The story appears on

Page A4

September 18, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

Mother lode: Chinese key to long life

FUDAN University researchers have found a genome, only passed down from mothers, that is associated with longevity in Chinese people.

The research findings, which may be applied to genetic transplants in the future, have been published by the international science journal PloS One and Nature China magazine.

Researchers went to Rugao, a city in eastern China's Jiangsu Province renowned for its longevity, with more than 200 centenarian residents.

They studied the genes of 463 people aged above 95, 926 people aged 60 to 69 and 463 people aged 40 to 49.

After comparing their genes, researchers found a significant increasing trend of mitochondrial haplogroups D4 and a significant decreasing trend of haplogroups N9 and M9 between middle-aged people and those over 95.

The mitochondrial is a membrane-enclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells, which supplies energy and is described as a "cellular power plant."

About 21.7 percent of people aged over 95 in Rugao have the D4 haplogroups, 16.4 percent are in elderly people and 15.8 percent in the middle-aged group, which is a huge difference in the genetic field, researchers said.

It has been reported that haplogroups D4 is enriched in Japanese centenarians.

This is the first time this type of genome has been found to be enriched in Chinese centenarians, which may help to reveal the significance of the genome in Asian's overall longevity, according to researchers.

"Longevity is a multi-factorial trait with about 25 percent from genetic contribution," said Wang Xiaofeng, a major researcher of the project.

"Life habits, inner mood and the outside environment all contribute to it."

Researchers also found that about 40 percent of people aged over 95 have the habit of eating red dates and 30 percent always eat honey.

The research was started in 2007 and scientists said that they would continue to study individuals for 20 years to reveal more about longevity among Chinese.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend