Want to Live to 100? Centenarian Credits Two Whiskeys a Day for His Longevity

If you want to live a long life, you could go the traditional route of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Or you can take the advice of Jack Reynolds, who is 105: drink whiskey.

Related: Drinking Alcohol Raises Cancer Risk by Causing Irreversible DNA Damage

GettyImages-630322348 A glass of single malt whiskey in Scotland. A 105-year-old man believes drinking the spirit every day has contributed to health. ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images

Reynolds drinks whiskey multiple times a day and credits the habit for his long, healthy life. “He has a whisky in his tea every morning and two shots of Grouse in a glass with lemonade at night and swears by it,” Reynolds's youngest daughter Jayne Goodwin told the UK-based Metro newspaper. 

He also turns to whiskey as a medication. “If we’ve got a cold or anything he straight away gives us a whisky, that’s his medicine and it’s not done him bad,” Goodwin told Metro

Is there any merit to his claim? During Prohibition, doctors prescribed alcohol, including whiskey, for ailments ranging from depression to cancer prevention, reported Smithsonian magazine. Though, as the story explains, many times physicians did it all for the money.

“There may have been some people who were being prescribed because there was a perceived medical need, but it was really a way for some physicians and pharmacists to make a few extra bucks,” Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, told the outlet.

A very old study reported by the BBC in 1998 indicated that whiskey could have protective benefits for the heart. Researchers found that whiskey and red wine might help prevent coronary heart disease by boosting antioxidants in your body. The study was conducted by the Rowett Research Institute, a Scottish institution that looks into food and nutrition research (although the work was sponsored by the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, so perhaps take the results with a grain of barley). 

The word itself seems to hint at life-prolonging qualities. According to Merriam Webster, the word derives from the Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha, which actually means water of life.

Despite its history of medicinal use, doctors today will likely never advise drinking alcohol for health purposes. Drinking any alcohol raises cancer risk, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Last year, the organization released a statement warning that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.

But Reynolds likely will disagree with their assessment. According to Metro, he’s the oldest person to have done the viral ice bucket challenge and also holds the Guinness World Record holder for oldest roller coaster rider.

Join the Discussion