By Staff Report
(DGIwire) – New research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that eating healthy and exercising will actually slow the rate of aging. They also found that regular exercise could even protect against an unhealthy diet.
The researchers found a link between these modifiable lifestyle factors and the onset of cellular senescence.
Senescence or biological aging is the gradual deterioration of function of an organism increasing mortality after maturation. It can refer to either cellular aging or to aging of the whole organism. Senescent cells contribute to diseases and other conditions associated with age.
That senescence can be delayed is not new. Another study back in 1934 found that caloric restriction could extend lifespan twofold in rats. In this study using mice, the researchers found that exercise prevented premature senescence and protected against the damaging effects of an unhealthy diet. This protection included deficiencies in physical, heart, and metabolic function, equivalent to diabetes. They noted that although people don’t have a diagnosis of diabetes, cardiovascular disease or Alzheimer’s disease today, the biology underlying those processes is already happening.
“Cellular aging is a universal phenomenon. However, there is plenty of evidence that its progression can be measurably slowed with proper diet and regular exercise. By eating a variety fresh, natural, whole foods and avoiding refined foods and harmful fats, along with being more active, we can positively influence our rate of aging and risk of disease,” according to Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust.
In the study, researchers used a “fast food” diet that was high in saturated fat and cholesterol, along with a sugar-sweetened beverage. This diet caused harmful changes in health measures like body weight and body composition. Fat mass increased by almost 300 percent over four months. The fat gained was mostly in the midsection surrounding internal organs. This type of visceral fat is linked to a number of metabolic disorders.
Half of the mice on both healthy and unhealthy diets were given exercise wheels. Both groups experienced benefits from exercise. The fast food mice that exercised gained less weight and fat and also experienced protection from the accumulation of senescent cells.
Griesel adds, “We have all heard the expression ‘eat healthy, exercise, die anyway’. Although it’s ultimately true, the evidence consistently proves that we can positively influence the quality of our lives, no matter how long we live, by eating healthier and being more active.”