changesthat apparently allow humans to live longer than any other primate may be rooted in a more carnivorous diet. These changes may also promote brain development and make us less vulnerable to diseases of aging, such as cancer, heart disease and dementia.
Chimpanzees and great apes are genetically similar to humans, yet they rarely live for more than 50 years. Although the average human lifespan has doubled in the last 200 years — due largely to decreased infant mortality related to advances in diet, environment and medicine — even without these improvements, people living in high mortality hunter-forager lifestyles still have twice the life expectancy at birth as wild chimpanzees do. These key differences in lifespan may be due to genes that humans evolved to adjust better to meat-rich diets, biologist Caleb Finch at the University of Southern
Californiain Los Angeles suggested.