christmasIn my March newsletter I referred to a new book The Telomerase Revolution which talked of new research showing how humans can lead longer healthier lives. I have long been a fan of Choice magazine but I especially like the health supplement that is enclosed with each copy if you pay a small extra fee. In last months edition an article by Associate Professor Tim Crowe  headed “Diet Telomeres and ageing: are they related?” caught my attention.  As he pointed out telomeres are the protective cap on the end of chromosomes that are linked to ageing.  As we age, telomeres become shorter and have less coating, in the same way a shoelace can become frayed when it loses its plastic tip.

Researchers have been investigating the influence of diet on telomere length. The article quotes  “from a pool of 17 studies, two clear themes emerged. Both a Mediterranean style dietary pattern and diets high in fruits and vegetables were linked to longer telomere growth. Diets high in refined grains, processed meat and sugar sweetened beverages were pointing towards a shorter telomere length.“

I discussed this with my doctor who agreed with the general findings. He also added there is growing evidence of the harm done to our body by processed meats such as ham and bacon. Maybe it’s a signal to ease up on the ham over Christmas.