The Blue Zones (BZs) are areas of the globe inhabited by exceptionally long-lived populations. They include the island of Okinawa in Japan, the island of Ikaria in Greece, the mountain area of the island of Sardinia in Italy, and the peninsula of Nicoya in Costa Rica. Their longevity is a relatively recent phenomenon that has been progressively investigated since the dawn of this century. Research efforts over the past two decades have sought to shed light on the factors associated with this longevity, as well as explore the possibility of lessons transferable to the general population. Among the features of BZ inhabitants, described in the literature, their eating habits hold a prominent place, as these have the advantage of being easily quantifiable and applicable on a larger scale. However, it is too often taken for granted that the mere fact of being documented in a long-lived population makes the diet a causal factor of that population's longevity; this is a claim which should be proven. Furthermore, it is implicitly assumed that a specific BZ diet is homogeneous and remains stable over time, whereas some evidence suggests the opposite. Therefore, this review summarizes our current knowledge of the BZ diets and discusses whether they can be considered as a paradigmatic example of healthy nutrition valid for anyone or, rather, a set of evolving food patterns that has offered benefits to a few specific communities in recent decades.
Diet and longevity in the Blue Zones: A set-and-forget issue? / Pes, G. M.; Dore, M. P.; Tsofliou, F.; Poulain, M.. - In: MATURITAS. - ISSN 0378-5122. - 164:(2022), pp. 31-37. [10.1016/j.maturitas.2022.06.004]