a total of 7,000 years of ‘life’ which raises the average life expectancy to 70 years. In other words an improvement of 40%….that is impressive! But it is not really impressive because the only thing that has changed is the infant mortality rate.

Whereas that is good it has nothing to do with increasing average life spans. The increase in average life expectancy is due primarily to a massive reduction in infant mortality rates…

The average is also pushed up by significant reductions in deaths from tuberculosis, whooping cough and a host of other ‘common’ fatal diseases which have largely been eliminated during the last 100 years. The point that I am trying to make however is that people are not living any longer, they are just less likely to die as infants or from disease when they are young and that is what pushes the average life expectancy higher.

In fact if you go far enough back in history you will find that the human life span has remained about the same, after you take out deaths through violence, famine and disease. Scientific evidence does suggest that the maximum human life span is 120 years and this longevity can be achieved naturally. It also appears to be a number which has applied to the human race for thousands of years.

Possibly some time in the future scientists may be able to extend that by the manipulation of genes and DNA etc, but for now, don’t count on it. Instead work on how you can achieve the 120 year figure!

We have all heard stories about long lived races, ranging from people in some isolated parts of Russia, the Hunza’s in the Himalayas, certain Indian tribes in Ecuador and more lately the Okinawans in the outlying islands of Japan. Active and healthy people in excess of 100 years of age are not uncommon in these communities. People who are 70 and 80 are not considered to be old, and most of them carry on working in the fields until they eventually die.

They are generally free of disease, physically and sexually active into very old age with all their mental faculties intact.

These people do actually die of old age, whereas death by old age is a rare occurrence in western society. In fact I understand that recently in the US that death by old age has been removed as a cause!

This is exciting stuff…

Not the removable old age being a cause of death but the fact that it is so rare. Just imagine this. If these folks in those communities that I referred to can enjoy much longer lives than what is normal in our society, then what can we do IF we apply the best knowledge available to us which they do not have?

Admittedly these people have the benefit of living largely stress free lives and generally removed from environmental pollution. (They also have the benefit of NOT being exposed to pharmaceutical drugs or developing a dependency on them.) Nonetheless it is possible for all of us living in a modern society to compensate for this by applying the knowledge that is available to keep us healthy and live long, active and pain free lives.

It all boils down to the effort and resources that each one of us is prepared to devote in ensuring that we remain healthy and active until we reach the end of our lives even when that is well over a hundred years.

I think Dr Michael Colgan PhD of the Colgan Institute sums it up very nicely when he says “Your health at 80 is a profit or loss on the investment you make in health today”. Perhaps he could adjust that to read 100?

So, what is the point I am tying to make?

I guess the easiest way to sum up what I am trying to convey is that the wide spread ‘attitude to health’ keeps the bulk of the population unhealthy and will ultimately lead to the economic collapse of the ‘health system’ as we know it today. What is this ‘attitude to health’? Very simply, it is the impression given largely by the media that medical research is advancing so well that it is only a question of time before you can replace parts of your body or take a drug to fix what ails you.

Although it can be convincing when viewing these exciting developments on your television screen it is generally nonsense. Many of these ‘news items’ are VNR’s which is a term for Video New Releases. Most of them are released to the media by the PR companies on behalf of the Corporates they represent and the media ‘gobbles’ them up as they make good ‘news’ items.

The psychological flow on effect is subtle but cumulative and I believe breeds laziness towards personal health responsibility as it promises the prospect of a ‘quick fix’ solution for almost any health problem! If only it were really that simple and you could abdicate your personal health responsibility to others!

Add to this the amount of misinformation that is circulated, combined with the way society relates to aging and you have all the ingredients present for a good unhealthy ‘health attitude’. It is also critical to realize that as you age that you need to totally discard what society expects you to be. In other words don’t be taken in by “you are not as young as you used to be so you can’t do what you used to do”, or, “I have to take it easy because I don’t have the energy that I used to”.

Just remember this old saying which I am sure you know… “USE IT OR YOU WILL LOSE IT”. As you get older the need for correct nutrition and in particular exercise becomes even more important than when you are younger.

As a parting thought…

Getting older is great if you are healthy and feel good. The benefits are unlimited. The first 50 years is the learning period in which to set your self up to enjoy the next 50 years. No matter what your current age or your current health it is never to late too start working on yourself to improve your health and significantly slow down the degeneration of your body.

Your objective should be one of those rare people who eventually die of old age. (Most people die of avoidable degenerative diseases). You should aim to never see the inside of a hospital (unless visiting or after being run over by a bus!), and if you are on pharmaceutical drugs you should make a concerted effort to get off them.

This I admit is not easy but is generally possible. You will probably need help from a really competent complementary physician. Note: I said ‘complementary’ not ‘alternative’. If you are on pharmaceutical drugs and wish to phase them out you need the input of a competent physician who is well trained in both disciplines.

Good health is the result of a combination of many things, good nutrition, sensible supplementation, exercise, and attitude. It is not accidental. Also avoiding environmental pollutants which includes junk and processed foods including excess grain based foods. Oh, and don’t forget, only drink quality water NOT tap water.

There is exciting research going on in the field of supplementation which will help you to achieve your health objectives (in conjunction with other good lifestyle choices) and I am pleased to say that we will be amongst the first in the world to apply some of that research in practical ways. I will give you more info about this as time goes on.

About the author

Warren Matthews of Xtend-Life

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One Response to “What is the Truth about Life Expectancy?”

  1. » What is the Truth about Life Expectancy? - Health care by somecare.com Says:

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