Poor Nutrition and Exercise Quicken Age-Related Issues, Including Diabetes

An unhealthy diet and poor exercising habits may accelerate the arrival of issues related to aging - as well as deficiencies in heart and metabolic function - worsening the complications that come with diabetes.

According to researchers at the Center on Aging’s Healthy and Independent Living Program, there is a link between the controllable lifestyle behaviors of diet and exercise and the aging process. The study discovered cell deterioration in mice that were fed a diet high in cholesterol and saturated fat - including a 300 percent increase in fat mass. The mass gathered around the rodents' internal organs in the midsection, which can be linked to serious health complications.

"We think at both a biological level and a clinical level, poor nutrition choices and inactive lifestyles do accelerate aging," said Nathan LeBrasseur, senior author of the study. "So now we've shown this in very fine detail at a cellular level, and we can see it clinically. And people need to remember that even though you don't have the diagnosis of diabetes or the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease or the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease today when you're in midlife, the biology underlying those processes is hard at work."

The elixir of exercise

Researches in the study claim that reversing the damaging effects of a poor diet can be attained via exercise. Mice that were fed unhealthy diets, but with access to exercise wheels, showed a reduction in weight gain, fat mass accumulation, and were guarded against cell deterioration.

"Some of us believe that aging is just something that happens to all of us and it's just a predestined fate, and by the time I turn 65 or 70 or 80, I will have Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis," said LeBrasseur. "And this clearly shows the importance of modifiable factors of healthy diet, and even more so, just the importance of regular physical activity. So that doesn't mean that we need to be marathon runners, but we need to find ways to increase our habitual activity levels to stay healthy and prevent processes that drive aging and aging-related diseases."

Source: Mayo Clinic

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