The world's oldest woman has lifted the lid on the source of her longevity: Eggs.

Emma Morano, who turns 117 on November 27, says for the last 90 years she has eaten at least two eggs a day - which equates to over 100,000 eggs consumed in her lifetime.

Born in Verbania, Italy in 1899, Morano began eating eggs at the age of 20, after a doctor diagnosed her with anaemia. He told her to eat two raw eggs and one cooked egg daily.

These days, the Italian eats two eggs a day, "and that's it," she told Agence-France Press. "And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth."


Her doctor, Carlo Bava, confirmed that his patient didn't follow conventional nutritional advice.

"Emma has always eaten very few vegetables, very little fruit. When I met her, she ate three eggs per day, two raw in the morning and then an omelette at noon, and chicken at dinner," he said.

But meat has since disappeared from Morano's diet because, according to Bava, "she doesn't like it anymore and someone told her it causes cancer."

Despite turning 117, she says it's unlikely she'll have even a bite of her birthday cake.

"The last time I ate a little, but then I did not feel good," she recalled.

Marono has a few birthdays to go before she breaks the record for the oldest verified age: 122 years and 164 days, held by French woman Jeanne Calment who died in 1997.

She hasn't left her two-room apartment for the last 20 years, has outlived all her immediate family and isn't planning on a birthday party.

But she expects well-wishers will turn up anyway: "People come. I don't invite anybody but they come. From America, Switzerland, Austria, Turin, Milan ... They come from all over to see me."