Aging process reversed with positive lifestyle changes# # diet # No Comment
Telomeres are DNA-protein complexes found at the end of chromosomes that control the aging process. They protect the end of the chromosomes from becoming damaged. If the telomeres are shortened or damaged, the cells age and die quicker, triggering the aging process.
Biological age can be predicted by the length of our telomeres, the researchers say. Shorter telomeres are linked to higher risk of premature death and age-related diseases, including many cancers (breast, prostate, colorectal and lung), heart disease, vascular dementia and obesity.
Fruit and veg displayed in the shape of a heart
By making changes, such as adopting a whole foods plant-based diet, participants increased telomere length by 10%.
For the study, the researchers analyzed two groups of men who had been diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer. Both groups had no conventional treatments, such as surgery or radiation, for the cancer.
The first group was required to make comprehensive lifestyle changes. These included:
- Adopting a whole foods plant-based diet
- Carrying out moderate exercise
- Adopting stress management techniques, such as meditation and yoga, and
- Adopting greater intimacy and social support.
The second group was not asked to make any lifestyle changes.
The researchers measured the length of the men’s telomeres at the beginning of the study and again at the end, 5 years later.
Positive lifestyle changes increase telomere length
Findings of the study revealed that the group who made lifestyle changes showed an increased telomere length of 10%, while the men who did not make any lifestyle changes showed a decreased telomere length of 3%.
Additionally, the more the participants enrolled in positive changes to their lifestyle, the higher the increase in their telomere length.