Fat speeds ageing more than cigarettes

2019-03-02 02:19:02

By Rowan Hooper OBESITY accelerates the ageing process even more than smoking, according to the largest study so far of the “chromosomal clock” in our cells. Tim Spector of St Thomas’ Hospital in London measured the length of the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres, in the white blood cells of 1122 women aged 18 to 76. Each time a cell divides, its telomere loses a small chunk of DNA. When it becomes too short, cells can no longer divide. In effect, telomere shortening acts as a kind of chromosomal clock,