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When Dr. Suzuki, the Principal Investigator of the OCS, first began his studies, he found an unusual number of centenarians to be in extraordinarily healthy shape. They were lean, youthful-looking, energetic, and had remarkably low rates of heart disease and cancer-even stomach cancer, which claimed many mainland Japanese. And they enjoyed the longest life expectancy in the world. By 1995, according to Japan Ministry of Health and Welfare life tables, Okinawan life expectancy had even surpassed the absolute limits of population life expectancy estimated by the Japan Population Research Institute and many biodemographers (see Fries JF. New England Journal of Medicine 1980;303:131-5).
The study began in 1976, after the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed initial reports of outstanding health and long life in Okinawa through validation of birth certificates and other statistical data. Since then our research group has investigated over 600 centenarians to uncover clues to their outstanding health and long lives. Studies have concentrated on the genetics, diets, exercise habits, and psychospiritual beliefs and practices of the Okinawan elders.
It is not so much that they have a low fat diet, or that any one aspect of their diet is vitally important or some sort of secret gift or "program," except this: that they eat a great variety of mostly whole, home prepared food always in moderation. Younger Okinawans, blessed with all the modern conveniences, including cars, fast food and the vast selection of instant or factory prepared foods now stocked by supermarkets throughout Japan, are beginning to struggle with obesity and alarming rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and so on. (Sound familiar?) There is no great secret here and, as of reading this, if you did not already know (most people do these days), you now know the simple secrets of longevity.
Originally posted by sparkyloveandlight
Mayet, I think the fish does help especially for any sort of inflamation. Fish is rich in essential fatty acids and they gretaly assist in reducing any inflamation before it greatly affects ones day to day living. That would help to keep the Okinawans mobile and pain free fo most of their long lifes.
Coupled with the fact that EFA's are great for the brain and Okinawans may have better neurotransmitter function than most and this would result in them consistantly making better choices about what they eat and what they do to keep fit.