Key points from article :
Adults who consume three or more servings of ultra processed food/day are twice likely to have shorter telomeres.
Telomeres are vital for preserving the stability of chromosomes and are a marker of biological ageing.
The researchers led by Amelia Marti, analysed DNA samples collected in 2008.
Involved 900 people aged 55 or more and studied their dietary habits every 2 years thereafter.
The cohort was divided into four groups, based on their consumption of ultra-processed foods.
Compared to the group who ate the fewest, the other three showed an increased likelihood of having shortened telomeres by 29, 40, and 82 percent, respectively.
However, the causal relationship between eating highly processed foods and diminished telomeres remains speculative.
Earlier studies have also shown correlations between ultra-processed foods and hypertension, obesity, depression, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
Research by University of Navarra published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.