Caloric restriction and human longevity: what can we learn from the Okinawans?
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.
KeywordsCaloric restriction Okinawa Maximum life span Healthy aging Diet Longevity
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (2003) National Vital Statistics System. NCHS, Hyattsville, MD. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/Google Scholar
- Hayflick L (2004) The not-so-close relationship between biological aging and age-associated pathologies in humans. J Gerontol Bio Sci 59:547–550Google Scholar
- Hokama T, Arakaki H, Sho H, Inafuku M (1967) Nutrition survey of school children in Okinawa. Sci B Coll Agr Univ Ryukyus 14:1–15Google Scholar
- Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (2000) Prefectural Life Tables. Statistics and Information Department. Health and Welfare Statistics AssociationGoogle Scholar
- Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (2005) Journal of Health and Welfare Statistics. Health and Welfare Statistics Association, TokyoGoogle Scholar
- Lane MA, Mattison JA, Roth GS, Brant LJ, Ingram DK (2004) Effects of long-term diet restriction on aging and longevity in primates remain uncertain. J Gerontol Biol Sci 59:405–407Google Scholar
- Lee IM, Blair SN, Allison DB, Folsom AR, Harris TB, Manson JE, Wing RR (2001) Epidemiologic data on the relationships of caloric intake, energy balance, and weight gain over the life span with longevity and morbidity. J Gerontol Biol Sci 56:7–19Google Scholar
- Phelan JP, Rose MR (2005) Why dietary restriction substantially increases longevity in animal models but won't in humans. Ageing Res Rev 4: 339–350Google Scholar
- Todoriki H, Willcox DC, Willcox BJ (2004) The effects of post-war dietary change on longevity and health in Okinawa. Okinawa J Amer Studies 1:52–61Google Scholar
- Willcox BJ, Yano K, Chen R, Willcox DC, Rodriguez BL, Masaki KH, Donlon T, Tanaka B, Curb JD (2004) How much should we eat? The association between energy intake and mortality in a 36-year follow-up study of Japanese American men. J Gerontol Biol Sci 59:789–795Google Scholar
- Willcox DC (2005) Okinawan longevity: where do we go from here? Nutr Diet 8:9–17Google Scholar
- Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, He Q, Curb JD,Suzuki M (2006) Siblings of Okinawan centenarians share lifelong mortality advantages. J Gerontol Biol Sci [in Press]Google Scholar