Telomeres are the end caps of chromosomes, protecting the DNA complexes from deterioration during cell division. Telomere shortening is considered a marker of cellular aging, and prematurely shortened telomeres have been linked to increased risk of cancers, heart disease, dementia and death. Giuseppe Paolisso, from the University of Naples (Italy), and colleagues worked with two groups of subjects. The first group was under chronic statin therapy, and the second group (control), did not use statins. When researchers measured telomerase activity in both groups, those undergoing statin treatment had higher telomerase activity in their white blood cells, which was associated with lower telomeres shortening along with aging as compared to the control group. Writing that: “statins, modulating telomerase activity, affect telomere erosion along with aging,” the lead researcher observes that: "By telomerase activation, statins may represent a new molecular switch able to slow down senescent cells in our tissues and be able to lead healthy lifespan extension."
Virginia Boccardi, Michelangela Barbieri, Maria Rosaria Rizzo, Raffaele Marfella, Antonietta Esposito, Giuseppe Paolisso, et al. “A new pleiotropic effect of statins in elderly: modulation of telomerase activity.” FASEB J., September 2013; 27:3879-3885.
Greater consumption of whole fruits – notably blueberries, grapes, and apples, may help to lower a person’s type-2 diabetes risk.
Nutritional intervention with oral dietary supplements may reduce the length of hospital stays by as much as 21%.
Statins protect against DNA shortening by telomerase activation, and may promote healthy aging.
People who do not have a rich array of healthy gut bacteria may be more prone to metabolic dysfunction and low-grade inflammation.
Harvard University (US) team provides evidence that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages promotes weight gain.
Treatment technique uses nanoparticles to reprogram immune cells so they are able to recognize and attack cancer.
Middle-aged men with high cholesterol levels may be at greater risk for a first heart attack, than similar-aged women are.
Mercury levels in Pacific fish are predicted to rise in the coming decades.
Sulforaphane, a compound found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables, may help to prevent or slow cartilage destruction.
Aging may not be determined not only by the accumulation of changes during our lifetime, but also by the genes we acquire from our mothers.
German researchers uncover how the Hydra appears to avoid showing signs of aging, with potential insights into the mechanisms of human aging.
An active lifestyle helps to reduce the risk of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness around the world.
Researcher team from Britain and the United States find that people who leave education with fewer qualifications are prone to age more quickly.
University of Rochester (US) scientists discover how DNA maintenance is regulated, opening the door to interventions that may enhance the body’s natural preserv
Ensuring adequate intakes of selenium may reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease,
Polyphenols present in green tea exert a potent antioxidant effect that helps to counteract free radical damage to cells.
The "longevity" protein SIRT1, known for its life-spanning effects in different species, inhibits the development of a known precursor to prostate cancer
Slowing the activity of mitochondria promotes survival and enhances longevity, in a C. elegans (roundworm) model.
Whitehead Institute researchers show that the multi-component mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) in mammals is involved in the aging process
Boston University School of Medicine (US) researchers uncover the interaction between T-cells and monocytes that promotes a pro-inflammatory response.
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:
• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.
• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.
• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.