• Adam Smith Institute

    Adam Smith Institute place holder
  • Philosophy & Logic

    Philosophy and Logic
  • Cambridge

    Cambridge
  • Children’s SF

    Children's Science Fiction
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 419 other followers

Using lifestyle changes to reverse the ageing process

telomeresA new study published in Lancet Oncology suggests that such lifestyle changes as exercise, diet and stress reduction can actually lengthen the telomeres that control cell ageing.  These are the DNA strips at the end of chromosomes that protect the integrity of the DNA in our cells.  They have been likened to the plastic tips of shoelaces that stop our DNA unravelling and fraying.  They get shorter each time a cell divides until they can no longer do the job and the cell ceases to function.

University of California scientists studied 10 men with prostate cancer who were asked to implement lifestyle changes against a control group of 25 who were not. The changes included exercise, stress-reducing meditation and a plant-based diet.  After 5 years the telomeres of each group were examined.  Those making the changes showed an average 10% lengthening of telomeres, whereas the control group showed a 3% average shortening.  This is a tiny study, but it points the way to future research that might be done.  It does not necessarily show longevity, though future studies might.

Most of us were already inclined to suppose that cutting down on fats, eating more vegetables and taking regular exercise would improve our health, and many think that controlling their stress levels helps.  These things have been associated with reduced risk of cancers, diabetes and heart disease, and now the possibility is opened up that they might help us to combat and even modestly reverse the ageing process.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: