OPINION

Biogerontology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 173-177

Caloric restriction and human longevity: what can we learn from the Okinawans?

  • D. Craig WillcoxAffiliated withCollege of Nursing, Okinawa Prefectural UniversityPacific Health Research Institute Email author 
  • , Bradley J. WillcoxAffiliated withPacific Health Research InstituteDepartments of Geriatric Medicine and Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii
  • , Hidemi TodorikiAffiliated withFaculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Department of Environmental and Prevantive Medicine
  • , J. David CurbAffiliated withPacific Health Research InstituteDepartments of Geriatric Medicine and Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii
  • , Makoto SuzukiAffiliated withFaculty of Human Welfare, Okinawa International University,

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Abstract

Caloric (or dietary) restriction (CR) extends lifespan and lowers risk for age associated diseases in a phylogenetically diverse group of species. Whether prolonged CR increases average or maximum lifespan or promotes a more youthful physiology in humans at advanced ages is not yet known. However, available epidemiological evidence indicates that CR may already have contributed to an extension of average and maximum life span in one human population and appears to have lowered risk for age associated chronic diseases in other human populations. We review the human studies in the context of a special human population, older Okinawans, who appear to have undergone a mild form of prolonged CR for about half their adult lives.

Keywords

Caloric restriction Okinawa Maximum life span Healthy aging Diet Longevity