Longevity Briefs: Consumption of ultra-processed food increases biological ageing

Posted on 17 September 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: It is a very well known fact that diet has a significant impact on our health. Currently, the shift from consumption of fresh food to ultra-processed food is a worrying global trend, that will have a negative effect on public health. There is also a possibility that ultra-processed food speeds up ageing processes in our bodies.

What did the researchers do: Spanish researches have conducted a cross-sectional study with 886 participants, where they have compared their total energy intake and telomeres length (a universal marker of biological age). The average age of participants was 67.7 years old and 72.8% were males.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: Researches have found that higher consuption of ultra-processed food is associated with decreased telomeres length in an elderly Spanish cohort, which means that they are ageing “faster”. In addition, it was found that the consumption of ultra-processed food is correlated with a higher risk of depression.

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