The Guinness Book of Records in 1979 astonished the world by documenting the “oldest living man”, Shigechiyo Izumi, who at the time was 115 years of age. (He eventually lived to be 120 years old.) Furthermore, unlike many Centenarians, he had led a robust, productive life retiring from farming at the young age of 105! Shigechiyo captured the imagination of the world. He stimulated the interest of longevity scientist worldwide. Why did he live so long? Had he learned the secret of the “Fountain of Youth”? Could his secret be replicated to produce a blueprint for other to follow? The Japanese Ministry of Health dispatched an army of Japanese scientist to Okinawa to uncover the reasons for his unusual longevity. What they found stunned them! ImageThey discovered that there were hundreds of Okinawans on this tiny island living over 100 years of age! In fact, there were more than four times the number of Centenarians per capita there than any other Japanese island and certainly more than on the Japanese mainland. And to their amazement, they were active enjoying productive and mentally agile lives such as 97-year-old karate master Seikichi Uehara. (Pictured left) Japanese scientists poked and prodded and ran numerous tests on their Centenarian research group looking for causes of their unusual longevity. They found that these people died at a much lower rate than other Japanese from cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc. Here are some of their findings:
The Okinawans had impressively young, clean arteries, low cholesterol, virtually free of atherosclerotic plaque and low homocysteine as compared to westerners. These factors reduced their risk for coronary heart disease by 80%.
Okinawans also had an extremely low risk for hormone-dependent cancers including breast, prostate, ovaries, and colon. Compared to North Americans, they had 80% less breast and prostate cancer and less than 50% of the ovarian and colon cancer.
ImageOkinawans have about 20% fewer hip fractures than do mainland Japanese, and Japanese have about 40% fewer hip fractures than Americans.
Prevalence surveys suggest that the dementia rate is fairly low among the Okinawan elderly, compared to other elderly populations. Even into their late 90s, Okinawans suffered lower dementia rates than reported for comparable populations in the United States and elsewhere.
ImageIn an attempt to discover the cause of these incredible medical outcomes, the Ministry of Health scientists in what became known as the largest double-blind study evaluated factors considered to contribute to longevity such as; genetics, diet, exercise, caloric restriction, stress reduction and other lifestyle habits. The results showed little difference in their results compared to other Centenarians in other longevity studies. They were stumped at what caused them to live longer than other Centenarians! Then a Japanese scientist who had been studying the water of Japan and globally for 40 years came up with the solution. It was their water. Professor Emeritus, Jun Kobayashi at Okayama University discovered that the water in Okinawa was different than the water on the other islands. Image Unlike other islands which are formed as a result of a volcano, Okinawa is built on an ancient coral reef. Coral are marine invertebrates which absorb the 72 minerals of the ocean. Therefore, when it rains on the Okinawan islands, the water filters through the coral formation becoming infused with coral minerals eventually ending up in their water supply. The net result is that the water they drink, give to their animals and water their crops takes on properties not found on other islands. Their water, rich with highly absorbable ionic minerals, has a higher (alkaline) pH, becomes a super anti-oxidant and takes on the ideal molecular structure to quench thirsty cells. ImageIn the next post, I will share the findings of two Nobel Prize Laureates who support the benefits found by the Japanese Ministry of Health study. You will learn the medical principles behind minimizing the health risks of cancer, coronary heart disease, and dementia that the Okinawans enjoyed. And you will learn how coral minerals increase energy and decrease pain.
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