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Ageing Res Rev. 2019 Jan;49:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2018.11.001. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

The potential nutrigeroprotective role of Mediterranean diet and its functional components on telomere length dynamics.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 02115, USA; Department of Medicine and Health Sciences "V. Tiberio", University of Molise, Campobasso, 86100, Italy.
2
Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, 11527, Greece.
3
Department of Medicine and Health Sciences "V. Tiberio", University of Molise, Campobasso, 86100, Italy.
4
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 02115, USA; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02115, USA; Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.
5
Department of Medicine and Health Sciences "V. Tiberio", University of Molise, Campobasso, 86100, Italy. Electronic address: giovanni.scapagnini@unimol.it.

Abstract

The Mediterranean diet (MD) is a gold standard for nutrition and the most evidence-based diet to delay the onset of age-associated pathologies. Telomeres are the heterochromatic repeat regions found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, whose length is considered a reliable hallmark of biological ageing. Telomere shortening is, at least in part, a modifiable factor and there is evidence that adherence to the MD is associated with longer telomeres. Data from several studies indicate an association between "inflammatory/oxidative status" and telomere length (TL). The MD, as a complex exposome with thousands of nutrients and phytochemicals, may positively influence telomere attrition by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. However, it is unclear whether the protective effects on TL provided by the MD result from its individual constituents or some combination of these. Furthermore, these properties of the MD and its components are not yet fully validated by clinical endpoints in randomized trials or observational studies. Here, we summarize the data from experimental and population-based studies on the effects of the MD on TL maintenance. We will both highlight the possible role of the MD in the prevention of age-associated diseases, and attempt to identify certain aspects of the diet that are particularly important for telomere maintenance.

KEYWORDS:

Ageing; Food; Mediterranean diet; Phytochemicals; Telomere

PMID:
30448616
DOI:
10.1016/j.arr.2018.11.001

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