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Stay Focused to Slow Biological Aging

The ability to stay focused on the present moment may be associated with longer telomere length, and a slowing of the aging process. Telomeres are the caps that cover the ends of DNA and protect your chromosomes. Shorter telomeres are a sign of biological aging.

The researchers examined 239 adults between the ages of 50 and 65 years old, all of whom said their minds tended to wander. Being present was defined as being focused on a current activity rather than thinking about something else while performing the activity.

The researchers assessed the telomere lengths and mind wandering of the participants. They also looked at psychological distress, and well-being.

The participants who reported being more engaged in their activities generally had longer telomeres. The researchers plan further studies to determine if learning to focus would protect or even restore telomere length.

The study was conducted by researchers at University California San Francisco and was published in Clinical Psychological Science on November 15, 2012.

Previous studies have suggested that there are dietary steps you can take to reduce the risk of telomere shortening. Omega-3 supplementation has been shown in more than one study to be effective.

Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s. If you don’t like fish or you’re worried about the high mercury levels found in some fish, consider taking a high quality supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

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