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LMU 17 – Lifestyle Change Shown to Reverse Aging of our Cells


LMU 17 – Lifestyle Change Shown to Reverse Aging of our Cells

Source: The Lancet, 2013

Lifestyle Medicine Update (July 30, 2016)


In 2013, a groundbreaking study published in Lancet shook the scientific community by revealing that fundamental lifestyle changes could reverse cellular aging by lengthening telomeres—the protective caps at the end of our DNA strands. Telomeres play a crucial role in cell replication, as they shorten with each cycle. When they reach a critical length, cells can malfunction, leading to various health issues, including cancer and rapid aging. Shorter telomeres have been associated with premature morbidity and an increased risk of age-related diseases. However, this study offered hope that we could reverse aging at a cellular level by re-lengthening telomeres, paving the way for a healthier and longer life.

The Telomere Revelation: A Landmark Study

The study conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish and his team focused on men with low-grade prostate cancer. These individuals adopted diet and lifestyle changes to manage their condition, and the results were astounding. Their immune system cells experienced a significant 10% lengthening of telomeres. This remarkable finding indicated that lifestyle modifications could potentially reverse the aging process at a cellular level—a notion that was once considered beyond our reach.

Dr. Ornish’s Key Points

During a follow-up interview, Dr. Dean Ornish highlighted some essential elements to consider while incorporating lifestyle changes:

    1. Fun, Freedom, Pleasure, and Love: Dr. Ornish emphasized that lifestyle changes should incorporate these elements. When individuals find joy and fulfilment, they are more likely to adopt sustainable changes that enhance overall well-being.
    2. Dietary Plan: Dr. Ornish’s successful dietary plan includes several key components:   – Emphasis on Plant-Based Foods: The diet centres around primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy products. These natural foods eliminate harmful fats and refined sugars and contain essential nutrients that reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.
      • Whole Foods: The diet encourages the consumption of foods in their natural form, preserving their beneficial fiber content.
      • Reducing Unhealthy Fats: The plan advises reducing the intake of hydrogenated, saturated, and trans fats. Emerging research even suggests that saturated fats may shorten telomeres.
      • Minimizing Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates: High sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption should be limited as they can negatively impact telomere length and overall health.
      • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Dr. Ornish recommends a daily intake of 4 grams of fish oil or an equivalent supplement. Omega-3 fats like EPA and DHA found in fish oil provide significant health benefits, and even 500 mg per day of EPA/DHA has proven to be beneficial.

Dr. Ornish’s message is clear: Eat well, stress less, move more, and love more. By adhering to these four principles, individuals can manage chronic disease risks, influence aging, and reduce healthcare costs. Promoting such changes, lifestyle medicine has gained significant momentum and offers a promising approach to enhancing overall well-being.


The groundbreaking Lancet study from 2013 opened the door to a new understanding of cellular aging and the potential for its reversal through lifestyle changes. Dr. Dean Ornish’s research has shown that incorporating fun, freedom, pleasure, and love into lifestyle modifications is essential for sustainable change. His dietary plan, emphasizing plant-based foods, whole foods, and healthy fats, offers a practical guide to cellular rejuvenation. The Meschino Wellness Platform supports this approach, facilitating healthy living and promoting well-being.

By adopting these lifestyle changes, individuals can pave the way for a healthier and more fulfilling life, enjoying the benefits of increased telomere length, reduced disease risk, and improved overall health.


  1. Ornish, D., Lin, J., Chan, J. M., Epel, E., Kemp, C., Weidner, G., … & Blackburn, E. H. (2013). Effect of comprehensive lifestyle changes on telomerase activity and telomere length in men with biopsy-proven low-risk prostate cancer: 5-year follow-up of a descriptive pilot study. The Lancet Oncology, 14(11), 1112-1120.
  2. NutraIngredients-USA. (2013, December 13). Lifestyle medicine is the right idea at the right time: Dean Ornish, MD.

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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