Dr Michael Mosley has shared his take on living a long life and the secret to maybe hitting the ripe old age of 100.

Over the past century, the number of centenarians living in England and Wales has increased 127-fold, reaching 13,924 in 2021; however, centenarians still only represent 0.02% of the total population.

Fancy joining this illustrious group one day? Well, listen to the doctor.

In a post on his @michaelmosley_official Instagram account, he advises: "Look after the viruses in your gut and you could live to 100! What are the secrets to living a long and healthy life?

"Most people realise that to reach a healthy old age you need to do regular exercise, keep to a reasonable weight, get enough sleep and manage stress.

"But you can now add to that list something much more surprising: get infected by the right viruses. That, at least, was the conclusion of a recent study of centenarians from Japan and Sardinia."

Dr Mosley told how gut health is vital when it comes to living a long life in an article for the Daily Mail, where he said boosting the production of hydrogen sulphide in the body is important because it "helps maintain the lining of your gut" which makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrients.

The best way to get your body to produce more hydrogen sulphide is to eat plenty of fruit, veg, and fibre-rich legumes. But there's also another thing you can do - spend more time in your garden.

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"This is why gardeners tend to live longer"

Dr Mosley said: "Another great way to cultivate your good gut microbes is gardening, as it brings you in closer contact with soil, which is rich in bugs. This could be one reason, along with exercise and spending time outdoors, why gardeners tend to live longer."

He added: "A study of 117 people, published in Nature in 2019, found that those who were happily married, or who had plenty of close friends, had richer, more diverse microbiomes than those who lived alone or were socially isolated.

"So it seems that keeping in close touch with friends is also a good way to keep your microbial friends, whether they’re bacteria or viruses, happy."