Announcing the 5th Blue Zone
Martinique, an island in the Caribbean sea, IS the 5th Blue Zone.
This is HOT-OFF-THE-PRESS news as of March 2023.
My colleague and friend, Professor Michel Poulain, THE demographer who identifies and validates Blue Zones reached out to me a few days ago to help announce the reveal of the 5th Blue Zone.
We have been waiting for this moment many years.
It’s like announcing the birth of a new baby…..a baby 100 years in the making….100 years in gestation.
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica , Ikaria Greece, Sardinia Italy, Okinawa, Japan are the other 4 validated Blue Zones.
Find out how the Blue Zones- specifically the wisdom within it- impacts your health.
Watch this video interview with Michel Poulain.
Here are topics covered in this interview:
- What is a Blue Zone and why you should care
- How did the name Blue Zone come about.
- Who are Centenarians? What makes them so special?
- How does a region get designated the Blue Zone honor?
- How many other possible Blue Zones have been considered?
- How many validated Blue Zones are there?
Meet Michel Poulain, Godfather of the Blue Zones
Who is Professor Michel Poulain and what makes him THE expert with Centenarians in the Blue Zones.
Michel Poulain is Senior Researcher at Tallinn University in Estonia. He earned his Ph.D. in demography from Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, where he currently serves as Emeritus Professor. Before then he was originally skilled in astrophysics.
He has been Involved in centenarian’s studies since 1992 he is active member of the International Database on Longevity (IDL) and the International Centenarian Consortium (ICC).
He validated the age of several supercentenarians including Antonio Todde, Johan Riudavets and Emma Moreno, each of them holding the Guinness record of longevity. He also invalidated the age of numerous others including the famous supercentenarians of the Caucasus.
In 2000, with the help of another researcher, he was involved in validation the age of the numerous centenarians in the Sardinia, island off Italy where he introduced the concept of Blue Zone
What is a Blue Zone and why you should care
The “blue zones” refer to the areas on the planet with the highest proportion of centenarians.
Centenarians are people who live over 100 years and exist with enough vitality and cognitively intact.
Blue Zones are living laboratories. Centenarians are important to study because they are living examples of successful aging and longevity.
How did the name Blue Zone come about
Professor Michel Poulain is the founder of original Blue Zones. He coined the term Blue Zone
As early as in March 2000, Michel took his blue pen and surrounded on a map of Sardinia an area with high prevalence of centenarians. The Blue Zone (aka BZ) was born.
However, it took professor Michel a long time to convince his colleagues. The first scientific paper presenting the Blue Zone was published in November 2004 in Experimental Gerontology. It took about 10 additional years to gain scientific recognition of the concept of Blue Zone at international level.
About the 5th Blue Zone
Martinique IS the 5th Blue Zone with lots of Centenarians and even some super-centenarians. Super Centenarians are people who live over 110.
So many countries claim and vie for the position to be the NEXT Blue Zone.
There is a set of stringent requirements to meet to be considered a Blue Zone.
In December 2019, Michel was invited to validate several Centenarians in Martinique which is a Caribbean island part of French territory.
What he gathered was promising. The project took three years to complete partly because of the “pandemic” but also considering the difficulty to identify about 400 Centenarians currently living on the island. It wasn’t until recently that he finished collecting the remaining data provided by ministry of France and gathered by the association “Protégeons nos centenaires” to demonstrate that Martinique IS a Blue Zone.
His data show that the probability to survive to 100 is 50% higher! This level of longevity is like the ones in Okinawa, Japan and Sardinia, Italy.
With 400 Centenarians alive in Martinique whose total population is 350,000, their prevalence is more than double compared to mainland France. Compare it to Belgium where there are currently 2000 Centenarians and total population is over 11 million people. The prevalence in Belgium is four times lower than Martinique.
What is behind this phenomenon?
One hypothesis explaining this phenomenon is that most Centenarians in Martinique are descendants of slaves who went through a highly selective process and thereby probably carrying the “strong” genes. The centenarian longevity could be the result of “Triple Selection”. First, the best of the best Africans were selected as slaves to be exported. Second, only the strongest survived the rough ocean water, weather and conditions before they even arrived to the Caribbean islands. Third and final part of “Triple Selection” process is that the strongest survived through the working and living conditions in the XIX th century.
Strong data such as genetic and epigenetic analysis is needed to support this hypothesis.
In 2018, Michel invited me to go to Barbados- next door island to Martinique- on a research project. Although there was not enough supporting data validating it as a Blue Zone, Barbados is still in consideration.
Our trip was filled with wonderful discoveries and memories. It was such an honor that he invited me to be part of this top-secret project.
Michel studied astrophysics, a branch of space science that applies the laws of physics and chemistry to seek to understand the universe and our place in it. He has 30+ experience not just gathering data but also observing and connecting with the centenarians on a human level.
Although there is NO data yet supporting any of the many hypotheses to longevity, I asked Michel what are HIS observations of common threads to longevity (daily habits, routines and behaviors) between the Blue Zones. How are they living, eating, how are they dealing with stressors?
Here is what he mentioned on this interview:
- Eating wisely. Food is important. It should be natural, seasonal, and locally produced.
- The water these centenarians are drinking is coming from high mountains of Sardinia. They collect water from the spring not bottled water that is shipped from who knows where. In the mountains of Sardinia, the probability of reaching 100 is 2 times higher than the rest of Sardinia. That is a factor of two.
- Epigenetics may play a role. Epigenetics is the study of how the environment affects how our genes are expressed.
Even if it is genes play a role, the gene contributes only a 10% factor vs factor of 2 that these centenarians experience. Centenarians in Martinique have TWICE – I refer to it as “Factor 2 phenomenon”- the amount of probability of reaching age of 100 (with vitality) than the rest of the island.
Is any of these hypotheses enough to explain this “factor of 2” phenomenon?
We may not see the data supporting these hypotheses in our life. You can’t take a human experience and this kind of phenomenon with all sorts of variables and study it in petri dish.
Let’s not dismiss the power data collected from observational study. We humans are in infantile stage of discovery.
“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” ~ Martin Rees’ maxim
To deepen your understanding of the BlueZones, visit Michel Poulain’s website HERE. It is a scientific website filled with publications. This is the legacy of the all the golden nuggets he has collected over 30 years.
Michel Poulain dropped many truth-bombs especially on the Blue Zones diet in the Re-Awaken Masterclass: The 7 Natural Laws for Balance, In fact, many lies were shattered, and truths revealed by the 16 other experts in this Masterclass.
Each thought-provoking episode features a one-on-one interview with these experts in the field from nutrition/hydration, sleep, regenerative soil, mindset masters, meditation, natural healing, Breathwork facilitator, EMF specialist, Laughter healer, Cardiologist, physicians, psychotherapist to Happiness Coach.
Here is to you re-learning how to getting back into balance and becoming the self-healing being you are divinely designed to be.
To your health,
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