Eating Less Enhances Anti-Aging Telomeres

Sunday, July 25, 2010
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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It is pretty clear that Americans are causing early death, disease, and feeble health by literally poisoning themselves with too much food.  Eating less, often referred to as calorie restriction, has previously been shown to activate the anti-aging gene system based on Sirtuin1 (the same gene resveratrol activates).  New British animal research now demonstrates that calorie restriction also extends the length of telomeres1 – another powerful anti-aging aspect associated with eating less food.

Cell senescence is the point at which a cell can no longer replicate.  Telomeres, which reside on the ends of chromosomes, help regulate cell division.  Each time a cell divides the telomere loses a bit of its length.  Eventually telomeres run out of gas and the cell can no longer replicate.  This causes cell death.  The mathematical potential for cell division based on telomere availability is 120 years. 

We already know that various forms of stress can shorten telomeres at an excessive and inappropriate rate.  We also know that various nutrients can help protect telomeres and possibly even lengthen them (such as carnosine, fish oil, and even a multiple vitamin).

These researchers showed for the first time that eating less food could preserve telomere length compared to a higher calorie diet.  Very interestingly they also showed that benefit could happen even when less food was eaten later in life – offering hope that the information in this study may translate as a health benefit to older Americans trying to improve their health.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Calorie Restriction, Telomeres, Extended Life  British Society for Research on Ageing  Chunfang Wang, et al.

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