Could personality characteristics unlock the fountain of youth?
SAN DIEGO, February 23, 2021– Defying age is on many of our minds these days, with so much emphasis on staying young, and new products and procedures readily available, but what about personality characteristics? How does one’s personality play a role in anti-aging?
The fountain of youth
Immortality has been a much sought after topic, which popularized everything from religion to motion pictures.
Some early cultures paid homage to their Gods and would enshrine those who died in elaborate pyramids, and/or provided special gifts of gold and other valuables as payment for entry through the gates of the hereafter.
Longevity, therefore, is the unanswered question to human existence
How long one lives, plans for retirement, estate plan and taking care of health and well-being needs are pre-determined best-guesses.
Actuaries from the insurance industry to those in legal and medical/health fields research common denominators for health, age and illness to create research-based formulas upon which to base a variety of major life decisions and planning, which could ultimately impact the quality of health care which might be received at any point in time.
Are we merely a predictable statistic, or are we unique individuals with a personal journey, and will our society permit the fulfillment of it.
Personality characteristics and anti-aging
In 2017, a research study of Cilento southern Italy was conducted with a focus on those aged 90 to 101.
Dr. Dilip Jeste, who was Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of California School of Medicine was determined to seek out personality characteristics which lead to longevity versus genetics, as the basis for this study.
According to Dr. Jeste, “The main themes that emerged from our study of this rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion and the land.” published in webmd.
The Huffington Post reported a 2014 study of high achieving adults; and, made reference to a separate study from 1993 which indicated that young children could similarly demonstrate personality characteristics which would trend towards longevity.
“People who are highly conscientious tend to both prompt with completion of tasks and are also sticklers for the rules,” professor and author Art Markman conveyed to Huffington Post.
Markman goes on to convey that he believed conscientious people are reliable, attentive, reliable, and prefers an orderly way of life.
Who would want to believe that being neurotic could play a positive role in longevity!
Dr. Nicholas Turiano, West Virginia University, studied approximately 1,000 persons who were middle-aged and who underwent regular health checks.
From a BBC article, Turiano believed, therefore, that conscientiousness combined with higher neuroticism produced less inflammation in the human body–therefore, were indicators of potentially higher longevity.
It seems to appear that conscientious neurotics may engage in healthier habits in a more proactive, consistent way
In 2021, a research team from the University of Limerick, Ireland recognized the importance of personality traits and long-term health, resulting in longevity.
To take this to a new level, the research team explored human immune system biomarkers and correlated them to personality characteristics.
What was found was a surprising correlation between conscientiousness was paired with lower levels of the biological marker interleukin-6.
According to ACROBiosystems,”Interleukin 6…is a multifunctional cytokine that regulates immune responses, hematopoiesis, acute phase responses, and inflammatory reactions. It is secreted by T cells, macrophages, monocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, et.al. to stimulate immune response to trauma, especially burns or other tissue damage leading to inflammation…IL-6 is relevant to many disease processes such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, prostate cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.”
Not only could this help explain why some get certain diseases and others do not, it can also help explain biological resilience to some degree, and therefore psychological resilience.
Or, is it a matter of possessing positivity which would resultantly reduce Il-6 in the human body creating greater health.
What is exciting to garner from a variety of research studies is that the more we learn the more proactive we may become in helping to advance our longevity.
Understanding both the personality characteristic and biological biomarkers present in those who live to advanced ages, a new frontier of healthy aging could result in ground-breaking innovations which would benefit us, and lead to ever-increasing health and quality of life.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
(Main image: Ida Keelingin 2019 at 104 screenshot via YouTube