According to Patrick, healthy ageing is a difficult area to research since hard evidence requires long-term studies. However, in the last few years there has been an explosion of research into a very tangible measure of healthy ageing – the study of telomeres.
“Everything you do that ages you, shorten these telomeres. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces, except these “shoelaces” are the “spirally” chromosomes that house your genes; the blueprint for making new, young cells. Every time you make a new cell your telomere length shortens. When you run out of sufficient telomere length, the game is over,” says Patrick.
Every month there are around 100 new studies into what shortens or lengthens telomeres, with over 20 000 studies to date giving concrete clues as to what to eat, supplement and how to live to stay young and healthy for as long as possible.
“The good news is that the advice is completely consistent with the advice I’ve been giving you over the past 40 years of studying optimum nutrition, confirming that supplementing nutrients at levels above the basic RDAs has a positive anti-ageing benefit,” says Patrick.
Longer telomeres = slower ageing
- Higher B12
- Higher folate
- Higher Vitamin C
- Higher Vitamin D
- Higher Vitamins generally
- Higher minerals including Zinc and Magnesium
- Higher Omega-3, especially DHA
- Taking supplements
- Mediterranean diet
- Nuts and seeds
- Antioxidant-rich foods
- Lower homocysteine level
- Regular exercise
Shorter telomeres = faster ageing
- Stress and early life traumas
- Hostile cynicism
- Lack of sleep
- High homocysteine
- Exposure to pesticides/herbicides
Read more about age-busting nutrients here.