Telomeres are the DNA protein structures which protect chromosomes; the length of the telomeric DNA is important for lifespan of a cell. In other words, telomere length determines one’s lifespan; the shorter the telomere, the shorter one’s lifespan, and vice versa.
There are several key lifestyle factors that can increase telomere shortening. Those include smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, stress, poor diet, too much protein, and environmental factors.
Interestingly, a reduction in protein consumption can INCREASE longevity. In fact, reduction in the protein content of food by 40%, led to a 15% increase in the lifespan of rats. This author does NOT recommend SOY PROTEIN in any diet, contrary to to advise in “Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging”.
In addition, a diet rich in antioxidant foods can help to preserve telomere length, increasing life expectancy.