Researchers say healthy living reverses aging process
Adopting a strict regimen of diet, exercise and yoga and meditation may reverse aging at the cellular level, according to a study published in Lancet Oncology. Though researchers say it’s too early to draw firm conclusions.
For the study, researchers looked at 35 men with low-risk prostate cancer. Some of them were asked to change their lifestyle and the others carried on as usual. Researchers saw visible cellular changes in the group of 10 men who switched to a vegetarian diet and stuck to a recommended exercise and yoga plan.
The changes involved the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes, called telomeres. Their role is to safeguard the end of the chromosome and prevent the loss of genetic information during cell division. As we age and our cells divide, telomeres get shorter, as their structural integrity weakens and can tell cells to stop dividing and die.
Researchers measured telomere length at the beginning of the study and again after five years. The men who made the lifestyle changes had increased telomere length by an average of 10 percent. The remaining 25 men who made no lifestyle changes had a decreased telomere length by an average of 3 percent.
Researchers conclude that telomere length is likely not the only cause of aging or disease.