Canudas, S., P. Hernández-Alonso, S. Galié, J. Muralidharan, L. Morell-Azanza, G. Zalba, J. García-Gavilán, A. Martí, J. Salas-Salvadó, M. Bulló, 2019. Pistachio consumption modulates DNA oxidation and genes related to telomere maintenance: a crossover randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 0:1–8.
Background: Telomere attrition may play an important role in the pathogenesis and severity of type 2 diabetes (T2D), increasing the probability of β cell senescence and leading to reduced cell mass and decreased insulin secretion. Nutrition and lifestyle are known factors modulating the aging process and insulin resistance/secretion, determining the risk of T2D. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of pistachio intake on telomere length and other cellular aging-related parameters of glucose and insulin metabolism. Methods: Forty-nine prediabetic subjects were included in a randomized crossover clinical trial. Subjects consumed a pistachio supplemented diet (PD, 50 E% [energy percentage] carbohydrates and 33 E% fat, including 57 g pistachios/d) and an isocaloric control diet (CD, 55 E% carbohydrates and 30 E% fat) for 4 mo each, separated by a 2-wk washout period. DNA oxidation was evaluated by DNA damage (via 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine). Leucocyte telomere length and gene expression related to either oxidation, telomere maintenance or glucose, and insulin metabolism were analyzed by multiplexed quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction after the dietary intervention. Results: Compared with the CD, the PD reduced oxidative damage to DNA (mean: −3.5%; 95% CI: −8.07%, 1.05%; P = 0.009). Gene expression of 2 telomere-related genes (TERT and WRAP53) was significantly upregulated (164% and 53%) after the PD compared with the CD (P = 0.043 and P = 0.001, respectively). Interestingly, changes in TERT expression were negatively correlated to changes in fasting plasma glucose concentrations and in the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance. Conclusions: Chronic pistachio consumption reduces oxidative damage to DNA and increases the gene expression of some telomere-associated genes. Lessening oxidative damage to DNA and telomerase expression through diet may represent an intriguing way to promote healthspan in humans, reversing certain deleterious metabolic consequences of prediabetes. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01441921.
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