A way to look younger is through a healthy lifestyle. Scientists says balanced diet, few hours of exercise and proper meditation helps in reversing ageing of cells.
The study shows for the first time that comprehensive changes in food habits, physical activities, stress management and social support may result in longer telomeres – the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age.
We often wonder why we grow older? Scientists say as telomeres become shorter, and as their structural integrity weakens, the cells age and die quicker.
The researchers followed 35 men with localized, early-stage prostate cancer to explore the relationship between comprehensive lifestyle changes and telomere length and telomerase activity.
All the men were engaged in active surveillance for five years. The patients’ condition was closely monitored through screening and biopsies.
Ten of the patients embarked on lifestyle changes that included: a plant-based diet (high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, and low in fat and refined carbohydrates); moderate exercise (walking 30 minutes a day, six days a week); stress reduction (gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation). They were compared to the other 25 participants. Notably, these men were not asked to make major lifestyle changes.
The group that made the lifestyle changes experienced a ‘significant’ increase in telomere length of 10 percent. Also, the more people changed their behaviour by adhering to the recommended lifestyle programme, the more dramatic their improvements in telomere length, the scientists learned.
The men in the control group who were not asked to alter their lifestyle had shorter telomeres when the five-year study ended.
The study was published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.