Eating Healthy Foods Reduces Impact of Aging

A Mediterranean dietary pattern is characterized by a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and unrefined grains; a high intake of olive oil and low intake of saturated fat; and a low to moderate amount of animal food. This type of dietary is now associated with longer telomere length--a biomarker for aging. The greater the adherence…

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Soda and the Aging Process

Researchers studied white blood cell telomeres (the caps at the end of chromosomes in every cell). Shorter telomeres are associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, stress and a shorter lifespan. People who drank more sugary soda tended to have shorter telomeres. One 8-oz serving daily was found to be equal to 1.9 years of additional aging; a…

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Fitness Puts a Cap on Blood Pressure

Many people believe it is inevitable that the older they get the higher their blood pressure will be. A study which included almost 14,000 healthy men without hypertension, cardiovascular disease or cancer were followed for nearly 40 years. Highly fit men reached abnormal systolic blood pressures a decade later than men in the low fitness…

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Do Healthy Habits Protect Against Stress?

Cellular aging is thought to be accelerated by major life stressors. Researchers studied the impact of stressors in middle-aged women over a one year period. They found that a significant amount of change in telomere length could be predicted by life stressors (such as divorce, job loss, or caring for an elderly parent). However, when subjects…

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How Old Do You Look?

Using a complex set of algorithms calculated by a computer, researchers found the length of the grooves that run from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial grooves) best predicted a person's perceived age. Interestingly, in this study of 120 females in their 40s, the wrinkles (crow's feet) around the…

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Western Diets Prevent Ideal Aging

It should not be a big surprise to our readers to learn that the "Western" dietary pattern so high in fried, sweet, and processed foods is associated with aging marked by chronic disease and mental health problems. A large French cohort study has found that those consuming the typical Western-style diet had significantly lower chances…

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Worry May Speed Aging

An observational study of more than 5,000 women in the Nurses Health Study strongly suggests that chronic panic, fears, and other anxiety disorders may contribute to the premature shortening of telomeres. The difference between those with higher stress scores was comparable to women 6 years older than those with lower stress scores. Controlling our stresses…

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Musical Training Offsets Aging Effects

Recent research shows that lifelong musical training may have a positive effect on the aging process. Speech sounds were delivered to 87 normal-hearing, English-speaking adults while they watched a captioned video. Those who had started musical training before age 9 and continued throughout their lives had significantly better brain responses to speech sounds than those…

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Volunteering Promotes Health in Older Adults

Seniors who volunteered in elementary schools teaching children to read for 15 hours a week for 9 months, were found to have better physical condition than before volunteering. Those in fair health prior to volunteering improved the greatest, with improved strength and energy, walking speed and stair-climbing.PositiveTip: Volunteering to help others improves both mental and physical vitality of seniors.

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Be strong!

In the United States, according to a study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 21.9% of men and 17.5% of women engage in strength training.Considering the many benefits strength training provides, these numbers are extremely low. It has been a national health objective by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)…

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