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A Healthy Lifestyle May Offset Genetics Adding Years To Lifespan

1 month, 3 weeks ago

4099  0
Posted on May 02, 2024, 7 p.m.

Research published in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine suggests that genetics alone can mean a 21% greater risk of early death, but people can improve their chances by following a healthy diet which may offset the impact of genetics by more than 60% and add another five years to your lifespan.

Unfortunately, some people don’t fare from the genetic lottery well, and they are predisposed to a shorter lifespan, and this has been well established. However, it is also well known that certain lifestyle factors, especially smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and diet can have a significant impact on longevity. 

This study involved 353,742 participants who enrolled in the UK Biobank and investigated the extent to which a healthy lifestyle might counterbalance genetics. The study shows that those with a high genetic risk for a shorter life have a 21% increased risk of early death compared to those with a low genetic risk regardless of lifestyle choices, and those with unhealthy lifestyles have a 78% increased chance of early death regardless of their genetic risk.

The findings suggest that a healthy lifestyle could offset the effects of life-shortening genes by 62% and add as much as five years to your life, according to researchers from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine and the University of Edinburgh. The team adds that having an unhealthy lifestyle and genes for a shorter lifespan more than doubles the risk of early death compared with those adhering to a healthy lifestyle who were luckier in the genetic lottery.

However, the researchers noted that it appears that people do have a degree of control over what happens, and the genetic risk of a shorter lifespan or premature death may be offset by a favorable lifestyle by around 62%. 

“Participants with high genetic risk could prolong approximately 5.22 years of life expectancy at age 40 with a favourable lifestyle,” the authors wrote. “Participants with high genetic risk could prolong approximately 5.22 years of life expectancy at age 40 with a favourable lifestyle.”

“This study elucidates the pivotal role of a healthy lifestyle in mitigating the impact of genetic factors on lifespan reduction,” the researchers concluded. “Public health policies for improving healthy lifestyles would serve as potent complements to conventional healthcare and mitigate the influence of genetic factors on human lifespan.”

“This new research shows that, despite genetic factors, living a healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced nutritious diet and keeping active, can help us live longer,” said Matt Lambert, the health information and promotion manager at the World Cancer Research Fund.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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