Mediterranean diet associated with longer telomeres


Lyra Nara Blog

Eating a Mediterranean diet might help extend your lifespan, suggests a study published in The BMJ this week. The diet appears to be associated with longer telomere length—an established marker of slower aging.

The Mediterranean diet has been consistently linked with health benefits, including reduced mortality and reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

It is characterised by a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (such as peas, beans and lentils), and (mainly unrefined) grains; a high intake of olive oil but a low intake of saturated fats; a moderately high intake of fish, a low intake of dairy products, meat and poultry; and regular but moderate intake of alcohol (specifically wine with meals).

Telomeres sit on the end of chromosomes (like the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces), stopping them from fraying and scrambling the genetic codes they contain. In healthy people, telomeres shorten progressively…

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