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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 380460, 10 pages
Research Article

Oxidative Stress and Longevity in Okinawa: An Investigation of Blood Lipid Peroxidation and Tocopherol in Okinawan Centenarians

1Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science, Okinawa 901-2114, Japan
2Department of Human Welfare, Okinawa International University, Okinawa 901-2701, Japan
3Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0215, Japan
4Pacific Health Research and Education Institute, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
5Department of Research, Kuakini Medical Center, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
6Department of Research, Planning and Development, The Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
7Department of Geriatric Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, HI 96817, USA

Received 16 August 2010; Accepted 30 November 2010

Academic Editor: Leonard W. Poon

Copyright © 2010 Makoto Suzuki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The Free Radical Theory of Aging mechanistically links oxidative stress to aging. Okinawa has among the world's longest-lived populations but oxidative stress in this population has not been well characterized. Methods. We compared plasma lipid peroxide (LPO) and vitamin E—plasma and intracellular tocopherol levels (total α, β, and γ), in centenarians with younger controls. Results. Both LPO and vitamin E tocopherols were lower in centenarians, with the exception of intracellular β-tocopherol, which was significantly higher in centenarians versus younger controls. There were no significant differences between age groups for tocopherol: cholesterol and tocopherol: LPO ratios. Correlations were found between α-Tocopherol and LPO in septuagenarians but not in centenarians. Conclusions. The low plasma level of LPO in Okinawan centenarians, compared to younger controls, argues for protection against oxidative stress in the centenarian population and is consistent with the predictions of the Free Radical Theory of Aging. However, the present work does not strongly support a role for vitamin E in this phenomenon. The role of intracellular β-tocopherol deserves additional study. More research is needed on the contribution of oxidative stress and antioxidants to human longevity.