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Thread: Why Japanese tend to live longer?

  1. #1 Why Japanese tend to live longer? 
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    World Health Organization released the latest report shows that Japan still is the world's longest average life expectancy of National.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Actually Andora has the longest life expectancy.

    Genetics, health care, nutrition, and lifestyle.


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    What about genetics effects life span?

    Aren't genes "ancestral memory", more or less, the longer your ancestors lived the longer you will live. There must be something making the genes the way they are, genes didn't just decide a long time ago that "my children will live longer"

    I guess my point is, what about their environment has made them adapt to live longer. Genes are the sum of adaptations and one's origin aren't they?

    Assuming all humans have a common origin, what makes us different is our adaptations.

    What makes an environment home to creatures with longer lifespans, what makes an environment home to creatures with shorter life spans?
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  5. #4 Re: Why Japanese tend to live longer? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by genious129
    World Health Organization released the latest report shows that Japan still is the world's longest average life expectancy of National.

    After reading Dr. Andrew Wills "Healthy Aging," where he stated many tribes and corner of the globe about eating habit. One thing he said that struck me most about living longer is mainly due to eating organic and green vegitables. He was focusing cohort of people in China, Japan, India and other places ask them how long they been living. The answer was astounishing, people tend live longer because of environment, food and happiness. These rural places have less strees and better environment. And also eating food from their farm, breathing fresh air not polluted. Lets examine that in USA, if we want to live in such life style we have to pay so much money because our air polluted, organic food cost 3 times more than artificial food and forget about environment. I do not even know what can we do about that. But surely, it is great to see people enjoying much of their lives outside of usa. I guess everything has its own opposite reaction.
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  6. #5 Re: Why Japanese tend to live longer? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by sondivp456
    Quote Originally Posted by genious129
    World Health Organization released the latest report shows that Japan still is the world's longest average life expectancy of National.

    After reading Dr. Andrew Wills "Healthy Aging," where he stated many tribes and corner of the globe about eating habit. One thing he said that struck me most about living longer is mainly due to eating organic and green vegitables. He was focusing cohort of people in China, Japan, India and other places ask them how long they been living. The answer was astounishing, people tend live longer because of environment, food and happiness. These rural places have less strees and better environment. And also eating food from their farm, breathing fresh air not polluted. Lets examine that in USA, if we want to live in such life style we have to pay so much money because our air polluted, organic food cost 3 times more than artificial food and forget about environment. I do not even know what can we do about that. But surely, it is great to see people enjoying much of their lives outside of usa. I guess everything has its own opposite reaction.
    Is any of that backed up by large scale studies? The number of confounding variables, non causative correlations and general unquantifiable muddiness must be enormous. Not saying it's crap, but I've heard these sorts of lifestyle guidelines touted many times before, and based mostly on generalised correlations rather than decent evidence.
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  7. #6 Re: Why Japanese tend to live longer? 
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    [quote="TheBiologista"]
    Quote Originally Posted by sondivp456
    Quote Originally Posted by genious129
    World Health Organization released the latest report shows that Japan still is the world's longest average life expectancy of National.


    Is any of that backed up by large scale studies? The number of confounding variables, non causative correlations and general unquantifiable muddiness must be enormous. Not saying it's crap, but I've heard these sorts of lifestyle guidelines touted many times before, and based mostly on generalised correlations rather than decent evidence.
    Yes there is evidence of that and there has been paper published on Journal of Neurscience. And Dr. Andrew Wills is a neurologist who wrote a wanderful book as well as published great paper. I have worked on Antioxidant which shows very positive work.
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    I don't think I'm alone in my desire to see the evidence. I for one have no doubts that less streets, a diet of plenty of chem-free naturally-evolved veggies, clean air and sunshine are related to good health. WHY they are related is the matter of my interest.

    I was recently informed about chemicals that are used in organic farming that are not "organic" but are allowed for some reason to be used. The product is still legally considered organic. So something being called organic, doesn't mean much. There are very toxic, completely natural and organic chemicals.

    The IDEAL of organic foods is one thing, The reality of them is another, both the ideal and the reality make profits, and that is all they make. Buy organic, don't buy INTO organic. Better yet, grow your own food or make friends with those who do, then you will know for sure.

    I am all about chem-free naturally-evolved foods, but this is not what "organic" TRULY means. I don't know if that is what you meant, but I am assuming it is correct me if I'm wrong.

    Less streets may be related to good health because of the walking that it promotes. Walking is an important part of a balanced diet! It is relaxing and aids in digestion. I don't know if this is scientifically backed, but I notice it does with me. Maybe I'm just addicted to walking.

    A combination of "good" diet, a few hours of walking most days, a few hours of weight bearing work most days, fresh air and sunshine will keep you healthy and in good spirits. Look at the Amish.

    Anyway, please provide some links to resources that you've used.
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    Read book "Healthy Aging" by Andrew Wills. Also you can go to sciencedirect.com or pubmed just type antioxidant affect on aging. that will give you whole lots more info. If you have to log in from university or college to read any scientific journal unless you subscribe them. And school has to subscribe to these journals.
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    I don't think most Japanese live in rural areas.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I don't think most Japanese live in rural areas.

    Well I am saying one who does. But they still have chance of eating freshfood..
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    Some of these posts are straying dangerously close to unscientific dogma driven foodist beliefs.

    The longest lived population on Earth is Okinawa. They have a life expectancy of 84 years. Mainland Japan has a life expectancy of 82. In my country, white New Zealanders also have a life expectancy of 82, though the nation as a whole has a life expectancy of 80, due to the fact that a big immigrant population lives a lot less.

    I do not know, but I think it would be a pretty good guess that tertiary educated peoples of any Western nation have good life expectancy. Probably around 82 years. So the science graduates in this forum who are American will probably live longer than the average for the USA, and average something close to 82 years.

    Why do Okinawans live longer? A combination of good, varied diet with low saturated fats, lots of exercise, and a good social life, based on strong community ties.

    What of all the others who make claims of extreme life span? If researchers look into it, they inevitably find the claims are based on people's word. A man or woman says : "I am 102 years old." or a similar statement, which is unquestioned. Only societies that have proper documentation of birth date should be considered in this type of discussion. It is just too damn easy to get led astray by people who 'massage' the truth.
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    there are many factors to it as mentioned in previous posts but i think that the small built of the japanese people, their ascetic lifestyle (not eating like pigs) and eating healthy seafood help them a lot. it remains to be seen how they cope with modern lifestyle in the future - alcohol, poluted seafood and fish...
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    Perhaps you might hazard a guess as to why white New Zealanders have the same life expectancy as the Japanese, since we most definitely do NOT live ascetic lives or eat little meat, or lots of fish. Nor are we small stature.

    New Zealanders (latest statistics) are the third most obese people in the world, although I do not know how much that applies to the white sector of our population. We have the world's largest polynesian population (25% of the total) and they do tend towards obesity. So our white people may be much less obese?
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    I suspect hairmore will not answer as hairmore appears to be a spam bot hoping you will visit its website.
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    Citizens of the United States who have a tertiary degree have a life expectancy of roughly 83 years, versus 82 for the average Japanese. This aint got nothin to do with rice!

    On the other hand, it has probably got a lot to do with smarts.
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    It's a robot!
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    TheBiologista

    wrong guess but i have visited yours

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    clean air, you do not smoke much, live in some of the most quiet corners of the world, have only 4 tv channels to watch (that is a joke) and the climate - not too hot and not too cold. that is in my oppinion the strongest factor of all. equilibrium. polynesians have always been fat they have it coded it in their genes. it seems i have not been able to use any of my former arguments. there must be something else to longevity than what i have said before.
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    The thing is that there are so many factors that you cannot easily nail it down to just a few.

    For example : people who enjoy a lot of laughs get less heart disease. Ditto for lots of orgasms. How often do you see these listed as longevity factors?

    I listed 10 factors, but had to wind down with "etc. etc."

    The single biggest factor appears to be level of education - but that is probably true because well educated people are more likely not to smoke, to drink alcohol in moderation, and espcially wine - to exercise, to eat a well balanced diet etc. In other words, if you are knowledgeable and smart, you do the right things.

    Your sense of self is important. If you like yourself, and are happy, you live longer.

    Personally, I think any list will be incomplete. If you want to live a long time, educate yourself, and do everything!
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  20. #19  
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    If there is genetic factor, I suggest this owes to cultural relevence of elderly to offspring success. Especially cultures where children are normally cared for by grandparents. So it is in Asia.
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    Yes you are right regarding the level of education and I believe statistics support your assumption. Longevity is a function of too many variables, more than just 10. access to the functional health care system is another big factor. How many times would you or somebody you know be dead by now if they were not saved by the modern medicine?
    We are comparing incomparable since the base is completely different. Some people get killed in wars or mowed down by trivial diseases. But in general wealthy nations live longer because of better access to modern health care system and better knowledge of potential health risks. Japanese are a wealthy nation as much as Icelanders or Swiss and the differences in their life expectancy are microscopic. I did not know that until now so cultural differences may not play such a big role after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    hairmore

    The thing is that there are so many factors that you cannot easily nail it down to just a few.

    For example : people who enjoy a lot of laughs get less heart disease. Ditto for lots of orgasms. How often do you see these listed as longevity factors?

    I listed 10 factors, but had to wind down with "etc. etc."

    The single biggest factor appears to be level of education - but that is probably true because well educated people are more likely not to smoke, to drink alcohol in moderation, and espcially wine - to exercise, to eat a well balanced diet etc. In other words, if you are knowledgeable and smart, you do the right things.

    Your sense of self is important. If you like yourself, and are happy, you live longer.

    Personally, I think any list will be incomplete. If you want to live a long time, educate yourself, and do everything!
    There may be a problem with reaching this conclusion from American statistics.

    A person with a university degree is also more likely to have more income, and thus much better health care. I remember reading a study where the life expectancy of Americans with private health insurance was a little higher than the Canadian average, but the average life expectancy of the general American population is lower than Canada's. In countries with private health systems income is likely to play a huge part in life expectancies.

    Edit: This isn't to say that higher education doesn't also contribute to more awareness about health. Also, I'd like to ad that often the poor can't afford to eat healthy, mass produced processed fast food is cheaper and easier.
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    Its culture of the people. I think, that the main thing to be healthy is strong nervous system. All of them such quiet and to express the emotions at them its considered uncivilized.
    In the second they eat a lot of sea food - iodine is very necessary for organism.
    I think so.., Im not the expert in Japan.
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  24. #23  
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    I'm surprised Japanese do so well.

    The diet is perhaps worse than typical Vancouver fair. Salt is a major condiment, and causes what is called "old peoples' sickness"... just this inevitable (to Japanese) damage from a lifetime of putting salt on everything including sliced apples.

    Doctors and patients smoke cigarettes inside hospitals.

    Public drunks are common.

    Polluting industries are not zoned apart but rather interspersed with residential and agricultural lots.
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    Re salt.

    Salt is a major problem for about 30% of European populations, and I do not know the percentage for Japanese. Most people can excrete salt well, and a little extra salt is not a serious problem. However, the minority cannot, and the result of high salt intake is high blood pressure.

    The percentage of those genetically prone to salt caused high blood pressure is much greater in people of African descent. The theory is that many Africans lived far from the sea, and had little salt in their diet. Evolution favoured them with a gene to conserve salt. That worked well for those populations, but is decidedly harmful to those living in high salt western societies.

    It may be that the high salt intake in Japan is of lesser import??? The big thing about traditional Japanese diets is that it is low in saturated fats.
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    Japan has the lowest obesity rate in the developed world - 3 percent versus 32 percent in the United States, according to the International Obesity Taskforce. Many believe the good overall health and long life expectancy rate of the Japanese is due to their diet.
    "People in Japan tend to eat smaller portions of healthier types of food," says Dr. Mark Drucker, medical director of the Center for Advanced Medicine in Encinitas, Calif. "Eating plenty of low-mercury fatty fish, fresh vegetables and limiting red meat and refined sugars all contribute to this healthy lifestyle.

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  27. #26 Re: Why Japanese tend to live longer? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkkrisss
    Do you think rice has something to do with this?
    Well, there's definitely something fishy about it...
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Also, I'd like to ad that often the poor can't afford to eat healthy, mass produced processed fast food is cheaper and easier.
    I think the poor are badly nourished for the same reason as the rest of us - lack of awareness of proper nutrition and preference for the kinds of food that are not really good for us.

    Some of the cheapest food in the supermarket is also the most nutritious. Things like dried beans, canned vegetables, fresh fruit and vegetables in season, peanut butter, etc. If I really needed to save money I wouldn't go to a fast food restaurant. I'd have something like I'm having for lunch today - tunafish sanwich on whole wheat with a slice of tomato and an apple. More nutritious than a McD value meal, and probably <half the cost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Also, I'd like to ad that often the poor can't afford to eat healthy, mass produced processed fast food is cheaper and easier.
    I think the poor are badly nourished for the same reason as the rest of us - lack of awareness of proper nutrition and preference for the kinds of food that are not really good for us.

    Some of the cheapest food in the supermarket is also the most nutritious. Things like dried beans, canned vegetables, fresh fruit and vegetables in season, peanut butter, etc. If I really needed to save money I wouldn't go to a fast food restaurant. I'd have something like I'm having for lunch today - tunafish sanwich on whole wheat with a slice of tomato and an apple. More nutritious than a McD value meal, and probably <half the cost.
    Harold, I completely agree. We NEVER eat in fast food places, order a pizza,etc. and our food costs are quite low. It's uncanny how small a percent of our expenses are 'food'. I'm not as qick as some to play the 'education' card. I'm sure there are many on this form who think thenselves well educated but still eat french fries with their burger rather than an apple.

    Re longevity: number one is genetics. People don't have the same life expectancy of a dog or mouse. People around the world have a finite life expectancy of 100 or so with a few percent exceeding this limit...so if genetics plays a role then self-producing populations (such as Japan, Sardinia etc.) will have slightly different genetic longevity over time than the world average.

    After that the door is wide open to speculation. There are so many social and physical variables that it's not possible to isolate one. Variables can't be weighed against others except by educated 'assumptions' that are, themselves, based on other educated assumptions Affluence, education, healthcare availability, etc. certainly are variables but mix these with a dozen environmental variables and...no can do.
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  30. #29  
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    being poor is a poor excuse. If you are poor, consider making rice, corn and beans your staple foods, and supplementing your diet with liver on occasion and/or brewers yeast regularly. Fresh fruits and veggies are not incredibly expensive. If you have a hard time affording them, consider joining or starting a food coop with your neighbors, coworkers, family and friends.

    50 lbs of rice goes for less than $25 in most places. That's 800 servings, at about 3 cents per serving. A single unemployed, or low income person, in America can apply for 200 dollars worth of food stamps for 3 months before DHS looks into whether or not they should continue providing them.

    Assuming they cancel providing them, you can stock up on years worth of staple foods. Or you can eat like a king for a while.

    Most people would rather eat little Debbie snacks, fruit loops, Pepsi, gold fish crackers, white bread, and tombstone pizzas though. Food stamps can even be used to buy cold sandwhiches from sub shops. You would think that the unemployed would have more time to prepare homemade foods, but it seems they would rather spend most of their time getting intoxicated and looking at colorful packaging instead.
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    Aging did not get much attention within biology until a recent surge. Typically you could attribute 3 pages from a 1200 page cellular biology text to aging. Again, a recent surge has garnished many new insights.

    The single greatest thing for aging is eating less calories. There is a very strong correlation between the eldest members of a society and those who followed a lower calorie diet. Part of the reason for this is simple: every time through a kreb cylce, there is a fixed chance for the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are the number one inducer of aging. They damage natural processes in our body, break down normal defenses, and limit checks and balances in place. So there becomes something of a direct ratio of the number of calories and the number of free radicals formed.

    Other things are known to enhance lifespans such as regular (not long) exposure to sunlight, regular and frequent sexual intercourse (no, I'm not making this up), long term exposure to high altitude, and laughing and meditation that reduce stress hormones and increase natural endorphins.


    Something else worth investigating is epigenetics. It is a new understanding for non-heritable genetic transfer. In other words, what mom and dad had is not necessarily what you'll end up with. As we live and expose ourselves to certain cues, our DNA sequence remains unchanged, but the forces that act upon the DNA being transcribed can be altered. These alterations have been shown to impact cancer formation as well as likelihood for remission. Methylation and other macro level interactions with that 'remodel' DNA seem to be responsible for some of the phenomenon observed. It is a very interesting realm of biology and worth reading for anyone with interests in longevity.
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    Just a minor correction. Low calory diets have worked in slowing the ageing process in a large number of mammal species. However, it has not yet been shown to work in humans. It should, but without direct evidence, it is too soon to claim such.

    I think any such effect is probably minor. My reason is that there are literally thousands of human societies that survive on a low calory diet, and none have yet been shown to have a long average lifespan. Many may fail due to poor nutrient content of their food, but I would be surprised if that applied to all such societies. I fact, no low calory diet society even reaches the lifespan of most of the western world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Most people would rather eat little Debbie snacks, fruit loops, Pepsi, gold fish crackers, white bread, and tombstone pizzas though. Food stamps can even be used to buy cold sandwhiches from sub shops. You would think that the unemployed would have more time to prepare homemade foods, but it seems they would rather spend most of their time getting intoxicated and looking at colorful packaging instead.
    This is oversimplifying things. If you were a single mother who worked 12 hours a day with 2 hours commuting time for minimum wage, you are much more likely to serve a pre-packaged meal than someone with a standard 9 to 5.

    I also don't think you've ever been to what counts as a grocery store in the inner city, many foods simply aren't available, you're lucky if there's somewhere that sells fresh produce within 40 minutes on foot.
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