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Mediterranean Diet Linked To Longer Telomeres, Longer Life

December 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study shows that eating a Mediterranean diet (i.e., fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, fish, etc.) might help extend a person’s lifespan by keeping chromosomes, particularly their telomeres, intact. Telomeres sit on the end of chromosomes like the plastic aglets at the end of shoelaces. With aging, telomeres fray and shorten, scrambling genetic codes. Researchers analyzed dietary data on 4,676 healthy middle-aged women who also had a blood test to measure telomere length. Results showed that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with longer telomeres. Each one point change in diet score corresponded on average to 1.5 years of telomere aging.
M. Crous-Bou et al., "Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses' Health Study: population based cohort study. ", British Medical Journal, December 03, 2014, © Elsevier Inc.
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