The combination of a healthy diet and daily exercise slows cellular aging, which equates to a reduced risk for age-related diseases and possibly aging itself, according to a study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In this study, researchers fed mice either a normal, healthy diet or a diet that they termed a “fast food diet,” one that was high in saturated fat and cholesterol, along with a sugar-sweetened beverage. Mice on the fast food diet showed harmful changes in health parameters, including body weight and composition, increasing their fat mass by almost 300% over the course of about four months. The fat mass accumulated largely in the mid-section surrounding internal organs, an area that is often linked to a number of diseases related to obesity. When half of each group of mice were given an exercise wheel, many of these harmful health effects were improved. Even the mice on the fast-food diet showed reduced weight gain and fewer age-related changes in cellular tissue. Mice on the healthy diet showed improvements in cellular aging as well. The researchers conclude that much of aging is within our control, with cellular senescence often a result of poor diet and lack of exercise.
Schafer M, White T, Evans G, et al: Exercise prevents diet-induced cellular senescence in adipose tissue. Diabetes 2016; March 16th.