As people age, their genome (genetic material) changes. In addition to random mutations that arise throughout the genome as one ages, there are other major genome changes that occur with age. Specifically, the ends of each chromosome, or telomeres, shorten as weage. If the telomere becomes too short, then catastrophic DNA damage can result; this can give rise to age-related diseases like cancer. There are a number of factors that cause our telomeres to shorten more rapidly than normal but, in general, high fat diets are known to cause telomeres to shorten. This implies that it is likely that diets rich in antioxidants can provide a protective measure against telomere shortening. Our goal is to develop a biomarker that can measure genome health by measuring telomere length, and then use this information to educate older adults on the importance of a healthy diet consisitng of fruits, vegtables and whole grains.
|Effective start/end date||10/30/14 → 9/30/19|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))