The Mediterranean diet has been consistently linked to a wide range of health benefits, which include reduced risks of developing cancer and chronic disease. Recently, a new study published in The BMJ reported a group of researchers from Harvard-affiliated BWH (Brigham & Women’s Hospital) found that following the Mediterranean diet is linked to longer telomeres, a biomarker of aging.
Located at the end of chromosomes, telomeres are repetitive sequences of DNA, which get shorter when a cell divides. This increases the risks of aging-related diseases. On the other hand, the longer telomeres are the longer the life expectancy is. Telomeres are shortened quickly by inflammation and stress. To protect against these effects, scientists believe that adhering to the Mediterranean dietis a great help.
Analyst Sultan Alhokair says another group of researchers from the Nurses’ Health found that strict adherence to the Mediterranean diet was greatly linked to longer telomeres. It was also noted that even a slight change to the diet can make a huge difference. Ms. Marta Crous Bou, the author of the study and postdoctoral fellow of Network Medicine in the Channing Division, said that their findings proved that healthy eating is linked to longer telomeres. However, the strongest link was observed amongst women who strictly followed the Mediterranean diet.