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Can a healthy lifestyle make you age in reverse?

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A new scientific study suggests a potential reversal of biological age in women following an 8-week methylation-supportive diet and lifestyle program.

Published in Aging Journal, the researchers involved in the study included Kara N. Fitzgerald; Tish Campbell; Suzanne Makarem; Romilly Hodges; Institute for Functional Medicine; Virginia Commonwealth University; and American Nutrition Association.

In the study, six women completed an 8-week methylation-supportive diet and lifestyle program designed to impact DNA methylation and measures of biological aging. The intervention included diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation guidance, supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients and nutritional coaching.

The study states: “DNA methylation and biological age analysis (Horvath DNAmAge clock (2013), normalized using the SeSAMe pipeline [a]) was conducted on blood samples at baseline and at the end of the 8-week period. Five of the six participants exhibited a biological age reduction of between 1.22 and 11.01 years from their baseline biological age. There was a statistically significant (p=.039) difference in the participants' mean biological age before (55.83 years) and after (51.23 years) the 8-week diet and lifestyle intervention, with an average decrease of 4.60 years. The average chronological age at the start of the program was 57.9 years and all but one participant had a biological age younger than their chronological age at the start of the program, suggesting that biological age changes were unrelated to disease improvement and instead might be attributed to underlying aging mechanisms.

“Modifiable lifestyle factors, including concentrated exposure to dietary “epinutrients”, have been suggested to be able to favourably influence DNA methylation-based clocks and therefore have the potential to compress morbidity and extend mortality [7]. Epinutrients may be defined as dietary nutrients that provide either substrates or cofactors for DNA methylation activity or influence the expression or rate of activity of DNA methylation-related enzymes. Folate and betaine, for example, are cofactors in methylation biosynthetic pathways, alpha ketoglutarate, vitamin C, and vitamin A are ten-eleven translocation (TET) demethylase cofactors and modulators, and curcumin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), rosmarinic acid, quercetin, and luteolin are known polyphenolic modulators of DNA methyl transferase (DMNT) enzymes [8, 9].

The prescribed daily diet in the study included the following: dark leafy greens; cruciferous vegetables; colourful vegetables; pumpkin seeds; sunflower seeds; methylation adaptogens; beets; liver/liver supplement; egg; and 8 cups of water.

Participants were asked to adhere to the following daily ‘health habits’: 30 minutes of exercise; breathing exercises twice a day; at least 7 hours of sleep; and fasting for 12 hours after the meal.

To read more about the study click here

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