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Study finds people with moles may age better

It turns out that Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford's moles may be worth more than their aesthetic value alone: a study presented in November shows that people with moles age slower and can appear up to seven years younger than their peers.

A study conducted by researchers at Kings College London that was first published in the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Journal was presented last month to a group of doctors and scientists at the UK's Royal Society of Medicine Conference.

Scientists found that an abundance of beauty marks is correlated with stronger bones, firmer muscles, a healthier heart and eyes, fewer wrinkles, and even a nearly 50 percent reduction in the risk of osteoporosis. Scientists say the link stems from the fact that people with moles have longer telomeres - the region of DNA found at the end of every chromosome that serves as a plastic cap to keep chromosomes from unraveling and mutating.

As humans age, their telomeres naturally shrink. Shortened telomeres are responsible for causing all types of conditions associated with aging including wrinkles, hair thinning, arthritis, weight gain and loss, high blood pressure, diabetes, vision and hearing loss.

But in spite of these results, preserving your telomere length has to do with more than just possessing beauty marks. Other factors such as a poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity and psychological stress can also cause your telomeres to shorten faster than natural cell division alone. Meanwhile, exercising has been linked to longer telomeres.

The study abstract: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/16/7/1499.abstract