Tag Archives: Dean Ornish

Clean Living ‘Slows Cell Ageing’

Taking more exercise and eating the right foods may help increase levels of an enzyme vital for guarding against age-related cell damage, work suggests.
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Among 24 men asked to adopt healthy lifestyle changes for a US study in The Lancet Oncology, levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average.

Telomerase repairs and lengthens telomeres, which cap and protect the ends of chromosomes housing DNA.

As people age, telomeres shorten and cells become more susceptible to dying.

It is the damage and death of cells that causes ageing and disease in people.

Several factors such as smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with shorter-than-average telomeres.

Professor Dean Ornish, from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in California, and his team wanted to find out if improvements in diet and lifestyle might have the opposite effect.

They asked 30 men, all with low-risk prostate cancers, to take part in a three-month trial of comprehensive lifestyle changes.

These consisted of a diet high in fruit and vegetables, supplements of vitamins and fish oils, an exercise regimen and classes in stress management, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.

Telomerase activity was measured at the beginning of the trial and again at the end.

Among the 24 men who had sufficient data for analysis, blood levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average.

Increases in telomerase activity were linked with decreases in “bad” LDL cholesterol and decreases in one measure of stress – intrusive thoughts.

The researchers say it is too early to tell if the boost in telomerase levels will translate to a change in telomere length.

But there is evidence to suggest that telomere shortness and low telomerase activity might be important risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“This might be a powerful motivator for many people to beneficially change their diet and lifestyle,” they told The Lancet Oncology.

Professor Tim Spector, from King’s College London, who has been researching ageing and telomeres, said: “This work builds on what we already know.

“Lifestyle can affect your telomeres. It would be interesting to find out whether it is diet, stress or both that is important.”

“This might be a powerful motivator for many people to beneficially change their diet and lifestyle ”

The study authors

Source: BBC NEWS:15th. Sept. ’08

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Healthy Lifestyle Slows Aging

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.

Shortening of telomeres indicates disease risk and premature death in some types of cancer, including breast, colon and lung cancer.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Good Lifestyle Can Transform Genes

Comprehensive lifestyle changes including a better diet and more exercise can lead not only to a better physique, but also to swift and dramatic changes at the genetic level, US researchers said.

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In a small study, the researchers tracked 30 men with low-risk prostate cancer who decided against conventional medical treatment such as surgery and radiation or hormone therapy.

The men underwent three months of major lifestyle changes, including eating 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.

As expected, they lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and saw other health improvements. But the researchers found more profound changes when they compared prostate biopsies taken before and after the lifestyle changes.

After three months, the men had changes in activity in about 500 genes – including 48 that were turned on and 453 genes that were turned off. The activity of disease-preventing genes increased while a number of disease-promoting genes, including those involved in prostate cancer and breast cancer, shut down, according to the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research 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.

“It’s an exciting finding because so often people say, ‘Oh, it’s all in my genes, what can I do?’ Well, it turns out you may be able to do a lot,” Ornish, who is also affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco, said. “‘In just three months, I can change hundreds of my genes simply by changing what I eat and how I live?’

That’s pretty exciting,” Ornish said. “The implications of our study are not limited to men with prostate cancer.”

Ornish said the men avoided conventional medical treatment for prostate cancer for reasons separate from the study. But in making that decision, they allowed the researchers to look at biopsies in people with cancer before and after lifestyle changes.

Sources:
The Times Of India