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Longevity, Cardiovascular Disease, and Taurine Part 1 of 2

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Longevity, Cardiovascular Disease, and Taurine Part 1 of 2

Japan has the second longest life expectancy in the world at 85.03 years, as well as the lowest rate of cardiovascular mortality with only 31 deaths from ischemic (inadequate blood supply) heart disease per 100,000 people.  In comparison, the U.S. ranks 46th in longevity and has 110 deaths per 100,000 people from ischemic heart disease.  A 20 year worldwide study to investigate the relationship of diet with hypertension and cardiovascular mortality was begun in 1982, and included over 14,000 participants, evenly divided between men and women ranging in age from 48-56.

The CARDIAC Study found differences in taurine levels between Okinawans (longest lived and with the least mortality from heart disease of the Japanese) who still lived in Okinawa, and Okinawans who lived in two different areas of Brazil, one close to the coast, and one 600 miles inland.  Both Brazilian populations of Okinawans had substantially lower levels of taurine than Japanese Okinawans.  Taurine levels were lowest in the Okinawans living in inland Brazil, who only ate seafood an average of once every two weeks.  The lifespan of this population was a surprising 17 years shorter than Okinawans living in Japan.  Researchers concluded that low fish consumption and reduced taurine intake appeared to increase ischemic heart disease.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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