Probably we all know that a healthy lifestyle bestows good health. But how these good habits create wonders is mystery.

But scientists claim they have evidence that can unfold the deep held mystery. In a new study, researchers have found that a healthy lifestyle prevent the disentanglement of chromosomes in our cells, leading to longer telomeres, the small protective DNA caps at the end of chromosomes which control aging.

The longer ones telomeres, the longer will with the lifespan, researchers averred.

The study
For the purpose of the study, researchers from the University of California San Francisco and members from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, recruited 35 men diagnosed with localized, early-stage prostate cancer.

While all participants were being treated with active surveillance, they were also advised to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes. For 5 years participants were required to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, stick to low-fat diet and refined carbohydrates, exercise regularly for 30 minutes a day for six days a week and manage stress by using meditation and breathing techniques.

The researchers compared the results of study subjects with 25 male patients who were not recommended to incorporate lifestyle changes.

Researchers found that participants who made lifestyle changes had a 10 percent longer telomere length vis-à-vis peers who did not incorporate lifestyle changes. Also, men who did not incorporate lifestyle changes had telomeres that were three percent shorter at the end of the study.

“Smoking makes your telomeres shorter, and emotional stress is associated with shorter telomeres, and lack of exercise,” Dean Ornish, of the University of California, San Francisco said. “And we know that shorter telomeres are associated with an increased risk of many chronic diseases and a shorter lifespan.”

“This was a breakthrough finding that needs to be confirmed by larger studies,” senior co-author, Peter R. Carroll, a professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Urology said. “Telomere shortening increases the risk of a wide variety of chronic diseases. We believe that increases in telomere length may help to prevent these conditions and perhaps even lengthen lifespan.”

The findings of the study are reported in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

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