Is Dr Pepper A 104-Year-Old Woman’s Longevity Elixir?

A Texas centenarian prefers Dr Pepper to real doctors so much so that she drinks three cans of the stuff every day.

Elizabeth Sullivan, 104, of Fort Worth, claims she started ingesting the 23-flavored soft drink when she was in her 60s and hasn’t looked back, including outliving her doctors, CBS Dallas Fort Worth reported.

“People try to give me coffee for breakfast. Well, I’d rather have a Dr. Pepper. I started drinking them about 40 years ago. Three a day. Every doctor that sees me says they’ll kill you, but they die, and I don’t. So there must be a mistake somewhere.”

Sullivan is a former high school teacher and tutor in the area.

Dr Pepper (the company spells it without a period) was created in Sullivan’s home state in 1885 by Waco pharmacist Charles Alderton. The store owner supposedly named the drink, which customers originally called a “Waco,” after the father of a former girlfriend, although there are other theories.

Dr Pepper is said to be the oldest major soft drink brand in the U.S. and is currently headquartered in the Dallas area.

A former Dr Pepper executive once described the drink as what it isn’t. “It’s not an apple, it’s not an orange, it’s not a strawberry, it’s not a root beer, it’s not even a cola. It’s a different kind of drink with a unique taste all its own.”

On the occasion of her birthday this week, Elizabeth Sullivan received a Dr Pepper-shaped cake as well as a gift basket from the Dr Pepper Snapple Group CEO. “When you live to be 104 and still can talk to nice people, you deserve some Dr Pepper, but I never expected this,” she explained. “Man I’m feeling good. I’m glad I’m still here. I’m glad I’m not in a rest home. Glad I can read books and watch TV and have people come by and say hello.”

The unconventional Dr Pepper consumption notwithstanding, Sullivan admitted that she has no particular longevity secret other than “you just keep living.”

Dr Pepper now comes in several additional flavors in addition to the original configuration. Separately, Taco Bell recently introduced a Dr. Pepper Vanilla Float Freeze.

Rather than including soda as a component, health regimens for the long haul usually focus on lots of fruit and vegetables, fish, regular exercise, adequate sleep, nutritional supplements, and other natural and holistic approaches.

Do you think that Dr Pepper should be considered as one dietary strategy for a long life?

[Image credit: Oren Rozen]