Worried about ageing? Bad food, no exercise are the culprits

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Are you taking in a lot of unhealthy or poor diet, out of choice or otherwise? Is your work making you lead a more sedentary life? Time you changed all that. According to a group of US researchers, a type of cell called senescent, which contributes to diseases and ageing, increases in number when we lead unhealthy lives.

The researchers found that exercise prevents premature senescent cell accumulation and protects against the damaging effects of an unhealthy diet, including deficiencies in physical, heart and metabolic function.

“We think that at both biological and clinical level, poor nutrition choices and inactive lifestyles do accelerate ageing,” said senior author Nathan LeBrasseur from Mayo Clinic in the US.

Fast food such as hamburger, deep-fried food and pizza contribute to ageing, says a new study. (Syda Productions – Fotolia)
In the study, researchers introduced mice to 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 nearly 300 percent over the course of about four months.

Half the mice, including mice on both the healthy and unhealthy diets, were given exercise wheels.

“It 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 ageing and ageing-related diseases,” LeBrasseur noted.

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