X-Message-Number: 27842
From: "Hare, Tim R" <>
Subject: CRAN+Policosanol in Okinawans? RE: [CN] legumes, not calories
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 06:48:00 -0400

Complimentary to your reference to calories vs. morbidity/mortality, often
the Okinawan's are cited per CRAN (caloric restriction with adequate
nutrition), but some recent data suggest a confounding factor: dietary
policosanols from cane sugar intake.  Two recent posts to the CR group
follow.  The first wrt to Okinawan intake of policosanols, and the second,
citations for meta- and individual studies of policosanol.  Of course, they
also consume legumes.  :) 

Interesting: an 1100 calorie level of CR *and* they "use" (see intermediate
references) "Policosanol" (see last two references).   CR in Okinawans is
mildly confounded, it would seem, given the implications for policosanols
wrt CVD in recent meta analysis (see earlier posts).  Best, T-

Okinawan Men Are Losing It [http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/eng/20021221.html]

 @Okinawa has the longest average life span for women, 86.01 years old, and
Nagano Prefecture has it for men, 78.90 years old. The Ministry of Health,
Labor, and Welfare announced the rankings in its Year 2000 Life Table of
Japan on a Prefectural Basis put out on December 17. Interestingly, Okinawan
men have an average life span of 77.64 years old, their rank dropping from
4th to 26th.

 @The life table has been compiled every five years since 1965. Okinawan
women have kept the number one position since 1975 and Nagano men have kept
it since 1990. Okinawan men used to have the top spot in 1980 and 1985.

 @The average life spans for all Japan are 84.62 years old for women and
77.71 years old for men. Aomori Prefecture ranked lowest for both men and
women, 75.67 and 83.69 respectively.

 @Okinawa has been known as the long life prefecture. However, with men
falling in rank, health experts were shocked, and have preached such advice
as the need to review life ]style habits, go back to a traditional Okinawan
diet, and to refrain from smoking.

 @According to the OPG, Okinawan men rank No. 1 in deaths caused by lung
cancer and No. 2 in suicides nationally. Many men from their 30's to their
60's have circulatory diseases, and those in their teens and 20's have a
high rate of deaths caused by traffic accidents or unexpected accidents.
Another survey shows that Okinawans in general are among the worst four for
diseases caused by eating, smoking, and drinking habits.

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2001;10(2):165-71. Related Articles, Links 

Implications from and for food cultures for cardiovascular disease:

Suzuki M, Wilcox BJ, Wilcox CD.

Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science, Naha. 

A healthy cardiovascular system, with minimal arteriosclerosis, good
endothelial function and well-compensated ventricular function has been
observed at advanced ages, and linked to a healthy lifestyle. This has
consisted of a plant-based diet, low in salt and fat, with monounsaturates
as the principal fat. Other healthy lifestyle factors include regular
physical activity (farming and traditional dance) and minimal tobacco use.
The associated negative risk factors are low homocysteine, healthy
cholesterol profile (Total:HDL ratio less than 3.5) and reasonable blood
pressures throughout the life cycle. Hormone-dependent cancers including
breast, ovary, prostate and colon and osteoporotic complications, such as
hip fracture rates, are also less frequent compared to the west. Protective
factors may include high anti-oxidant consumption, mainly flavonoids and
carotenoids, through a high vegetable (e.g., onions) and soy intake. Related
biological observations include low lipid peroxide, high superoxide
dismutase activity and high serum hydroxyproline, a marker of bone
formation. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its hormonal byproducts
testosterone and oestrogen appear to be high in Okinawan serum compared with
age-matched Americans, possibly reflecting a slower age-associated decline
in the sex hormone axis in Okinawans. 

This may be linked to better cardiovascular and overall health. Further
study is needed to delineate the reasons behind the 

******impressive cardiovascular*******  [? Policosanol]

and overall health of the Okinawans.

Publication Types: 

PMID: 11710359 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2001;10(2):159-64. Related Articles, Links 

History and characteristics of Okinawan longevity food.

Sho H.

University of The Air Okinawa Study Center, Japan.

Okinawan food culture in the Ryukyu island is one of the world's most
interesting culture because its consumers have the longest life expectancies
and low disability rates. It is a product of cultural synthesis, with a core
of Chinese food culture, inputs through food trade with South-East Asia and
the Pacific and strong Japanese influences in eating style and presentation.
The Satsamu sweet potato provides the largest part of the energy intake (and
contributes to self-sufficiency), there is a wide array of plant foods
including seaweed (especially konbu) and soy, and of herbaceous plants,
accompanied by fish and pork, and by green tea and kohencha tea. Infusing
multiple foodstuff and drinking the broth is characteristic. 

****Raw sugar is eaten.*****

The concept that 'food is medicine' and a high regard accorded medical
practice are also intrinsic of Okinawan culture. Again, food-centered and
ancestral festivities keeep the health dimensions well-developed. Pork,
konbu and tofu (soy bean-curd) are indispensable ingredients in festival
menus, and the combination of tofu and seaweed are used everyday. Okinawan
food culture is intimately linked with an enduring belief of the system and
highly developed social structure and network.

Publication Types: 
Historical Article

PMID: 11710358 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 


J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1996 Jun;42(3):241-8. Related Articles, Links 

Energy and nutrient intakes of Okinawan centenarians.

Akisaka M, Asato L, Chan YC, Suzuki M, Uezato T, Yamamoto S.

Research Center of Comprehensive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University
of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.

Energy and nutrient requirements of younger people have been well studied,
unlike that of centenarians. The average life span of the Japanese is the
longest in the world, and the population of the very aged is rapidly
growing. In addition, the average life span of Okinawan people is the
longest in all of Japan. Their food habits also differ from other parts of
Japan. To obtain basic dietary information, we surveyed 21 centenarians in
Okinawa (17 women and 4 men). The dietary survey was done by one 24 h recall
method, as was done for centenarians living throughout Japan (3). The energy
intake of the Okinawan centenarians living at home was about 1,100 kcal/day
for both sexes, which was similar to that of centenarians throughout Japan.
Energy, some nutrient intakes and food consumption pattern (in terms of food
groups) were different from those of the centenarians throughout Japan. We
also measured their heights, weights, hematological values and activities of
daily living (ADL). Comparison between the nutrient intakes and the
recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) estimated for the centenarians showed
that the estimated RDA of energy for the Okinawan centenarians might be less
than their actual intakes.

PMID: 8866260 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 


J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1984 Dec;30(6):553-9. Related Articles, Links 

Effects of 

****** Okinawan sugar cane wax and fatty alcohol *****

on serum and liver lipids in the rat.

Sho H, Chinen I, Fukuda N.

Partially purified Okinawan sugar cane wax and fatty alcohol were fed to
Wistar strain rats to examine the effects on serum and liver cholesterol
(Chol), triglyceride (TG) and phospholipid (PL). The fecal excretion of
neutral sterols in the rats was also determined. There were no significant
differences found in the body weight gain, food intake and liver weight
among the animals of experimental diet groups. An addition of 0.5% sugar
cane wax to the diet significantly lowered the concentrations of serum and
liver Chol in the rats. There were no significant differences observed in PL
and TG levels either in serum or liver among the experimental groups. These
results indicate that cane wax, one of the elements contained in sugar cane
rind as well as in black sugar, may have a cholesterol-lowering effect on
the serum and liver of the rats. The amount of feces excreted by the three
experimental diet groups of rats were exactly the same and also no
significant differences were found in the excretion of Chol.

PMID: 6533274 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 


J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1981;27(5):463-70. Related Articles, Links 

Effects of Okinawan 

*****sugar cane rind****

on serum and liver cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the rat.

Sho H, Chinen I, Uchihara K, Fukuda N.

Okinawan sugar cane rind was fed to Wistar strain rats to examine its
effects on the serum and liver cholesterol (Chol) and triglyceride (TG). At
the same time, the effects of sugar cane rind on the fecal excretion of
neutral sterols of the rats were examined. There were no significant
differences found in the food intakes and the liver weight between the rats
fed with sugar cane rind and other groups. The addition of 1% Chol to the
diet caused a significant increase in body weight gain but the
supplementation of sugar cane rind (2%) showed an effect on weight control
of rats. The serum Chol and TG levels of the rats given sugar cane rind were
lowered significantly. However, the lipid levels in the liver were almost
the same when compared with the control groups. The amount of feces excreted
by the rats fed with sugar cane rind was about 37% more than that of the
control group, and the fecal excretion of neutral sterols was significantly

PMID: 7320772 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

A recent meta analysis from Purdue University with "4596 patients from 52
eligible studies" found -24% reduction in LDL-c.

Here's a recent animal study, on the class of molecules from Quebec,

Oklahoma State University: Policosanol contents and compositions of wheat
varieties: ..."This study showed that wheat varieties grown under identical
growing conditions and management differ significantly in PC content and

Protective effect of policosanol on atherosclerotic plaque on aortas in

-----Original Message-----
From: CryoNet F [mailto:] On Behalf Of Doug Skrecky
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:26 AM
To: CryoNet F
Subject: [CN] legumes, not calories important for survival

[...in older people at least. Numerous studies have found that dietary
quality is important, but quantity is not.]

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13(Suppl):S137.
Body mass index is not a significant predictor of survival amongst older
  Introduction: As the population ages, more attention for emergent
problems of health and disease in the elderly is needed. The
International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) subcommittee on
Nutrition and Ageing, in conjunction with the World Health Organization
(WHO) global program for the elderly, embarked on the 'Food Habits in
Later Life' (FHILL): a cross-cultural study to test key hypotheses in
relation to food habits, health status and social variables in the
elderly in 1987. That obesity is associated with increased morbidity and
mortality requires specific consideration with advancing
years. Objective: To investigate whether the so-called a healthy BMI (a
widely used and simple tool to measure body fatness), between 20-25
kg/m2, predicts 7-year survival amongst elderly (aged 70 years and
over) from long-lived cultures namely Japanese in Japan, Swedes in
Sweden, Anglo-Celtics in Australia, and Greeks in Greece and
Australia. Methods: Baseline data of height and weight were used to
calculate BMI from FHILL study participants (n=785). BMI was classified
as low (BMI<20), healthy (20< or =BMI<25), overweight (25
<or=(BMI>or=30), and obesity (BMI(30). Healthy BMI was used as a reference
point. All cause mortality from up to seven years follow-up was used as
study endpoint. Each Cox Proportional Hazard model was adjusted to age at
enrolment (in 5-year intervals), gender, smoking and general health
status and was developed to analyse the survival data.
Results: Having a low BMI or being underweight/undernutrition (RR
1.45: 95% CI 0.85-2.58), being overweight (RR 1.16; 95% CI 0.75-1.78), or
being obese (RR 0.97: 95% CI 0.55-1.74) did not significantly reduce or
increase mortality as opposed to being in a healthy BMI group in the
FHILL population.
Conclusions: The FHILL study shows that mortality advantage conferred by
having healthy BMI was not evident amongst elderly from longevity
cultures. Body fatness, following adjustment for age at enrolment,
gender, smoking, and general health status, was not found to be a
significant predictor of 7-year survival. Further research may provide
better understanding of the relation between optimal BMI and survival
amongst older people.

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13(Suppl):S126.
Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people
of different ethnicities.
  Introduction: Nutrition plays an important role in the maintenance and
improvement of human life expectancy. The 'Food Habits in Later Life'
(FHILL) is a cross-cultural study conducted under the auspices of the
International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) and the World Health
Organization (WHO). Baseline data on food habits, health status and social
variables were collected from five cohorts aged 70 and over (Japanese in
Japan, Swedes in Sweden, Anglo-Celtic in Australia, Greeks in Australia
and Greece). Objective: To identify protective dietary predictors amongst
long-lived elderly people (n=785) from the FHILL population after
controlling for ethnicity. Methods: The validated FFQ were used to
collect data on food intakes in all cohorts except Japanese where the 3d
weighed food record method was employed. Intakes in gram/week were
calculated by multiplying the serving size by the weekly frequency of
intake. These values were further translated into gram/day and were
adjusted to 2500 kcal (10,460 kJ) for men and 2000 kcal (8,368 kJ) for
women. Food items were grouped into nine food groups based on key
features of the Traditional Mediterranean Diet (vegetables, legumes,
fruits and nuts, cereals (including starchy roots), dairy products, meat,
fish, monounsaturated: saturated ratio, and ethanol). All-cause mortality
data were obtained from up to seven years follow-up. Alternative Cox
Proportional Hazard model adjusted to age at enrolment (in 5-year
interval), gender, and smoking was developed to analyse the survival
data. Each Cox model was tested against controlling for cohorts' location
and ethnicity. Results: Only for legumes intake was the result plausible,
consistent and statistically significant across collective FHILL cohort's
data. There is a 7% - 8% reduction in mortality hazard ratio for every 20g
increase in daily legume intake with adjustment for location/ethnicity
(RR 0.92; 95% CI 0.85 - 0.99) and without adjustment for
location/ethnicity (RR 0.93; 95% CI 0.87 - 0.99). Conclusions: This
longitudinal study shows that a higher legume intake is the most
protective dietary predictor of survival amongst the elderly, regardless
of their ethnicity. The significance of legumes persisted even after
controlling for age at enrolment (in 5-year interval), gender, and
smoking. Legumes have been associated with long-lived food cultures such
as the Japanese (soy, tofu, natto, miso), the Swedes (brown beans, peas),
and the Mediterranean people (lentils, chickpeas, white beans).

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13(2):217-20.
Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people
of different ethnicities.
  To identify protective dietary predictors amongst long-lived elderly
people (N= 785), the "Food Habits in Later Life "(FHILL) study was
undertaken among five cohorts in Japan, Sweden, Greece and
Australia. Between 1988 and 1991, baseline data on food intakes were
collected. There were 785 participants aged 70 and over that were followed
up to seven years. Based on an alternative Cox Proportional Hazard model
adjusted to age at enrollment (in 5-year intervals), gender and smoking,
the legume food group showed 7-8% reduction in mortality hazard ratio for
every 20g increase in daily intake with or without controlling for
ethnicity (RR 0.92; 95% CI 0.85-0.99 and RR 0.93; 95% CI 0.87-0.99,
respectively). Other food groups were not found to be consistently
significant in predicting survival amongst the FHILL cohorts.

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