According to a World Health Organization data in 2017, Japan’s average life expectancy at is 83.7 years. This means that Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world, as compared to the Philippines’ 68.4 years, which is three years earlier than the global life expectancy average of 71.5 years of age.
It has been said that the main cause of Japan’s advanced longevity is commonly thought to be a “walking lifestyle” coupled with Japan’s diet. According to another WHO report, 98% of Japanese school children walk or bike to school every day, which means that most of them get their recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day just by going to school.
As a Japanese company with a long history in food and science, Ajinomoto Co., seeks to better understand the keys to longevity, and spread them around the world.
Longevity—great for individuals, but challenging for a country
According to the Commission on Population, the number of ageing Filipinos, ages 60 and up, is forecasted to increase by .23 percent over 2017 and will most likely be over 8 million Filipino senior citizens by the end of 2018.
An ageing population presents a number of clear challenges for many countries, including loss of workplace productivity—because after all, most people do want to retire eventually—and soaring healthcare and elderly nursing costs.
In the absence of other diseases, one of the biggest physical problems faced by the elderly is called “sarcopenia,” a loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, which occurs with advancing age. Sarcopenia can lead to a variety of health impairments that are typically associated with the elderly, including mobility disorders and increased risk of falls and fractures.
Filipinos get majority of source of protein from rice at an average of 22.6 grams of protein. Other leading sources of protein were pork at 17.53 grams and chicken at 12.24 grams.
Proper nutrition is clearly a crucial factor that leads to good health. And amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, are a key component of sufficient and balanced nutrition.
As one of the world’s foremost companies in the research and production of amino acids, Ajinomoto Co. is in a natural position to make a positive impact in this area. That’s why we are actively engaged in promoting healthy longevity in Japan through a variety of community programs, and through our “Amino L40” product.
“Amino L40” is a proprietary blend of 9 essential amino acids (including L-Leucine 40%) that are vital to muscle protein synthesis6. Ajinomoto Co. provides this product to other companies in the food and nutrition area as a food ingredient. Clinical trials show that seniors who take this supplement and perform moderate exercise (60 minutes twice per week) have significantly higher increase in leg muscle mass, muscle strength, and walking speed than seniors who don’t take the supplement and don’t exercise6.
In addition to using “Amino L40” in its own nutritional supplements, for years Ajinomoto Co. has been actively partnering with numerous other companies in Japan to bring the benefits of “Amino L40” to the general public through food products.
These partnerships have yielded drink mixes, curry, miso soup, marshmallows, and more. And we are always seeking for more potential partners that will cooperate to integrate the benefits of amino acids with food products.
Ajinomoto Co. is proud to be on the forefront of promoting a “healthy lifespan” in Japan, but we are not satisfied to stop there. Because we are committed to helping societies all around the world to live not only longer, but better lives.