As if gray hair, brittle bones and wrinkles weren't bad enough, scientists say that as you age, the very DNA in your trillions of cells starts to fray, unravel and disintegrate. Now there may be something you can do to slow the inevitable -- exercise. A study published yesterday hints that fitness buffs appear to have "younger" DNA than the chronically sedentary. The finding could help scientists understand the effects of exercise and aging at a molecular level.
In theory, it might also motivate people to get off the couch."This is a provocative paper and an interesting piece of research," said Jack Guralnik, an epidemiologist at the National Institute on Aging who wrote an editorial that accompanied the research report in the Archives of Internal Medicine. He cautioned, however, that the old chicken-and-egg question -- does exercise preserve healthier DNA, or does healthier DNA enable people to exercise more? -- has yet to be answered.
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