Recent studies indicate that one of the main reasons people age is because of the deterioration that happens to their chromosomes over time.
The reason for this is that telomeres, a region at the end of the chromosome, get smaller and smaller each time a cell divides. This mechanism limits the number of cell division in a human body and eventually causes damage to the DNA.
Although, a solution to this can be presented by telomerase, it is unclear how to either deliver it to the cells or prevent it from forming the “immortal cells” of cancer.
A study by the UCLA aids institute has shown that telomere damage can also be prevented and sometimes undone by cycloastrogenol, a componenet of astragalus, an herb used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. However, further studies will be necessary before we can be confident in the potency of this drug or its ability to avoid forming a cancer-prone environment.
On the other hand, studies have demonstrated a direct correlation in humans between levels of antioxidants, exposure to free radicals and the length of telomeres in human DNA.
This suggests, that lower exposure to oxidative stress, or higher levels of antioxidants lead to longer lifespans in humans.
While it remains uncertain whether the direct relationship between the length of telomeres and aging is that of causation or simple correlation, the future looks promising for people who nourish their bodies with foods high in antioxidants. This allows the missing electrons of the damaged molecules in their bodies to be borrowed from the nutrients they consume.
This is a clear advantage for the raw food diet.