Repairing DNA Damage

Repairing DNA Damage
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Greater DNA repair capacity may explain why those eating plant-based diets appear to have fewer breaks in their chromosomes as they age.

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Concord grapes, we just learned, may block breast cell DNA damage by blocking the binding of carcinogens to our DNA in the first place. Almonds and Brussels sprouts, likewise, may protect against DNA damage by boosting our own DNA repair mechanisms. There’s actually this enzyme in all of us whose sole purpose is to just travel up and down our DNA, patching up holes.

As we age, we accumulate breaks in our DNA—actual physical breaks in our chromosomes, which may be one of the reasons we get cancer, and why our organs tend to break down as we get older. With the understanding that eating plants protects our DNA, and eating animals may damage it, as I talked about in previous reviews, this year Slovakian researchers measured the total number of DNA breaks in vegetarians compared to meat-eaters, led by a Dr. Krajcovicová-Kudlácková—Dr. K! They counted DNA breaks in both meat-eaters and vegetarians at 25 years of age through 65.

Here are the meat-eaters; as you can see, a sharp rise in DNA breakage as they aged through adulthood and middle age. Here are the vegetarians. Notice two things: not only is the slope much more gradual—less DNA breakage as you age—but vegetarians at age 65 seem to have the DNA of a 25-year-old!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Concord grapes, we just learned, may block breast cell DNA damage by blocking the binding of carcinogens to our DNA in the first place. Almonds and Brussels sprouts, likewise, may protect against DNA damage by boosting our own DNA repair mechanisms. There’s actually this enzyme in all of us whose sole purpose is to just travel up and down our DNA, patching up holes.

As we age, we accumulate breaks in our DNA—actual physical breaks in our chromosomes, which may be one of the reasons we get cancer, and why our organs tend to break down as we get older. With the understanding that eating plants protects our DNA, and eating animals may damage it, as I talked about in previous reviews, this year Slovakian researchers measured the total number of DNA breaks in vegetarians compared to meat-eaters, led by a Dr. Krajcovicová-Kudlácková—Dr. K! They counted DNA breaks in both meat-eaters and vegetarians at 25 years of age through 65.

Here are the meat-eaters; as you can see, a sharp rise in DNA breakage as they aged through adulthood and middle age. Here are the vegetarians. Notice two things: not only is the slope much more gradual—less DNA breakage as you age—but vegetarians at age 65 seem to have the DNA of a 25-year-old!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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