Longevity, Healthy Aging, and Preventive Medicine
Yuki Hayashi: “Japan is rapidly becoming the country with the largest aging population in the world, with nearly a quarter of Japanese people over the age of 65. Japan now has the longest living people in the world, with the average life expectancy of 86.6 years for women and 80.2 for men. However, the cost of medical care in Japan has been increasing every year growing to approximately 40 trillion yen (357 billion U.S. dollars) annually, absorbing half of the national budget.”
An estimated 4.62 million Japanese people, i.e. 1 in 7 adults over 65, suffered from dementia in 2012, and a predicted 7 million people, 1 in 5 seniors over 65, will have dementia in 2025. Curative medicine for dementia is not yet available. Most of the medical care expenses for dementia are related to the costs of the personnel employed to take care of patients. Should this tendency continue, the costs would shortly become astronomical.
Today the situation of our ‘childless and aging population’ has become an inescapable reality and reducing health care costs has now become a necessity.
Preventive Medicine and medical costs
Preventing diseases before they occur is necessary to reduce medical expenses drastically. Conventional medicine had been developed with the goal of treating patients, i.e. people when they are ill. Physicians prescribe medication as part of a therapeutic plan after they have made a diagnosis. The effectiveness of the prescribed drug can be confirmed in a reasonably short period. In contrast, it is harder to assess how effective preventive medicine is, as it is not designed for treating diseases but for anticipating and preventing them.
In my opinion, preventive medicine depends first on education. AIDS, for example, is an infectious disease that is preventable through education, awareness, and knowledge. The cost of treating someone with HIV in Japan is now estimated at around 2,000,000 yen (nearly $18,000) per year. The recent medical improvements in HIV treatment and care give people with HIV an excellent life expectancy. However, they will need medication every day for the rest of their lives as HIV cannot be eradicated from the body but only controlled by antiretroviral treatment.
In my home prefecture of Gifu, in Japan, where approximately ten new cases of HIV infection are reported every year, the medical cost of HIV treatment for ten people for twenty years would amount to 400 million yen – approximately 3,5 million USD. Preventing ten people a year from being infected by HIV would allow this huge sum to be allocated to the infrastructure needed in our aging society.
AIDS is just one example of the many infectious and chronic diseases that are preventable through education.
Preventive medicine also depends greatly on “Good-for-Your-Body Foods.” While conventional medicine is only beneficial to people when they are ill, food can be helpful for everybody. You can prevent illnesses by eating the right food.
Japanese traditional nutrition
We believe that our traditional Japanese nutrition consisting of a wide variety of fermented food may be the key to Japan’s highest longevity in the world.
Osato has developed and produced a dietary supplement, called “Fermented Papaya Preparation” or “FPP®” that combines traditional Japanese fermentation techniques with papayas, known as a health fruit all over Asia.
We think that “FPP®” is an excellent candidate to contribute not only to preventive medicine initiatives but also help reduce medical cost and expenses.
We have been conducting much clinical research to evaluate the effects of FPP® on patients suffering from various pathologies. The results of our studies on people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, for example, were positive. So were the results of our research on the effects of FPP® on diabetic patients.
Encouraged by our findings, we hope to develop our FPP® research further and find other areas where we can help improve people’s health and wellbeing.
We also believe that, with preventive medicine, a healthier older population would increase society’s workforce. Working up to 70, seniors would get the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with the younger generation. We hope to see Japan show a new direction to our aging industrialized countries worldwide.
Mr. Yuki HAYASHI
Mr. Yuki Hayashi is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Osato International Inc.
The goal of the company is to help people improve their general health and well-being. Their work focuses on immunological processes in their relationship with aging and the environment.
In 1998, Mr. Hayashi founded the World Foundation Aids Research and Prevention Japan Office (http://en.wfarp-japan.com) with Prof. Luc Montagnier, 2008 Nobel Laureate in Medicine for his co-discovery of H.I.V. The foundation has been engaged in preventive activities through AIDS education for children in elementary and junior high schools.
In 2004, Mr. Yuki Hayashi founded the Osato Research Institute dedicated to conduct and coordinate scientific programs and clinical studies that focus on the body’s defense systems, healthy living, and healthy aging.
A trustee at Whittier College, California since 2011, Mr. Hayashi, has sponsored new courses on preventive medicine.
Mr. Yuki Hayashi has been supporting various charity causes and activities. He is also sponsoring several high-performance athletes as well as sports events worldwide.