Longevity Hot Spots

Longevity Hot Spots and Akea:

Carolina Pines Med Spa is proud to introduce you to Akea Essentials,  a revolutionary organic, fermented whole-food supplement based on the diets of the world’s Longevity Hot Spots.

Swing by the spa or click below to order yours today!

 Buy Akea Essentials

It’s called Akea Essentials and it’s “shaking up” the way we approach beauty from the “inside out”! During our Holistic Nutritional Consults, we’ve always insisted that a high quality probiotic supplement and a whole-food supplement be part of your daily routine. For some of our clients, we even suggested an immune-enhancing supplement called Beta 1-3 or Beta Glucans. Imagine our excitement when we were approached by a North Carolina company who manufactures a product that contains not only probiotics, beta glucans, AND the equivalent of 5 fruits and veggies, but ALSO plant-derived enzymes and the powerful antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes, resveratrol. As much as that found in 28 glasses of wine!

Based on the research of Sally Beare and her 2006 book “50 Secrets of the World’s Longest-Living People”, Akea Essentials was formulated to provide us with a solid source of nutrition on a cellular level. Read on to find out why Akea Essentials should be an essential part of your life…and “shake up your health” with a free sample shake at Carolina Pines Med Spa!

Akea Longevity Hot Spots

In virtually all Longevity Hot Spots there are certain foods the scientific community refers to as “super foods”, that are credited for contributing to the phenomenal health and longevity of the people who reside there.

Akea Project Longevity Hot Spots
The Akea Project’s Longevity Hot Spots

For the first time ever, all those naturally health-enhancing foods from around the world are available in every serving of Akea Essentials.

Only Essentials combines the traditional foods of the world’s healthiest cultures with the latest scientific breakthroughs in nutrition to create the first nutraceutical that’s “Hot Spot Healthy.” Each Essentials serving delivers pure, whole-food power and goodness to give you the same tremendous health advantages as the world’s healthiest people.

Whole. High-performance, therapeutic whole foods incorporating organic ingredients and delivering nutrients as nature intended.

Cultured. Fermented for enhanced bioavailability and superior health benefits, just like the fermented foods enjoyed by Hot Spot inhabitants such as yogurt, soy, cocoa and vegetables.

Synergistic. A complex matrix of rich nutrients working in synergy to provide the body what it needs, when it needs it.

Fortify your body with the best nature has to offer—no passport required! Each Essentials serving contains the same nutrients present in the diets of communities that live the healthiest and longest lives.

When combined with the 5 BluePrint For Life principles, Essentials delivers a wide range of benefits for optimal health and longevity. Essentials provides support for a wide range of potential health benefits such as:

  • Increased energy, stamina and vitality*
  • Enhanced immune system*
  • Improved heart health*
  • Increased mental capacity and alertness*
  • Decreased cravings and improved blood sugar support*
  • Improved joint mobility*
  • Improved digestion and elimination*


A world away there is a lifetime of good health to be discovered…

In remote corners of the world, across the globe, and for thousands of years, a handful of cultures have mastered the art of living well. In these few extraordinary places, diseases are uncommon, sickness is infrequent, and life expectancies of 90 to 100 or more years are common. These are Longevity Hot Spots where life is simpler, happier, and above all, healthier.

Longevity hot spots the world over share one thing in common: Their people are healthier and live longer than anyone else in the world. Their populations have far fewer cases of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity than others. And they have, on average, significantly higher percentages of centenarians and supercentenarians, those people who live past 100 and past 110 respectively. Explore all this site has to offer and your journey toward health and prosperity begins right now.


Bama, China

Bama, China
In remote, mountainous, semi-tropical Bama County in China, it is customary for families to make a coffin for any relative who has reached the age of 60. Yet most coffins have rotted away long before they are needed and often end up being used to store corn instead of their designated elder. One 105-year-old who was visited by journalists in 2010 joked about the coffin made for her in 1958, which she can break into pieces with her hand. Another 116-year-old was reported to have seen four coffins decay before she was finally ready for the fifth.
The truth is that the Bama people are some of the most vibrantly healthy, long-lived people in the world, with exceptionally high numbers of active, disease-free nonogenarians, centenarians and super-centenarians.  A 2000 census recorded 74 centenarians amongst the population of 238,000, which is close to Okinawan levels.  Studies show that only ten percent of nonogenarians in Bama have coronary heart disease and only four percent have excess blood lipids, whilst cancer incidence is a mere 4.4 people per 10,000.
The curative properties of Bama are legendary in China, with visitors coming from all over the country to soak them in. First, there is the vast, clear, Panyang river flowing through the valley with its mineral-rich water to bathe in and drink. Secondly, the Bama air, which is of just the right warmth and humidity year round, is known to be extremely high in negative ions and oxygen, thus creating a sense of exhilaration in those who breathe it.  Bama also has high geomagnetism, said to benefit circulation, lower blood pressure and regulate the body’s ion balance. Throw in breathtaking scenery (so good for the spirits), an exemplary diet, and certain key lifestyle practices of the local people and you have a perfect storm of pro-health, pro-longevity conditions.
Bama people are themselves aware of the health-giving properties of their diet and lifestyle. The visitor is usually offered a bowl of “longevity soup”, made with hemp oil, an oil rich in both omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids which are crucial for perfect health. Bama people also believe their Fragrant Pig, lean and organic, and Oil Fish from the Panyang River, to be “treasures of longevity”. Loving relationships, hard work and good deeds are all considered to be conducive to good health, and Bama also boasts a large golden board donated by a former emperor bearing the legend ‘Love Makes Longevity.’

Campodimele, Italy

Campodimele, Italy
Entering Campodimele, a medieval village perched atop a steep hill in southern Italy, is like stepping through a portal into a long-ago era – a time when stress hadn’t been invented yet and the air carried an almost tangible sense of calm. Modernization, or Americanizzazione, as locals call it, has not yet come to this haven of physical and mental well-being, with its olive groves, its ancient walls, and its panoramic mountain views.
Campodimele’s residents have become famed for their health and longevity and the village has been dubbed Europe’s “village of eternal youth”. At the last count, Campodimele – whose name comes from the Latin campus mellis, or ‘field of honey’ – had 840 residents, including one 104 year old, forty eight 90 year olds and three 99 year olds. The nonagenarians and centenarians aren’t sitting around in old people’s homes waiting to die though – they are cycling up and down the steep hill along with the young people, chatting animatedly in the cobbled piazza, working the olive groves, and chasing around after their goats.
Look for a doctor or a hospital or a pharmacist in Campodimele and you won’t find one – they don’t need them here. Researchers seeking the secrets of longevity have found that the blood pressure and cholesterol levels of old people – even those aged over 100 – is the same as that of young people. The villagers variously cite as causes of their extreme good health the diet, the fact that they remain very physically active throughout their lives, the pure mountain air and the fact that Campodimele is ‘a perfect spot’ where stress levels are almost zero. Unusually, men tend to live slightly longer than women in Campodimele, perhaps because they lead such physically active, low-stress lives.
The food in Campodimele is of a quality to make top chefs around the world weep. Fresh, organic, local, seasonal, and bursting with flavor, it is simple yet exquisite. Locals enjoy their food enormously, and it is also responsible in large part for their famed longevity, being rich with anti-aging vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds.

Hunza, Pakistan

The Hunza Valley
In northeast Pakistan, where the high Karakorum mountains meet the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas, is Hunza, a lush green valley thought to be the inspiration for Shangri La, the land of eternal youth described by James Hilton in his novel Lost Horizon.
Hunza is sublimely beautiful, with its towering snow-capped peaks reaching high into the clear blue sky, its sheer rock surfaces sweeping almost vertically downward beneath them to its verdant green terraces, and the glacial blue river cutting its way through the valley floor below. Hunza was traditionally very difficult to penetrate due to its treacherous mountain paths; once, even animals could not make their way into the valley on these rocky deathtraps and goods from outside could only be carried in by the legendary super-fit Hunzakut men.
 Today, there are roads, which are frequently blocked by boulders which have rolled down the precipitous slopes above, but which enable transport to enter and bring in modern goods and which are starting to alter the Hunza way of life.
In the 1960s and 70s there were exaggerated reports of Hunzakuts living to 150 or 160 years old, but these hyped reports were discredited and as a result the media lost interest in Hunza. However, it is indeed a Longevity Hot Spot where chronic disease is virtually unknown and people are vibrant until very old ages. Hunzakuts also live idyllic lives where there is no crime, no mental illness, no police and no hospitals; just one medical center which is usually empty. According to Western physicians who have visited Hunza, digestive disorders do not exist and cancer rates are almost zero.
When the US cardiologists Dr. Paul Dudley White and Dr. Edward G Toomey visited Hunza in 1964, they reported in the American Heart Journal that of 25 Hunzakut men they studied who were ‘on fairly good evidence, between 90 and 110 years old’, none showed a single sign of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Most Hunzakuts expect to live at least until their 80s if not into their 90s and 100s without having any need to visit a doctor; older people are physically and mentally active, and the later years are referred to as the ‘rich’ years.
In 1927, Dr. Robert McCarrison tested the Hunza diet on rats. He gave the rodents whole grain chapattis, sprouted legumes, fresh raw carrots, fresh raw cabbage, unpasteurized fresh milk, a little meat just once a week, and ample water, fresh air, sunlight, and exercise. The rats were sacrificed at 27 months and examined. Even Dr McCarrison himself was amazed to find that there were no detectible signs of pathology in any of the rats. He had also observed them when alive to be alert and happy and to live in harmony with each other. McCarrison then tested other diets on rats – either a Bengali diet of white rice, vegetables and spices or an English diet of white bread, tinned food and sugared tea. The rats duly developed diseases of every organ and behaved viciously towards each other.
The Hunza diet and lifestyle accords with the principles of longevity living and so it is hardly surprising that the Hunzakuts enjoy such vibrant good health and long, happy lives.

Loma Linda, USA

If you think that you have to live up a mountain somewhere remote herding goats and growing crops all day in order to live a long and healthy life, the Seventh Day Adventists of Loma Linda in California may prove you wrong. Adventists enjoy low rates of degenerative disease and high life expectancy, are often known to act much younger than they are even when they are 90 or 100, and are less likely to be on medication or visit a hospital than their non-Adventist counterparts. Around 9,000 Adventists live in Loma Linda in San Bernadino, which has made the town a recognized Longevity Hot Spot, despite the fact that it’s modern, it’s in the US, and it’s even quite polluted, being in a valley downwind from Los Angeles.
The Adventists’ marked good health has made them a subject of interest for epidemiologists since they have provided a good opportunity to study the impact of diet and lifestyle choices on health and longevity. When 34,000 Adventists enrolled in a 12-year study on diet and lifestyle and whether it can prevent illness, the results, released in 1985, created a flurry of interest amongst the media and made even committed carnivores pause for thought before tucking into the next steak.
It was found that Adventist men could expect to live 7.3 years longer than other Californian men, whilst Adventist vegetarian men could expect to live to 83.3, which is an envy-inducing 9.5 years longer. Adventist women were likely to live 4.4 years longer than other Californian women, and Adventist vegetarian women 6.1 years longer, with a likelihood of reaching a ripe old 85.7. These average statistics also mean, of course, that there are plenty of energetic nonagenarians and centenarians striding about Loma Linda, attending to their daily activities with enthusiastic purposefulness.
So what is the secret of the Adventists’ longevity? No scientist in their right mind could claim it is all in their genes. Nor is their good health a mere accident: the Adventist doctrine is that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that maintaining a clear head and good physical health are necessary in order to stay connected to God. Adventists achieve their good health consciously, and in Loma Linda you don’t have to look hard to find a health food shop full organic produce, a vegetarian restaurant, or a gym.
Adventists espouse a vegetable-based diet, with around 35 percent being vegetarian and around one half eating meat only rarely. Tobacco and alcohol consumption are discouraged, as are rich or spicy foods, coffee, caffeinated fizzy drinks, and ‘unclean’ foods such as pork and shellfish. The ideal Adventist diet is high in fruit and vegetables and includes plenty of whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, with water being the drink of choice.
The Adventist study was large enough to provide some information about particular foods and their link with health or disease. Tomatoes eaten three to four times weekly appeared to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in women by 70 percent and also reduced prostate cancer risk for men.   Eating more legumes appeared to reduce colon cancer risk by 30 to 40 percent, whilst eating meat increased the risk of colon cancer by 65 percent and ovarian cancer by 65 percent. The study also suggested a strong link between water intake and health, with men drinking five or six glasses daily having 60 to 70 percent less risk of fatal heart attack. Soft drinks and coffee, conversely, increased the risk.
Adventists also believe in having plenty of regular exercise, helping others, maintaining strong social and familial ties, worshiping God, and observing the Sabbath. They are blessed with a mild climate with warm summers and cool winters; the air quality however is not as good as in other Longevity Hot Spots. This should give us all hope, however, since it illustrates that you don’t have to have every single factor in place in order to achieve excellent health.

Nicoya, Costa Rica

The Nicoya Peninsula is a travel brochure writer’s dream. Stunning beaches lapped by sapphire blue waters, rugged mountains, lush vegetation, a perfect climate…Nicoya has it all. But Nicoya has something else, too, which most tourist destinations can’t boast of. Their asset is a notable absence of disease and a multitude of vivacious octogenarians, nonagenarians and centenarians trotting about the market with their shopping, riding their horses on the steep terrain, and enjoying life to the maximum in their Central American paradise.
Researchers have found that a Costa Rican man at the age of 60 is twice as likely to reach 90 years of age as a man living in the United States, France or even Japan which is known to have one of the world’s highest life expectancies. This is despite the fact that Costa Rica is a developing country with minimal health care. There is also a clear longevity hot spot in the central part of the Nicoya Peninsula, where cancer rates are 23 percent lower than in the rest of the country and there is a high concentration of centenarians. Nicoyans are also known to have excellent bone and heart health and have much lower rates of stomach cancer than elsewhere in Costa Rica, where it is a common disease.
Nicoyans enjoy an active yet low-stress lifestyle in a beautiful environment where friends and family are close and make everybody, including the oldest old, feel needed and loved. They also benefit from a healthy diet of natural unprocessed foods and micro-nutrient-rich organic produce which they grow themselves. In short, they are living examples of the formula for long life where many factors come together to create abundant good health, happiness, and reasons to live long.

Okinawa, Japan

It is in this chain of exotic coral-fringed islands in the Pacific that you will find not only the longest-lived people in the world, but also the healthiest, happiest, most sprightly centenarians and super-centenarians.
The visitor to this longevity paradise is likely to find 90-year-olds up trees picking fruit and people in their 80s and 90s having races, group aerobics sessions, flirting, dancing and partying. Young and old mix together to ‘push the happiness’, drink guava juice laced with rice wine, play 3-stringed guitars, and dedicate themselves to their carefree way of living, loving, and being…even up to their 100s and beyond.
When a Japanese doctor called Dr Suzuki came to Okinawa in 1975 to open a medical center, he went to look for a famous centenarian woman he had heard of. He stopped a woman, apparently around 70 years old, striding down the street and asked her if she knew where the centenarian lived. You can probably guess her reply: ‘I am her’, she said.
Dr Suzuki went on to find 40 centenarians on the small main island and discovered that they were not only numerous but unusually healthy. Today, there are thirty four centenarians per 100,000 people in Okinawa, compared with ten per 100,000 in the United States, with an uncommonly high number of people aged over 105. Not only that, but Okinawans have the lowest levels of the West’s top killers – heart disease, stroke, and cancer – on the planet.
Dr Suzuki and gerontologists subsequently studying old Okinawans have found them to have freakishly youthful arteries, low homocysteine levels, high levels of sex hormones, vibrant immune systems, excellent bone health, and tip-top mental agility. Many elderly Okinawans claim never to have had a day’s sickness in their lives, and when they do eventually die, they tend to be ill only for the last few months.
Researchers have also found – and this is good news for the rest of us mortals – that Okinawan longevity is due not so much to genes as to certain diet and lifestyle habits. The Okinawan Centenarian Study, which looked at 600 centenarians, concluded that a diet based mainly on plants and some protein from fish and fermented soy products, plenty of exercise out in the fresh air and sunshine, close social networks and strong spiritual beliefs make up the formula for their prolonged youth and exceptional vigor.

Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is the hardy, untamed and defiant island in the Mediterranean which gave its name to the words ‘sardine’ and ‘sardonic’, due to the populous local fish and the formidable local character respectively.  It is also where the term Akea comes from, this being an acronym derived from the Sardinian expression akent’annos, or ‘may you live to be 100 years old’. It is not an idle wish, because Sardinians frequently do live to be 100 years old, and their health is as robust as you will find anywhere in the region.
The epicentre of longevity in Sardinia is located around the mountainous region of Barbagia and the Province of Nuoro in the central eastern part of the island. This is where Sardinians fled to escape the invading Barbarians in Roman times, isolating themselves from outside influences and creating a pocket of especially resilient and proud people who are some of the healthiest and longest-lived in the world. Here you will find octogenarians running after sheep up steep hillsides, nonogenarians climbing nut trees and chopping wood, and calendars depicting ‘centenarian of the month’.
The Akea study, funded by the National Institute of Aging and published in 2004, found that there are 19 centenarians per 100,000 people in Nuoro, the most mountainous and remote part of the region. This is less than Okinawa’s 34 per 100,000 but compares very favorably with the 10 per 100,000 found in the US.  Researchers have also found that female centenarians outnumber male centenarians by 2.7:1 in Sardinia, which is considerably lower than the 5-6:1 ratio found in other developed countries and in mainland Italy.
The Akea researchers found that the gene pool in the Sardinians of this particular remote mountainous region is relatively small. For example, the local people have small red blood cells which is thought to protect them against malaria and help prevent blood clots. The study researchers hypothesized that there may, therefore, be genetic factors influencing Sardinian longevity and male longevity in particular, such as factors favoring male hormonal function or certain genes located in the sex chromosomes.
However, Sardinians do not have genes protecting them from the chronic diseases of aging such as cardiovascular disease and cancer which they are so free from in Barbagia, which indicates a strong environmental influence. As for the men, they benefit from a very physically active, low stress life in a beautiful environment with a pleasantly mild climate. Traditionally, men in the region are shepherds, since the steep, rocky terrain is not suited to wide-scale agriculture. Herding sheep on steep hills involves a lot of aerobic exercise out in the fresh air, and the beneficial effects of that on heart health are well-known. Sardinian women are known to complain that they are the ones who have to do the domestic drudgery and the worrying back at home whilst their men spend the day roaming around in nature and often sleep out under the stars with hardly a care in the world.
Historically, Sardinians have made sure to maintain their way of life as a way of protecting themselves from the constant invaders coming in from the sea wanting a slice of this wild and beautiful island. This has meant that they have kept family close and honored family customs such as respecting their elders and looking out for each other, which is an important longevity-promoting factor. They are also known for speaking their minds when feeling displeasure, which may have evolved as a way of preventing feuds between families from getting too bloody (thus the word ‘sardonic’).  This enables them to shed stress and helps keep blood pressure down.
Needless to say, the food eaten by long-lived Sardinians is plant-based, organic, and free from junk food, preservatives, or anything else that comes from outside. Before shepherding was introduced, the Sardinians were hunter-gatherers, and their way of eating is not so very different from that today.

Symi, Greece

It is a well-known fact that Mediterranean people enjoy markedly good health, and most of us think of Greece as being a particularly good example of low rates of chronic disease and high life expectancy. But it is the small, not very well-known island of Symi, a short boat-ride from Rhodes and within eye-shot of Turkey, that is the epicenter of Mediterranean health, happiness and longevity.
According to epidemiologists, Symi has proportionally the highest number of centenarians in Europe, and everyone has friends or relatives who have reached 100 or even 110 years of age. A typical birthday greeting is ‘May you live to be 100 and more!’ Even back in 1494, travelers visiting Symi returned with stories about the legendary longevity of its inhabitants. Disease rates are low, and when people die, it happens quickly.
Originally made wealthy by the sponge and shipbuilding industries, Symi is the black sheep of the Greek islands on the tourist trail, with its elegant cream-and-blue neoclassical houses gracing the steep hillside. Its interior consists of mountains and valleys and its coast of coves, beaches, and sparkling blue waters; the sea breeze carries the scent of herbs, pine, and eucalyptus.
In the mornings, a flotilla of brightly-painted fishing boats sets off, crewed by vigorous young and young-old men with easy laughs and biceps to make you feel faint. In the evenings they return with their haul of lobster, squid, giant sardines, prawns and succulent fresh fish, which will be turned just hours later into mouthwatering dishes in the restaurants lining the harbor. In amongst the restaurants are shops selling sponges, bottles of heart-protecting extra virgin olive oil, ropes of garlic and bunches of herbs picked from the hillside.
Symiots are simultaneously laid-back and enthusiastic, and there is always a sense of bustle, expectancy, flirtation and anticipation co-existing with the island’s serene atmosphere. Islanders keep busy, even in old age and very old age, fishing, looking after their goats and sheep, gardening, collecting herbs, eating, drinking local wine and chatting to their friends, family and neighbors. They also keep fit by climbing up and down the steep hillside or the 387 stone steps leading up through the village, often several times a day.

Montacute, England

Montacute is a historic village, favored as a location for period movies, nestling among the undulating hills in the heart of the south-western English countryside. Visitors come from all around to enjoy cream teas in the glorious grounds of Montacute House before inspecting the rich collection of Jacobean, medieval and other treasures which are to be found dotted about the village. They might then enjoy a stiff walk up the small but steep bun-shaped hill from which Montacute gets its name, derived from the Latin Mons Acutus.

But step away from the tourist attractions for a moment – alluring as they are – and you may notice that there is something else about Montacute village. Somehow, the grass seems to be particularly lush, the trees particularly gigantic, and the birdsong particularly noisy. And if you happen to notice an elderly person enthusiastically digging in their garden, take another look, because they may well be in their eighties or even nineties.

For Montacute is a place where both plant and animal life flourishes with remarkable vigor and it is also the place in Britain where, statistically, both men and women live the longest. An analysis of pension records from every postcode in the UK by an international business consultancy found that members of the 680-strong population can expect to live until at least 89 years old, which is 8 years more than in certain other parts of the UK. Not only that, but elderly villagers appear to stay in particularly fine fettle even when well into their nineties.

Locals claim the secret to their longevity lies in their soil – a fertile, light type of soil which forms part of a stretch known as the Yeovil Sands – and what they grow on it. Everyone grows their own vegetables, either in their backyard gardens or in designated allotments at the edge of the village. Potatoes, spinach, runner beans, leeks, onions, cabbages, beetroot, carrots, and herbs such as parsley and rosemary, all organic and packed with vitamins and minerals, are on the daily menu. Eating them keeps villagers healthy, and digging them up keeps them fit and provides them with a sense of satisfaction and purpose. Several villagers also benefit from the pristine waters of a nearby spring which is piped into gardens where it is used for drinking and watering the plants.

On Sundays, families and other villagers including the octo- and nonagenarians congregate in the medieval church to worship and sing before gathering outside to discuss life, love, and the size of their cabbages. During weekdays they might enjoy a quick chat outside their picturesque cottages in the village square, bump into each other at the Post Office where everyone knows everyone, or meet in the pub for a glass of sherry, wine, or the cider known locally as ‘Rough Stuff.’

People come and go from Montacute, but when they leave they tend to come back, and when they come they want to stay. Their life is simple and they may not have a lot of money, but they see themselves as being rich in the things which matter. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else”, says one 90-year-old resident, “not for all the tea in China.”