A research team at the University of California discovered strong evidence that maintaining a healthy lifestyle by changing diet habits, along with regular exercise and meditation reverses aging at the cellular level. This is the first study to show such clear effects on the cells that will help renew them and reverse the overall aging process on the human body. The study consisted of men with prostate cancer, and found that those who switched to a strict vegetarian diet, exercise routine, and meditation/yoga experienced visible cellular changes. The changes affect the telomere part of the chromosomes, which are the protective ends to the DNA segment and prevent the loss of genetic information during cell division. Aging causes the telomeres to weaken and signals to the cells to stop dividing, leading to death of the cells.
This new research shows that changes we can readily make in our everyday lives may inhibit or even reverse the weakening of the telomeres. In those who followed the new healthy lifestyle in the study, there was an average 10% increase of telomere length, while those who continued their normal lifestyle experienced an average 3% decrease in length. Shorter telomere length plays a role in many age-related diseases such as heart disease and many cancers. More studies are needed to understand the significance of this new research and how healthier lifestyles will improve the function of cells in humans to reverse aging.