Harvard researchers found that adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomeres, a biomarker of longevity…
In a population based cohort study, researchers examined blood sample data from of 4,676 disease-free women from nested case-control studies within the Nurses’ Health Study who had had telomere length measured and who also completed food frequency questionnaires.
The main outcome measure was an association between relative telomere lengths in peripheral blood leukocytes measured by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction and Alternate Mediterranean Diet score calculated from self-reported dietary data.
Greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomeres after adjustment for potential confounders. Least squares mean telomere length z scores were −0.038 (SE 0.035) for the lowest Mediterranean diet score groups and 0.072 (0.030) for the highest group (P for trend=0.004).
The researchers concluded that, in this large study, greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomeres. They said that these results further support the benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean diet for promoting health and longevity.
De Vivo, Immaculata. Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’ Health Study: population based cohort study, BMJ 2014;349:g6674, Pub 02 December 2014 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6674.