Herring AND good genes can keep you young.

So reports LiveScience’s “Bad Medicine” columnist Christopher Wanjek, writing about the woman who was the world’s oldest:

The 115-year-old Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, who held the title of world’s oldest human before she died in 2004, attributed her longevity to eating herring every day. But doctors had a hunch it was a little more than that. After all, everyone and their uncle eats herring in van Andel-Schipper’s native country of the Netherlands.

Turns out their hunch was right. It was the herring and a group of coveted genes known to help prevent circulatory disease and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The genes likely led to van Andel-Schipper’s remarkable mental clarity at such an advanced age as well as her ability to lick breast cancer . . . at age 100.

The late van Andel-Schipper is unique in that she was among the fewer than 30 people in modern times known to live longer than 115 years; and she is also one of only a few hundred people (so far) to have their complete genome analyzed.