In a study published in the medical journal The Lancet and reported by The Straits Times last October, the average Singaporean life expectancy – which rose from 78.05 years in 2000 to 83.3 in 2016 – is predicted to go up to 85.4 years by 2040, ranking it third out of 195 countries. Women in Singapore can also expect to live about six years more than men.
Quality in longevity.
While all this may sound like good news, it is also prudent to remember that life span doesn’t always equate to a good quality of life. Many still live out their later years being sick, frail and poorly ageing. So how much of this time in your prime are you living well?
To supplement or not?
When it comes to health, many of us tend to fall into either of these stereotypes:
Take as many nutritional supplements as we can, most likely in the form of generic formulations containing multiple vitamins, mineral and nutrients that meet a certain budget or price point. Because ‘more is better’ when it comes to healthy nutrition, right?
Or you may be the sort who chooses not to do anything; either because you ‘just don’t want to know what could go wrong’, or there’s just too much information out there that you’re virtually paralysed from information overload.
More isn’t always better.
Let’s look at the first scenario: while they are essential to maintaining healthy nutrition for your body and mind, regularly overloading on vitamins and minerals can be detrimental. Eating unfortified foods isn’t usually the problem – it’s consuming supplements formulated in doses which are not right for you alongside fortified foods like certain breakfast cereals, energy bars and enriched pastas that could easily exceed your recommended daily intake.
On the other extreme is the second scenario of not doing anything at all, especially from a perceived paranoia that ‘something could be wrong or go wrong, so why would I want to know’. Why wouldn’t you want to know what you might need help in? Especially if you have certain predispositions that put you at risk of vitamin or mineral deficiencies which could aﬀect you later on in life and hold you back from living your best in your prime?
So is it fact or myth?
If we drill into all this information a little closer, we’ll see that a majority of them are actually true. But here’s the catch: they require context. And the context is usually that they apply to a certain percentage of a population. This underscores one of the cornerstones of personalised wellness: because what worked for someone else may not work for you, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness.
Figuring out what’s right for you.
A wellness DNA test gives you insights into your unique tendencies. This kind of genetic test helps you tailor your lifestyle to what suits you best, especially as you age. For example, inflammation is a normal biological response from your body when it protects itself from damaged cells, irritants, and invading pathogens such as parasites and viruses. However, long term ‘silent inflammation’ which takes place in the heart, immune system and even brain can lead to various chronic diseases that tend to manifest when you’re older. By understanding your potential or risk for inflammation, you have the right kind of information to decide whether eating more anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, fatty fish and citrus fruits is something you should pay special attention to in order to improve your longevity as you age.
And inflammation is just one insight into anti-ageing. A longevity and healthy ageing DNA test like OriPRIME covers more than 1,800 genes to give you 24 insights such as your risk for bone density loss, joint inflammation, kidney stones, glaucoma, baldness, varicose veins and poor sleep quality. Knowing what might lie ahead means you can take extra good care of yourself now to help oﬀset the genetic influences of ageing.