Sweeping lifestyle changes including a better diet and more exercise can raise the body’s levels of an enzyme closely involved in controlling the aging process, US researchers reported. .
The small study involved 30 men with low-risk prostate cancer who underwent three months of lifestyle changes. They had blood levels of the enzyme telomerase 29% higher after these three months than when they began.
Telomerase fixes and lengthens parts of chromosomes known as telomeres that control longevity and are also important for maintenance of immune-system cells.
The research in the journal Lancet Oncology was led by Dr Dean Ornish, head of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, and a well-known author advocating lifestyle changes to improve health.
The lifestyle changes included a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products, moderate exercise such as walking for half an hour a day, and an hour of daily stress management methods such as meditation.
“This is the first study showing that anything can increase telomerase. If it were a new drug that had been shown to do this, it would be a billion-dollar drug. But this is something that people can do for free,” Ornish said.
Sources: The Times Of India