New Study: Mediterranean Diet Linked to Long Life

The keeps on gathering merits: Heart disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and cognitive decline are some of the conditions it may prevent, or in some cases, reverse. It’s also been linked to a longer lifespan in people who stick to it over the long term. And a new

Study to look at connections between diet and cellular aging. They were particularly interested in a part of the chromosome called the telomere, which is considered a biomarker for aging. The region is a repetitive DNA sequence at the ends of chromosomes that prevents the DNA from “unraveling” or otherwise degrading (they’re often likened to aglets, the plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces). Each time a cell divides, the telomere shortens – so older people naturally have shorter telomeres than young people. So do people with chronic illnesses, including heart disease and some cancers.

The team found that people who ate a Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres than people who ate a “Western” diet, even when factors like body mass index, age, exercise level, calorie intake, and smoking history were controlled for.