Dr. Shintani shares his ‘New Paradigm of Health’ protocol

He says living 120 years is possible

DR. TERRY SHINTANI, Stresses nutritional health

Hawaii has edged out Okinawa for longevity of its residents with an average life expectancy of 81.3 years compared to Okinawa’s 81.2 years, said Dr. Terry Shintani during a talk on healthy longevity Thursday night at the J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku.

More than 150 people overflowed into the adjoining auditorium and outside the entry to hear the formally designated Living Treasure of Hawaii share information that could extend the human lifespan to 120 years. While some in the audience said they wouldn’t want to live that long, Shintani said it would be worthwhile if one remained “vibrant” and that this may be achieved by following his “New Paradigm of Health.”

Shintani pointed to “The Nei Ching,” one of the oldest-known medical books that 4,500 years ago claimed people lived this long. He also showed modern documentation of people living to close to 120. “It’s actually not unreasonable,” he said.

Ironically, the high average life expectancy of Hawaii is not true for Native Hawaiians as a group. “The Waianae Diet addressed this,” Shintani said of a local study that showed a diet high in complex carbohydrates and fiber and low in fat — similar to the traditional Hawaiian diet — resulted in dramatic health improvements for 19 Native Hawaiians. The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1991. Shintani, who was an author of the study, subsequently published the “Hawaii Diet” in 1999. It received national acclaim. He was featured on CBS, CNN and Dateline NBC. A Native Hawaiian, featured in one of the television clips, was able to eliminate a garbage bag full of medications he regularly took by following the diet. The pills had often landed him in the hospital because of side effects.

Medical doctors don’t receive extensive training in nutrition as part of their degree. Shintani made the extra effort to obtain a master’s degree in nutrition from Harvard University. As a medical professor, he introduces his “New Paradigm of Health” to medical students who are confident they know how to prescribe medicine. However, they are at a loss when he asks, “Do you know how to get them off medicine?”

His focus on healthy longevity is the topic of his latest book, “The Peace Diet,” published in 2014. It addresses body, mind and spirit as a way to reverse obesity and disease. It also contains recipes.

As for living to 120, Shintani briefly shared steps to control inflammation naturally; control blood sugar with more carbs; and the emerging understanding of the role of gut flora in health.

“Environmental toxins are underconsidered these days,” said Shintani. “Heart disease is coming down while cancer keeps going up. It may become the number one cause (of death). We are loaded with environmental toxins,” he said. These toxins are the result of everything from pesticides to cellphones and radiation, according to Shintani.

The environment can affect obesity genes and even cancer genes, Shintani said. Glyphosate exposure and celiac disease track closely in one chart he displayed.

To combat environment factors, he emphasized the importance of detoxification. Ways to do this include exercise; intermittent fasting; hot Hawaiian salt baths; and drinking detox tea.

Diet is the biggest area for increasing healthy longevity. “Calorie restriction is the most important to increase lifespan,” he said. “Eat pure calories, not less food.”

In his classic example of how to eat more and still lose weight, Shintani displayed an apple and a muffin that were roughly the same size. “What’s the difference?” he asked. After guesses from the audience, he revealed that the apple has 90 calories and the muffin has 580 calories. You could eat six apples and still consume less calories than one muffin.

“Just don’t eat stuff like this,” he said. “Eat good, unprocessed food and start losing weight.”

As for people’s concern about not getting enough protein, Shintani said he has never seen a protein deficiency, except in a hospital by a mentally ill person who only consumed cola and was an alcoholic.

He also pointed to the “protein paradox,” where high protein consumption is linked to cancer and death.

People concerned about blood sugar are often told to eat less carbs, said Shintani. “Ask why people in Japan have less diabetes,” he said. “The problem is eating more saturated fats. Know good carbs and bad carbs.”

Shintani pointed out that the Hawaii Diet is 76 percent carbohydrates. “Unprocessed carbs slow down the absorption,” he said.

Inflammation, chronic pain, arthritis, etc., are tied to cancer and other diseases, said Shintani. “When you follow this diet the pain goes down significantly. It makes the blood act like aspirin.”

“The worst food is chicken,” he said in reference to inflammation. It provides 27 percent of the arachidonic acid in the average diet, followed by eggs at 17.8 percent and beef at 7.3 percent. Another contributing factor is omega 6 linoleic acid found in oils.

“We’re eating pro-inflammatory stuff, causing pain.”

Another important area for healthy longevity is gut flora, according to Shintani. However, he advised that eating more probiotics is useless without good prebiotics like vegetables and whole grains. “To grow a seed you need good soil,” he said.

Finally, in addition to herbs, hormone replacement, supplements and energy medicine (like acupuncture), Shintani stressed the importance of lifestyle, which includes adequate exercise and sleep. He shared a story about a man who is 102 and still works as a Realtor. When asked what his secret is, the man said he swims every day.

Shintani invited the audience to view and subscribe to his recently launched YouTube channel at www.askdrshintani.com for more health information. His talk was presented by the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii.

* Rich Van Scoy can be reached richv@mauinews.com.