Let´s get a little bit more technical exploring the relationship between diet and aging, while telomere testing sits in the middle as the witness of an individual’s aging process. You will discover why anti-aging food and diets are something real and well researched.
Ageing is a biological process of growing older where the body breaks down. It involves the accumulation of damage over time occurring at the cellular level and eventually causes the organ to deteriorate. This leads to an onset of diseases such as cancer and chronic inflammation. However, factors such as lifestyle and diet can significantly and positively affect the ageing process.
What are ageing cells?
Cellular senescence is the slow deterioration of function that take place at the cellular and organism level. Senescence is influence by few mechanisms such as telomere loss and inflammatory cytokines.
Phase III (cell senescent or the Hayflick Limit) is associated with cell function alterations:
1) A decrease in protein associated with DNA replication
2) A decrease in RNA synthesis and associated proteins
3) A decrease in overall rate of protein synthesis
The immunity-associated function would increase in cellular “junk” – remnants of non-functional protein and increase in secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cells begin apoptosis while some remain metabolically active and adopt phenotypes including flattened cell morphology, altered gene expression and secretion profiles (known as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype). It effectively turns cells like fibroblasts into pro-inflammatory cells – they can affect the tissue microenvironment and promote tumour progression.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) theory hypothesize that free radicals induce damage at the cellular and tissue levels affecting ageing. Normally, there is a balanced between antioxidants and free radicals. An increased amount of ROS levels would overwhelm natural cellular antioxidant defences leading to oxidation and ultimately a cellular functional impairment.
Antioxidant neutralizes free radicals by accepting or donating an electron. They have greater anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effect and the resultant anti-ageing effect. Bioactive compounds found in fruits and vegetables is one main area of healthy-ageing research. Foods such as cacao, tea, grape wine, apples and blueberries are high in bioactive and helps to stimulate healthy-ageing.
Blueberries contain higher antioxidant than most other fruits and vegetables due to their large amounts of polyphenols. It has been reported that blueberries help to slow the aging process by delaying their functional deficiency.
Studies focused on the combination of tocotrienols with quercetin have shown that they can induce senescence and promote cell death in cancer cells. They help to delay senescence in younger cells and regenerate old cells to eliminate the abnormal, age-promoting function. Foods high in quercetin and tocotrienols are red raspberry containing 3.58 mg/100 g and fruit Red palm oil containing up to 800 mg/kg respectively.
It has been proved that antioxidant in functional food and nutraceutical have a significant role in slowing ageing process. Now it is time to further research on the mechanism and the role of the active ingredients of the food components to better understand their antiaging ability.
If you want to know how your diet and other lifestyle components are impacting your cellular health and aging process, consider testing your telomeres with Life Length´s TAT® technology to set and keep yourself on the right path towards your best future.