Diet and lifestyle intervention: Potential reversal of epigenetic age

aging studies Jun 07, 2021
A really interesting study was done on the epigenetic effects of a diet and lifestyle intervention. The way we live our life can effect the way our body ages at a biological level. The best way to explain epigenetic age is: My body is 38 years old but 'hopefully' due to my healthy lifestyle I have the body (at the cellular level) of someone who is 34 or even younger. Likewise someone is really unhealthy could be 38 years old, but their body is actually of someone who is 45.
This randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted among 43 healthy adult males between the ages of 50-72. The 8-week treatment program included diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation guidance, and supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients.
Their dietary prescription was to choose organic whenever possible. For protein they were told to eat organ meats, eggs and grass fed animal proteins. For vegetables they were to eat dark leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, collards, spinach, dandelion, mustard greens as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and arugula. Other foods they could eat were colourful vegetables, seeds, wild berries, herbs, green teas and low glycemic fruits. 
On top of that they were told to: Stay hydrated, Don’t eat between 7pm and 7am
Include “healthy” oils, balance types of fat eg. coconut, olive, flaxseed and pumpkin seed oil
Avoid added sugar/candy, dairy, grains, legumes/beans and minimize plastic food containers.

They were also given a supplement rich in bioactive plant compounds and a probiotic containing Lactobacillus plantarum.

For lifestyle changes they were told to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day for at least 5 days per week, at an intensity of 60-80% of maximum perceived exertion and to get  a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. For stress management they were given breathing exercises to do twice a day. 
The results were quite interesting, the diet and lifestyle intervention significantly decreased epigenetic age by more than three years by the end of the eight-week trial compared to participants in the control group. I think it's pretty amazing to see how quickly a healthy diet and lifestyle can reverse or at least slow down the aging process. I think we all know that if we eat  unprocessed food, avoid sugars, have lots of veggies, try to get enough sleep, do some exercise etc that it is going to be good for our bodies but it is easy to just get complacent with it. Studies like this are a good reminder that we need to stay on top of our game. It's worth it in the long run!


Jay Quarmby


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