Effects of Several Environmental Factors on Longevity and Health of the Human Population of Zhongxiang, Hubei, China

Increasing human health and longevity is of global interest. Environmental, genetic, and stochastic factors all affect longevity; among these factors, environment is extremely important. To examine the relationship between environment and longevity, the authors assessed the environment in Zhongxiang, China, where inhabitants commonly have long life spans. Air was analysed for O-, SO2, and inhalable particles; drinking water and rice were analysed for macro and micro-elements. Air quality was detected to be grade I, with high O- and low SO2 and inhalable particle concentrations. Apart from Fe, Mn, and F, all tested elements and pH were within national standards and World Health Organisation guidelines. The percentage of long-lived people was closely related to the macro- and micro-elements in their staple food, rice. Elements in rice were classified in 3 categories according to their effect on longevity: Sr, Ca, Al, Mo, and Se (positively correlated with longevity); Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, P, Mg, and K (weak effect on local longevity); and Cu and Ba (negative effect on longevity).

Authors: Lv, Jinmei; Wang, Wuyi; Krafft, Thomas; Li, Yonghua; Zhang, Fengying; Yuan, Fuqing ;Full Source: Biological Trace Element Research [online computer file] 2011, 143(2), 702-716 (Eng) ;