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Secrets to longevity focus of new Nat Geo Channel 'Breakthrough' documentary




 Maria Schoedel (L), sitting next to Hans Walter shows her delight after attending a Nintendo Wii bowling match at the Malhaelden seniors home.
Maria Schoedel (L), sitting next to Hans Walter shows her delight after attending a Nintendo Wii bowling match at the Malhaelden seniors home.
Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

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A new National Geographic documentary on aging, directed by Ron Howard, might have come too late for aching baby boomers.

In "Breakthrough: The Age of Aging" episode premiering this Sunday, researchers say since a longer life isn't necessarily a better life, the real breakthroughs lie in extending our healthspan - the period of life spent free of disease.

Geneticist Dr. Nir Barzilai specializes in the genetics of exceptional longevity, and finds that centenarians have protective genes that allow for the delay of aging or for the protection against age-related diseases.

What can young people learn from new research into longevity? What diseases and ailments should be the focus of prevention efforts?

Guests:

Brian Grazer, Executive Producer, National Geographic Channel's "Breakthrough" series; Grazer is an acclaimed, Oscar-winning producer known for too many films and TV series to mention including "A Beautiful Mind," "American Gangster," "24," and "Friday Night Lights." He tweets at @BrianGrazer

Dr. Nir Barzilai, M.D., Founding Director, Institute for Aging Research, New York, New York