In 1990 Dr. Haley and colleagues published a ground breaking paper in Nature on shortened telomeres and longevity. Telomeres are the ends of DNA chromosomes. We can think of them as like those bits at the ends of our shoelaces. Studies suggest that the shorter the telomere the more is the existence of age related cellular damage such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, infections and even some cancers.
The upside is that scientists posit that the telomeres can be lengthened by regular exercise, a plant based diet, stress management and emotional connections. While more research is underway, consider this new feather in the cap of those that practice healthy living.