Exercise, Twins, Telomeres and Aging

Via the LEF News, a reminder that taking care of the health basics makes a big difference to the state of your biochemistry over the years: "Inactive people may be 10 years older biologically than their active counterparts, say researchers who measured the length of telomeres in the white blood cells of more than 2,400 twins (mostly women). Telomeres are sequences of DNA that cap chromosomes, protecting them from degrading. ... Each time a cell divides, its telomeres erode, so shorter telomeres are a sign of aging. Twins who were most active during their leisure time (they averaged half an hour of activity a day) had significantly longer telomeres than their twins who were least active (they averaged just two minutes a day). Scientists don't know how exercise protects telomeres from erosion, but other studies suggest that activity may help by curbing inflammation and oxidative stress. Both can shorten telomere length. What to do: Start moving. Any exercise is better than none."

Link: http://www.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=6597

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