Wouldn’t it be simply amazing if we could defy time staying young and beautiful for much longer? That will definitely put a hole in some plastic surgeon’s pockets wouldn’t it? Well, it appears we just may have a chance with a change in diet adding a few more decades to your life span if the study published in The Lancet Oncology is anything to go by.
In a recent study, researchers found that men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and agreed to adopt a whole foods plant-based diet, engage in moderate exercise routines and lead a generally less stressful lifestyle experienced an increase in telomeres.
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 damaged or shortened, the cells age and die quicker, consequentially activating the aging process.
The biological age of any human can be predicted by the length of telomeres and where telomeres are shortened there is a higher risk of premature death and age-related diseases which may include cancer, heart disease, vascular dementia and obesity.
Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco selected two groups of men who had been diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer to be analyzed for the study. Both groups had no previous treatment for the cancer. The first group was encouraged to change their diet by 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 while the second group was asked not to make any lifestyle changes.
At the end of five years, it was discovered that the first group after adopting a whole foods plant-based diet had their telomeres’ increased by 5% while the other group suffered a reduction by 3% in their telomeres.
“The study provides promising evidence that five years of intensive lifestyle changes in the areas of diet, physical activity, stress reduction and social support can reverse a biomarker of aging, namely telomere length,” said Donna Arnett, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.
The findings may lead to a better understanding of how lifestyles change, possibly in one’s diet could delay the aging process. So the next time you go to the grocers to get food items for your pantry, be sure to pick up a pineapple, workout more, reduce stress triggers in your life and you just may be on your way to staying young for a long time.