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09.01.2017


Diet of beans, fermented dairy products, fruit, coffee, nuts and seaweed delays aging

If you eat relatively large amounts of beans, fermented dairy products, fruit, coffee, nuts and seaweed you may live longer than if your diet consists of only small amounts of these foods. South Korean nutritionists at Kookmin University wrote about this in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Study
The Koreans measured the length of the telomeres in the DNA in the white blood cells of 1,958 people over the age of 40. Telomeres become shorter as we age. The speed at which this shortening takes place gives an indication of the speed at which aging processes progress.

Ten years previously the participants had told the researchers in detail about their diet. That meant that the researchers were able to build up a picture of the effect of various foods on the pace at which aging took place.

Results
The Koreans found significantly shorter telomeres among the participants who had indicated ten years earlier that they ate relatively large amounts of red meat and processed meat. A high intake of soft drinks was also associated with shorter telomeres.


Diet of beans, fermented dairy products, fruit, coffee, nuts and seaweed delays aging



Among the participants who ten years before had been eating large amounts of fruit, beans, nuts, dairy products [most of which were fermented in the Korean diet], seaweed and coffee, their telomeres were longer. The effect of seaweed in particular was noticeably strong.

Green tea, fish and green and yellow vegetables showed no correlation with telomere length. This may be because nearly all participants consumed relatively large amounts of these foods. Because there was no difference in distribution it was difficult to detect effects of eating these foods.

Conclusion
"Our investigation showed that a diet in the remote past, that is, 10 years earlier, is associated with leukocyte telomere length, reflecting biological aging, among middle-aged and older adults," the researchers wrote. "Further studies are warranted to determine a causal relationship between dietary patterns or food items and telomere shortening."

Source:
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep;69(9):1048-52.

More:
Human study: omega-3 fatty acids delay molecular ageing 08.02.2010
Drink three cups of tea a day and add five years to your life 11.09.2009
Live ten years longer with just one multivitamin pill per day 06.06.2009

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