What is a telomere?
Telomeres are distinctive structures found at the ends of our chromosomes that protect the integrity of the DNA.
They're kind of like the plastic tips that keep shoelaces from fraying. Telomeres are important because they appear to be a good indicator of overall health. They tend to get shorter as we age; and shorter telomere are associated with increased health risk factors.
Click here to see just what a telomere looks like!
and Vegetable Frittata with Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes.
"Mediterranean Diet Associated With Healthy Aging, DNA"
Telomeres, DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes, can tell us a lot about aging and longevity, as shorter telomeres are associated with many age related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. To determine the relationship between DNA and diet, Harvard researchers analyzed food intake and telomere length from over 4,600 healthy nurses using data from the Nurses’ Health Study. Researchers found that people with the greatest adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (lots of vegetables, fruits, grains (mostly unrefined), fish, legumes, and nuts, and less meat) had the longest telomeres, a good indicator of healthy aging. Additionally, the scientists pointed out that no one specific food was pinpointed as the best, reinforcing the importance of a well-rounded, healthy diet.
British Medical Journal. 2014 Dec 2;349. (Crous-Bou M et al.)