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Secrets to oldest living family’s longevity: genetics, quality of life and diet play role in Sardinian family’s long life

| | August 28, 2012

Consolata Melis, whose family has been officially declared the longest-living family in the world, celebrates her 105th birthday today, and it’s a party in her small remote hill town on the island of Sardinia.

Four of Melis’ eight siblings — three brothers and five sisters — are in their 90s, three are in their 80s and “la piccolina” (the little one) is 78. On June 10, all nine a combined age of 818 years, 205 days, and received a certificate from the Guinness World Records for “highest combined age, nine living siblings.” It took years of research to establish that the Melis’ family holds that title.

Researchers searching for clues to the elixir of long-life in these lands have studied these ancient island communities for years now, and most conclude the secret lies in a mix of factors: genetic make-up, diet and environment, and a sense of belonging to a community.

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