Sunny Breaks May Help You Live Longer

What better excuse to book your summer vacation than new research suggesting that a sunny break may help you combat stress and live longer!

We all know that a holiday in the sunshine is perfect for relaxation and escaping the stress and strain of modern-day life. However, researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine and Scripps Research Institute have taken things a step further and found that the genes involved in stress are also linked to ageing and lifespan, and the damage caused by these genes can be minimised by sunshine, red wine and oily fish.

The researchers studied worms and people to identify the genes that are linked to stress and depression as they had previously found that worms given anti-depressants tended to live longer. They found that one gene in particular, called ANK3, plays a key role in longevity and that the levels of it change as people age. Interestingly, the authors used bioinformatics to reveal the compounds that may affect these genes in a positive way, thus increasing lifespan, and they found that omega-3 fatty acid DHA, quercetin (found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables), vitamin D and resveratrol (found in red wine) all had positive effects.

Vitamin D can be found in some foods but it is best made when the sun’s rays hit our skin so why not enjoy a sunshine break this summer and top up your vitamin D levels, while perhaps even boosting your lifespan!

 

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