Obesity and Healthy Aging- Fat Chance
This is not going to be a “Best Diet” for aging blog.
We do want to disabuse you of the notion of “fat and healthy” though.
There are some truths in the statement but in the long run, the kind of long life we want, “fat and healthy” does not hold water.
The other reason we want you to be aware and focus on this is because in case you haven’t been on an airplane lately, we have an epidemic of obesity. The funny part is people complain about the small seats and narrow aisles. Well as a recent flight in coach demonstrates there is an awful lot of “largass” out there!
A recent study on obesity and bariatric surgery showed an actual increase in the expression of the enzyme telomerase and a lengthening of telomeres.
As always if you are new to this game, telomeres are the biologic time clocks that in a very real way determine how long your cells, and most probably you, will live.
Having longer telomeres is at the very least a biomarker for healthier cells and better biology in people. The FTC, FDA, AMA, and the alphabet agencies frown upon using the word “longevity” in any fashion these days so we are not going to use that word.
But here is the kicker. There is a dilutional effect when certain telomere measurements are used at different time points. For example: If you are fat and have bariatric surgery and lose 50 or 100 pounds you will radically change the biochemistry of your body for the better.
You will improve insulin ( the fat storage sugar hormone) levels and reduce body wide inflammation. Your body will clear out sick, dead and dying cells more effectively and replace them with healthier versions of their former “largassian” selves. That means you will remove billions of cells with shorter telomeres and replace them with the ones that are healthier and have normal length telomeres. You didn’t really lengthen them, you just improved the mix!
Now this is not a bad thing at all and neither is telomere support. As a matter of fact I don’t miss the changes to improve the health or even lengthen my telomeres. Just remember they are 2 different things!!!!
If you lose weight and get closer to normal body composition you will wind up with healthier cells. I think even the alphabet agencies would agree this improves your chances of living longer.
If you need some help with weight management you might do well to have a look here. Being leaner, more than ever, is a tool for your anti-aging arsenal.