An unhealthy diet and living the life of a coach potato may be making you age faster. Researchers at Mayo Clinic believe there is a link between these modifiable lifestyle factors and the biological processes of aging. In a recent study, researchers demonstrated that a poor diet and lack of exercise accelerated the onset of cellular senescence ( the process of aging) and, in turn, age-related conditions in mice. Results appear in the March issue of Diabetes (Forliti, 2016).
Senescent cells contribute to various diseases and conditions joined with age. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging discovered that exercise deters premature senescent cell accumulation and as a prophylactic against the harmful effects of an unhealthy diet including but not limited to deficits in physical, heart, and metabolic function, equal to diabetes.
“We think at both a biological level and a clinical level, poor nutrition choices and inactive lifestyles do accelerate aging,” says Nathan LeBrasseur, Ph.D., director of the Center on Aging’s Healthy and Independent Living Program and senior author of the study. “So now we’ve shown this in very fine detail at a cellular level, and we can see it clinically. And people need to remember that even though you don’t have the diagnosis of diabetes or the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease or the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease today when you’re in midlife, the biology underlying those processes is hard at work.”
While the deleterious effects of the fast-food diet were readily apparent, researchers found noticeable health improvements after the mice began to exercise. Half the mice, among which were on both healthful and unhealthful diets, were given exercise wheels. The mice that ate a fast food diet but exercised displayed suppression in body weight gain and fat mass accumulation; they were protected against the buildup of senescent cells. The mice petit healthful, normal diet also benefited from exercise.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Video is available for download on the Mayo Clinic News Network. https://youtu.be/SRqmxfwf9aI
“Some of us believe that aging is just something that happens to all of us and it’s just a predestined fate, and by the time I turn 65 or 70 or 80, I will have Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis,” says Dr. LeBrasseur. “And this clearly shows the importance of modifiable factors so healthy diet, and even more so, just the importance of regular physical activity. So that doesn’t mean that we need to be marathon runners, but we need to find ways to increase our habitual activity levels to stay healthy and prevent processes that drive aging and aging-related diseases.”
The research was supported by the Paul F. Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, the National Institutes of Health, the Pritzker Foundation, and Robert and Arlene Kogod.
Others on the research team include Marissa Schafer, Ph.D.; Thomas White, Ph.D.; Glenda Evans; Jason Tonne; Grace Verzosa, M.D.; Michael Stout, Ph.D.; Daniel Mazula; Allyson Palmer; Darren Baker, Ph.D.; Michael Jensen, M.D.; Michael Torbenson, M.D.; Jordan Miller, Ph.D.; Yasuhiro Ikeda, Ph.D.; Tamar Tchkonia. Ph.D.; Jan van Deursen, Ph.D.; James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., all of Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic and Dr. Tchkonia, Palmer, Dr. Kirkland and Dr. LeBrasseur have a financial interest related to this research.
Forliti, M. (2016, March 16). Poor Diet, Lack of Exercise Accelerate Onset of Age-Related Conditions in Mice. Retrieved March 21, 2016, from Mayo Clinic News Network: http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/poor-diet-and-lack-of-exercise-accelerate-the-onset-of-age-related-conditions-in-mice/
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