Yesterday, we told you everything there is to know about Blue Zones. In short, people in certain regions of the world are prone to reach the golden age of 100 years. The reasons why are multiple so if you want to find out, don’t hesitate to go and read yesterday’s article. Today, we’ll be talking about one of those regions in particular: Martinique. The island has just been added to the quite short list of Blue Zones on March 1st and by joining that very exclusive club of five, the island has sparked international interest.
How does a region get added to the list of Blue Zones? Well, first of all, you need to have a higher number of centenaries than usual. That’s certainly the case for Martinique. On January 1st, the French overseas department counted 400 people over 100 for a total population of 350.000. That fact was discovered and brought under the attention of the public by Ginette Djouad and Michel Poulain, who did intensive research about Martinique possibly being a Blue Zone. Between 1898 and 2022, people living on the island had a chance of about 2% to reach the age of 100, which is about the same percentage as we can perceive in other Blue Zones.
A special place in the world
So why is it that in this French region, there are about double the number of centenaries per capita than anywhere else in France? Well, the reasons aren’t that different than in other Blue Zones across the world. According to the UCLouvain, where Poulain is an emeritus professor, the climate, absence of stress and good genes are the main reasons for which people living in Martinique do so for such a long time. The university also points out that those who remain to live on the island have more chance to reach the age of 100 than those who emigrate to Metropolitan France, proving genes aren’t everything.
The reason why it’s so interesting for researchers to be able to add a region to the list of Blue Zones is the potential to discover ways to improve our quality of living. Studying the diet, stress levels, ways of living and other living circumstances of people in those Blue Zones could eventually cause a breakthrough when it comes to our understanding of the human body and it could give longevity science a boost.