Is Longevity Genetic? Are Genes Really Influential? Here's What 16th Century Doctor Wrote
At this point in modern science, longevity is influenced by combination of genetics, lifestyle, and environment.
Interestingly, this 2021 research which examined centenarians living in Blue Zones (regions in the world with unusually high number of people above the age 100) has shown a limited association of genetic markers with the longevity of the Blue Zone population.
This fascinated me because there are family members of mine who insist that they are getting glaucoma, teeth infection, obese, etc. because of "their DNA."
Their siblings & parents have had them, so it makes sense for them to inherit the sickness and thus longevity is not what they can achieve.
Are they right?
Well, I had to dig up past literature on holistic health, and this particular doctor captured the essence of seeing our health in terms of what we've inherited vs. acquired.
The book is called 《醫學正傳》 (Orthodox Transmission of Medicine) written in 1515 CE by this doctor (I was unable to find information about him in English, so if anyone has further insight on him, please share with us!).
Translation of the text
Lifespan of each human
Is destined and allotted by cosmic providence.
The providence refers to
The primal energy given by cosmos, the Earth, and parents.
Father acts on behalf of cosmos.
Mother acts on behalf of the Earth.
In eastern philosophy, the symbolism of "heavenly father" and "mother nature" is the actual energetics of the universe.
This means we inherit the "genetic" material of cosmos and the Earth (i.e. primal energy) since we are made from the same energy that created the universe.
The Essence of father and blood of mother
Can be prosperous or weak and are not the same for all,
Hence human lifespan is different individually.
When it comes to conception of a human being, Essence is an important substance for men while blood is for women according to Oriental Holistic Medicine (OHM).
For women it is straightforward since a growing baby in the womb receives nourishment via blood circulation in placenta that transports oxygen and nutrients.
Brief Introduction to Essence
Essence is a vital substance that governs the healthy growth and development of human beings
(i.e. showing strong Essence).
It is a term particularly used to describe the reproductive stamina (i.e. fertility) of males.
Essence also includes the the transmitter of genetic information to the embryo:
On the topic of limited association of genes to longevity, a study from 2021 identifies non-DNA mechanism involved in transmitting “paternal experience” to offspring via information stored in sperm proteins.
Genes are not the only mechanism through which information is passed down, so will the notion of DNA being the sole player in hereditary influence become obsolete?
Here comes the rest of the translation:
Newborns who received prosperous energy from their parents
Are given above average lifespan
Newborns who received weak energy from their parents,
If they are able to be protected and nourished,
Are merely given a below average lifespan;
If not, most of them die young
If external wind, cold, heat, and dampness invade
Or starvation, overeating, or overworking damage internally,
How can one fully live out the primal energy that was bestowed?
I am uncertain whether I received strong energy from my parents. How about y'all?
But ultimately we shouldn't dwell on it too much.
After all, no matter how sublime the universal force that inspired my creation, if I consistently put myself in an extreme weather condition, or if I recklessly eat (or starve) while stressfully churning out this post, I wouldn’t be able to tap into my full energetic potential.
If I happened to have received poor energy, then educating myself and sharing my passion for longevity with y'all will put me in a better position.
Regardless, I'm gonna be cultivating my health because at the end of the day, I hope for my children to be born with a thriving energy. Ultimately that's what it's all about.
Keep walking the path,
eternal student of life