Ultra-prepared foods may accelerate biological aging

Ultra-prepared foods may accelerate biological aging
A analysis links the intake of ultra-processed food with the shortening of the body’s telomeres.

Telomeres are actually structures located at the ends of our chromosomes. Although they comprise no genetic info themselves, they preserve the integrity of chromosomes by keeping their ends from fraying, much as shoelace tips protect the laces.

Telomeres become shorter and less effective over time due to chromosomes replicate. Scientists look at them as markers of an individual’s biological years at a cellular level.

New research indicates that eating ultra-processed foods is going to be linked to the accelerated shortening of telomeres and cell aging.

The researchers, from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, presented their findings as of this year’s European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) in September.

The findings also feature in a report paper in The Americal Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Lucia Alonso-Pedrero, who's a doctoral researcher at this university, led the analysis.

The rise of ultra-processed foods
The intake of ultra-processed foods, or UPFs, is on the rise worldwide. UPFs are produced food items comprising the building blocks of naturally occurring food: protein isolates, sugars, fats, and oils.

However, while their elements are often extracted from natural sources, UPFs in the end contain no, or hardly any, in the way of whole foods.

The firms that produce UPFs often add flavorings and emulsifiers for taste, and also colorings and additional cosmetic additives to attain the desired appearance. UPFs happen to be nutritionally poor and frequently unbalanced.

UPFs are highly rewarding for their producers because of their inexpensive ingredients, affordable manufacturing processes, and long shelf existence in stores. Why is them so attractive to consumers is definitely their ease and their relative imperishability.

Previous research hasn't conclusively established a connection between UPFs generally speaking and telomere length (TL). Even so, researchers have observed associations between TL and alcohol, sugar-sweetened drinks, processed meats, and foods saturated in saturated fat and glucose.

Other analysis indicates a UPF link with several serious conditions, such as for example obesity, hypertension, depression, metabolic syndrome, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. However, these circumstances also tend to be age-related and therefore tough to associate definitively with the consumption of UPFs.

UPFs and telomere length
The NOVA system classifies foods in line with the amount of processing that their production involves, instead of their nutritional content. The purpose of Alonso-Pedrero and her colleagues was to investigate the result of UPF consumption in older adults using NOVA as a means of categorizing the food that they consumed.

The researchers commenced their analysis with info from the SUN project, that your University of Navarra is conducting with other Spanish universities. The ongoing research commenced recruiting in 2000 and includes volunteers over the age of 20 years. Participants must fill out and come back questionnaires every 24 months.

In 2008, all SUN participants older than 55 years took part in a genetic analysis that forms the building blocks of the new research. A complete of 886 individuals - 645 men and 241 females - offered saliva samples for DNA analysis and self-reported their daily foodstuff consumption. Their average years was 67.7 years.

The team sorted the participants into four groups of equal size, or quartiles, in line with the number of UPF servings that they consumed daily:

  • low: under 2 servings
  • medium-low: 2-2.5 servings
  • medium-high: 2.5-3 servings
  • high: a lot more than 3 servings
In conditions of telomeres, Alonso-Pedrero and her colleagues detected a very clear correspondence between TL and the intake of UPFs.

The probability of shortened telomeres increased drastically with the number of UPF servings, you start with the medium-low group. That group was 29% much more likely to demonstrate reduced TL, as the medium-great group was 40% much more likely to take action. Those in the substantial group were 82% much more likely to possess shortened telomeres.

The study’s authors write:

“In this cross-sectional research of elderly Spanish subjects, we showed a robust good association between UPF consumption and TL. Further exploration in larger longitudinal studies with baseline and repeated methods of TL is required to confirm these observations.”

The researchers also made several general observations regarding those who consumed a lot more than 3 servings of UPFs each day. Persons in this quartile:

  • were more likely to possess diabetes, a family history of coronary disease, and abnormal bloodstream fats under their skin
  • were the participants most likely to snack between meals
  • consumed less necessary protein, carbohydrate, fiber, fruit, vegetables, olive oil, and other micronutrients
Individuals who ate even more UPFs were less inclined to abide by a healthful Mediterranean diet. In trade, they consumed more fats, saturated fats, polyunsaturated body fat, sodium, sugar-sweetened drinks, cholesterol, fast food, and processed meats.

The study authors also discovered that those that consumed higher levels of UPFs were much more likely to see depression - in particular when these were less active physically.

Finally, the results linked the intake of UPFs to excessive body weight, hypertension, and all-cause mortality. 
Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com
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