, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 173–177 | Cite as

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

  • D. Craig WillcoxEmail author
  • Bradley J. Willcox
  • Hidemi Todoriki
  • J. David Curb
  • Makoto Suzuki


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.


Caloric restriction Okinawa Maximum life span Healthy aging Diet Longevity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Craig Willcox
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bradley J. Willcox
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hidemi Todoriki
    • 4
  • J. David Curb
    • 2
    • 3
  • Makoto Suzuki
    • 5
  1. 1.College of NursingOkinawa Prefectural University Naha, OkinawaJapan
  2. 2.Pacific Health Research InstituteHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Geriatric Medicine and MedicineJohn A. Burns School of Medicine, University of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  4. 4.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of the Ryukyus, Department of Environmental and Prevantive MedicineNishihara, OkinawaJapan
  5. 5.Faculty of Human WelfareOkinawa International University,Ginowan City, OkinawaJapan

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