A survey of the dietary nutritional composition of centenarians

Chin Med J (Engl). 2001 Oct;114(10):1095-7.


Objective: To make a survey of the nutritional composition of the diets of centenarians.

Methods: Thirty-four centenarians were selected as subjects. Retrospective surveys were made on the variety and amounts of food consumed and their nutritional composition. Physical examinations with laboratory tests such as cardiograms, ultrasonic B rays, and blood, urine and hair tests were performed. Neutron activation testing was done on hair content. The transmission turbidimetric method was used to measure apolipoprotein content.

Results: The main food of the centenarians showed the characteristics of low calories, protein and fat but high fiber and mineral content. Laboratory results showed that the content of the elements of Cu, Se and Mn in hair was higher (P < 0.01). Zn was normal. The apoA1/apoB100 ratio was higher than in the control group (P < 0.01), and total cholesterol (TC) was lower than in the control group (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: The variety of diet and its nutritional composition may be the main factors influencing not only the content of elements in body, but also the levels of apoA1 and apoB100, which may be helpful in preventing arteriosclerosis and forming and maintaining immunity. The diet of these centenarians might aid in preventing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and malignant tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Energy Intake
  • Hair / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Longevity*
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Trace Elements / analysis


  • Lipids
  • Trace Elements