Smart people do live longer. Scientific American reports that the correlation is as strong as that between smoking and premature death, which is amazing.
Scientists, of course, want to know why.
One of the major factors in aging is oxidative stress. That's why the "antioxidants," we hear about so much are so good for us. We need oxygen to burn the sugar, protein, and fat we use for energy, but that same burning process damages our cells. It's just one of the reasons we grow old.
Testing was run by a University of Edinburgh professor on honeybees, who are often used to test learning. He subjected the bees to a high-oxygen environment, and the ones that had proved better learners in other tests lived longer in the high-oxygen environment.
The thought is that a well-wired system produces both smart people and people with a better antioxidant process.
Scientists hope to find out how to help everyone have a system that runs better, perhaps improving both intelligence and slowing the aging process.