studied 51 obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery. One year after their
procedure, the patients demonstrated a 71 percent reduction in weight, as well
as lower levels of fasting insulin and C-reactive protein (CRP), which signals
biggest changes in telomere length were seen in patients who had higher levels
of CRP and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or "bad"
cholesterol. Morton also linked longer telomeres to weight loss and
levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or "good"
unique study demonstrates that surgically induced weight loss is able to
reverse a marker of aging, telomere length,” Morton said. “Past research has
shown a tie between telomere length following weight loss through diet and
exercise, but not through bariatric surgery.”
Wolfe, a professor of surgery and co-director of bariatric surgery at Oregon
Health and Science University, said the results will help people understand the
role telomeres play in aging and disease, as well as the long-term benefits of
Telomeres Affect Aging
explained that telomeres protect chromosomes and their genetic information.
Telomeres are like the cap, or aglet, on the end of a shoelace that keeps it
telomeres are associated with aging and age-related diseases, including
Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, as well as a shorter
lifespan. Short telomeres are also associated with being overweight,
having a higher body mass index (BMI) score, and visceral fat
assessed the patients six months after their surgeries and made the discovery
that weight loss—however it is achieved—could reverse telomere deterioration.
patients in the study had higher-than-normal levels of inflammation and
cholesterol—the ones who benefitted most from weight loss surgery—but Morton
said a person at a normal weight could have these same high levels. Maintaining
a healthy weight also prevents the body from aging prematurely, he added.
never too late when it comes to doing some changes with your weight,” added
Morton, whose work was presented at this week’s ObesityWeek conference.
related news, a 2012 study also highlighted at the conference showed that the
average obese adult pays an average of $2,714 more each year in health care
costs. The study, published in the Journal of Health Economics, found that
medically supervised weight loss lowered medication costs by up to $215 a month