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Oldest Woman Sharp As a Tack
If munching on pickled herring is at all a contributing factor in living healthier, then pass the little fishies this way!
Hey, it may not be that far fetched. After all, scientists say a Dutch woman who was the oldest woman in the world when she died at age 115 was sharp as a tack right up until the end, often joking that the food was her secret to staying quick as a whip.
Doctors say Henrikje van Andel-Schipper’s wisecracks were warranted: An examination of her brain after death showed few signs of diseases that are naturally associated with a drop in mental capabilities in old age. It was a surprise and a first for scientists who say it is common for a brain over the age of 100 years to see some complications, including hardening of arteries and build up of protein that is often linked to Alzheimer's disease.
But Van Andel was definitely not your average centenarian. At age 82, she called the University of Groningen to donate her body to science. And at 111 she called again—just to remind them she was still kicking and to check that they were still interested. That’s about the time scientists began to interview her and when they discovered she was functioning better than the average 60- to 75-year-old.
The news about Van Andel comes at a time when the United States has seen a bump in the national life expectancy rate. Health officials said earlier this week that for the first time it has exceeded 78 years of age. Longevity, however, was not uncommon for Van Andel’s family; her siblings all lived past 70, and her mother died when she was 100.
What would you do with your life if you lived to 100? [MSNBC]