Oh, how I hate it when mis-truths, half-truths and outright deceptions are used by some to try to promote their agendas! And, oh, how I love busting them. Today, I went to a site I usually like, and found it promoting:
LONG LIST OF VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN CENTENARIANS – LONGEVITY DIET RESEARCH – PAGE 1 OF 80 – 100+ YEARS OLD
The subtitle on the page, “LISTING OF DOMINANCE OF VEGETARIAN & VEGAN CENTENARIANS”, would lead you to believe that they were going to show you 80 pages of centenarians, and show that vegans and vegetarians (Vs) dominated the list.
Wow! I should check this out. This could really validate Plant Positive’s thesis. So, I’m reading down the list, and there are absolutely NO non-Vs. … That’s interesting!
So, altogether on the first page, there’s 15 short bio’s: 13 vegetarians and 2 vegans. I get to the end and look for the link to the purported other 79 pages, and — it is nowhere to be found! So I googled “longevity diet research” and turned up 17 instances of this very same page — verbatim, word for word, the same info — but no links to other 79 pages. Aha, for the ones with no source attribution, this is a clear example of plagiarism in action. But for all of them, it’s an example of confirmation bias … so stuck in their damned preconceptions that they don’t even take 5 seconds to look for the link to the supposed other pages before they pass along some BS garbage. And that’s the generous interpretation. The more critical interpretation would be that these vegan/vegetarian authors knew that the other 79 pages didn’t exist and, for them, dishonesty in the service of their agenda is not unconscionable.
I could leave this right here and say no more, but it brings up an interesting point. What does the centenarian research (if any) say about Vs?
Actual Centenarian Research
Boston University School of Medicine is currently enrolling for a centenarian study.
There’s an ongoing genetic sequencing competition, again seeking enrollees.
The Boston University page also has a summary of research on centenarians, but there’s no mention of Vs; it’s more about genes. Apparently, it’s not splashing anyone in the face that Vs live longer. This is followed by
“Key Peer-Reviewed Publications (this list includes articles covering human longevity and “anti-aging”). From list of ~100 articles.”
Looking through the entire list, I find no menti0n of the V-words, or even the word diet. What’s wrong with these scientists? Don’t they know that plant-based diets are what produce superior longevity!! Geez!! Are they idiots!! Isa gonna go to PubMed and do the search myself! — If you want something done right, DIY!
What Does PubMed Have on Centenarian Vs?
Googling “pubmed centenarian vegetarian”, I get only 4 hits with all three words. The rest of the hits have one of the three words crossed out.
- This is on WebMD. Apparently the Okinawan’s (known for longevity) are NOT vegetarian. Interesting article – check it out. The Okinawan evidence favors the omnivores:
- “1. Nutrient intakes in 94 Japanese centenarians investigated between 1972 and 1973 showed a higher proportion of animal protein to total proteins than in contemporary average Japanese. “
- “2. High intakes of milk and fats and oils had favorable effects on 10-year (1976-1986) survivorship in 422 urban residents aged 69-71. The survivors revealed a longitudinal increase in intakes of animal foods such as eggs, milk, fish and meat over the 10 years.”
- This is from J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Jan;55(1):95-101. It says longevity was associated w a “more frequent protein intake” and ” not associated with appetite, vegetable or seaweed intake”
- The other two hits were to the same journal article in Immunity & Ageing 2012. This is a review article; just what we want. The conclusion states: “Although it seems unlikely that there is a particular dietary pattern that promotes exceptional longevity, understanding the heterogeneity in dietary patterns and nutritional status of centenarians may provide a wealth of information relevant to human ageing.”
The review (#3 above) has links to about 20 studies on longevity and diet. I don’t want to go through them right now, so for the moment, I will accept the author’s conclusion that a particular diet is unlikely to get you to 100.
Meanwhile, I want to present one more related piece of information I uncovered today:
UN Population Studies
These are charts I created from the 2012 UN population stats by age groups and geographical area.
I’ve sorted this in decreasing order by percent centenarian for each area. The blue is the Centenarian rate per million; the red is actual count of centenarian in thousands. So, worldwide, there were 292,000 centenarians back in Jul 2010, and North America, with 5% of the world population accounted for 22% of the world’s centenarians. I was actually greatly surprised to see that in North America, despite our much disparaged “Standard American Diet” (SAD), North America has the highest rate of centenarians in the world!!
Not saying our SAD should take the credit — I’d guess that’s what the advantage of wealth and freedom from the diseases of poverty will buy you. And it also shows that when you match diseases of affluence vs diseases of poverty, the negative effects of poverty trump that of affluence.
Here it is broken down by country:
I made this chart to show you a few interesting points. Firstly, notice that the red bars tell you how many actually centenarians there are in the country; when the red bar is higher, the result has greater significance. And look! There’s that damned French Paradox again!
- Japan – fish!!
- France – ah, the home of the magnificent, buttery Béarnaise sauce
- Italy – the home of the Mediterranean diet
- UK – deep fried fish and chips
- USA – Burgers n fries
I put this up mostly facetiously. Anyone who’s read anything here on my blog knows this chart says absolutely nothing about the actual diets of the actual centenarians. But, it certainly is not a demographical indictment of animal products.
You can take that “Long List of Vegan and Vegetarian Centenarians” and shove it where the sun don’t shine.