I find it pretty interesting when people talk about how our life expectancy has risen so dramatically in the past 100 years, and how this is attributed to modern medicine and all of the technological advances we’ve made. I came upon an interesting article about this topic and it definitely gives a different perspective.
The most interesting aspect for me was that the rise in life expectancy actually is directly related to the fact that humans are not dying at childbirth at the rate they were 100 years ago. This is definitely the result of medical advances and thankfully so, but when this data is taken into account it skews the numbers to make it appear that we’re actually living longer. The author makes this point:
“The truth is, life expectancy is NOT a recorded number of the age people died, but rather an average of all deaths, with a very high number of infant deaths. High infant mortality rates before 1900 skewed the numbers. The high infant mortality rate before the 1900s was due to unclean conditions and poor medical care. Subsequently, life expectancy numbers before the year 1900 gets easily knocked down to a low life number.”
In fact the human lifespan (which is different from life expectancy) has been about the same for thousands of years!
What I found even more remarkable was what people were dying from 100 years ago vs. what we’re dying from today. As the author points out:
“The leading cause of death before 1900 was one of four things: infancy death, death from childbirth, death from infections, & death from accidents. (source) Today, the leading causes of death are heart disease & cancer. (source) Clearly, there’s something we need to change.”
One of the reasons the causes of death have changed so dramatically is the fact that our diet has dramatically shifted away from real food.
Let’s face it, our ancestors weren’t eating Cheetos.
They were eating real food that they grew and made themselves and they were much more active than the majority of our generation. As we’ve found, diet and lifestyle continue to have a dramatic impact on our overall health.
I hope you enjoy the article, and please let me know your thoughts on this very interesting topic!
Michael Lenz RPh, is a partner in Fallon Wellness Pharmacy of Saratoga. He has over 15 years experience in custom compounding. Michael has received extensive training in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and Adrenal Fatigue. He is an advocate for healthy eating and proper nutritional supplementation, and speaks frequently on the subjects of hormone health, nutrition and wellness. Michael is currently enrolled in the Institute For Functional Medicine’s Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner Program. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife and 4 children.