Re "Many paths in China to living a long life" (Forum, Aug. 4): In the 1960s, few American supermarkets sold yogurt. It was an obscure health-food store item. Then stories appeared that people in the remote region called The Steppe in Russia lived amazingly long lives and enjoyed vitality in old age due to their consumption of this fermented-milk product. This started a yogurt fad that continues to this day.
Only the stories weren't true. When scientists investigated, they found that none of these people were as old as they had originally claimed, and often couldn't even keep their stories straight.
This scam keeps surfacing every few years, always involving people in some remote region: Tibet. Estonia. Okinawa. Mongolia. And it is used to sell everything from krill oil to coral calcium to bee pollen. None of the stories ever held up under legitimate investigation.
Enjoy your yogurt.
-- Steve Cannon, Sacramento