Bananas, painkillers do trick for world's oldest man

Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez, 112, is the new world's oldest man, according to research by Guinness World Records. Mr Sanchez-Blazquez, from Grand Island, New York, is a former coal miner and musician. He said his secrets to living long are bananas an
Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez, 112, is the new world's oldest man, according to research by Guinness World Records. Mr Sanchez-Blazquez, from Grand Island, New York, is a former coal miner and musician. He said his secrets to living long are bananas and pain killers. -- PHOTO: AP

NEW YORK CITY, New York (AFP) - A United States (US) drug company said on Friday it was considering a banana-flavoured version of its pain reliever after the world's oldest man attributed his longevity to the fruit and the drug.

Spanish-born Salustiano "Shorty" Sanchez-Blazquez, a 112-year-old former coal miner who lives close to Niagara Falls in upstate New York, was named by Guinness World Records as the oldest certified man on the planet on Thursday.

He succeeded Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, who died on June 12 at the age of 116. According to Guinness, Mr Sanchez-Blazquez is currently the only male born in 1901 with proof of birth.

From his birthplace in Spain, he moved at 17 to Cuba, where he worked on sugar plantations, before arriving in the US via the iconic immigration centre on Ellis Island in 1920.

After working as a miner in Kentucky, he eventually settled in the Niagara area, close to the border with Canada.

In a statement, he said he believed he had lived to such an old age, thanks to a daily dose of a banana and six tablets of Anacin, a branded pain reliever that includes aspirin and caffeine.

That naturally delighted Anacin's manufacturer Insight Pharmaceuticals.

"Historically, apples are the fruit most associated with staying healthy and avoiding doctors," said marketing vice-president Jennifer Moyer.

"Our scientists had never looked into the banana before. But now that the certified oldest man in the world credits bananas and Anacin as his life-extending combo, we're certainly going to explore whether a new 'Bananacin' product makes sense."