Health Advice



How ultraprocessed foods age you prematurely

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

"The Portrait of Dorian Gray" is a novel about a young man who manages to have his portrait age while he stays youthful, despite the terrible things he does to his body and to others. After decades pass, the tables turn and -- in an instant -- Dorian turns into an aged and grotesque corpse. Not a bad portrait of what happens to your body when you gobble down nutrition-stripped, ultraprocessed foods.

We've long known that UPFs contribute to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Now, a new study out of Pamplona, Spain (no bull in this one) published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looks at how UPFs age you prematurely.

The researchers found that eating these fake foods severely shortens your telomeres -- the ends of chromosomes that protect them from deterioration and help repair errors in your cells. When you eat more than three servings of ultraprocessed foods daily, your telomeres are twice as likely to be shortened compared with a person who avoids UPFs. And the shorter your telomeres, the older your RealAge.

The study also found that folks who ate the most UPFs had telomeres reduced in length by 82%, and, according to other research, four servings of UPFs daily ups your risk for premature death by 62%.

Since more than half of Americans' calories come from UPFs, you know what you need to do: Buy fresh, whole foods and ditch added sugars, refined grains, processed meats and packaged goods with a long list of ingredients that come from a lab.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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