REPs UK REPS NZ

Fountain of Youth? Think “Back to Basics”

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Jan 16, 2014

Mind-Body-Spirit News

While many continue to hope for a “magic pill” to prolong youth and sustain health indefinitely, encouraging research demonstrates the power of a back- to-basics, integrative approach—a plant-based diet, exercise, stress management and social support.

Under the leadership of Dean Ornish, MD, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, researchers conducted a 5-year follow-up study on men who had low-risk prostate cancer. Study subjects were divided into a control group and an intervention group. Investigators collected blood samples at baseline and 5 years later and compared telomere length and telomerase enzymatic activity. Telomere length and telomere shortening are indicators of cellular aging.

Data analysis showed an association between adherence to comprehensive lifestyle changes and increases in relative telomere length. "Out genes and out telomeres are not necessarily out fate," said Orinish in a UCSF press release. "So often people think, 'Oh, I have bad genes, there's nothing I can do about it.' But, these findings indicate that telomeres may lengthen to the degree that people change how they live. Research indicates that longer telomeres are associated with fewer illness and longer life."

Lifestyle changes in this study included eating a whole-food, plant-based diet that was not strictly vegetarian; walking for 30 minutes 6 days a week; engaging in 60 minutes of stress management, including yoga and meditation, daily; and attending a 60-minute support-group session once a week. Study authors suggested that larger randomized, controlled trials be conducted to confirm these initial findings.

The study is available in The Lancet (2013; doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70366-8).

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 11, Issue 2

© 2014 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA’s mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author base...

0 Comments

Trending Articles

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Recipe for Health: Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers

If you don’t believe that authentic Mexican cookery is “whole” and healthy, you need to take a deep dive into Mexico: The Cookbook (Phaidon 2014), the first truly comprehensive bible...

Rice-Cooking Technique Cuts Calorie Absorption in Half

In a molecular gastronomy-meets-lab-science moment, researchers at the College of Chemical Sciences in Colombo, Sri Lanka, have discovered a...

Low Intensity vs. High Intensity: Which Is Best for Obese Adults?

The debate continues regarding the most effective exercise measures for reducing abdominal obesity and improving glucose measures.

Next