TELOMERES – the anti-aging effect

TELOMERES – the anti-aging effect

Have you ever noticed the little plastic parts that cover the tip of your shoelaces? Well, telomeres are precisely like that. And the shoelaces are the chromosomes. What happens when those plastic things fall off? Your shoelaces become frayed; without that essential part, your DNA strands become harmed and cannot properly function.

 Hence the name: telos (end), meros (part).

 DNA is found in every single cell in our body. Our DNA is our essence; it tells who you are and what diseases you have; your genetic information is gathered there. All of our organs are composed of this genetic material. 

 Our cells are in a constant process of replenishing themselves. That is why adequate nutrition and sleep are crucial for this process. The better we eat, sleep and exercise, the better our cells can renovate. Each time a cell copies itself, the protective part – telomeres – shrinks slightly. Eventually, telomeres cannot protect the DNA material, and that cell stops functioning. This is the basic process of human aging. The longer the telomeres in our cells, the younger our entire body. Remember that our biological age does not always match our chronological age.

 Many studies prove that certain circumstances and conditions can trigger telomere dysfunction. This can lead to the growth of malignant and abnormal cells. In general, accelerated aging is tightly linked to many diseases and ailments. Below we cite a handful of them:

  • Pulmonary diseases. Many lung diseases are linked to telomere detriment. 
  • Bone marrow failure syndromes. Syndromes such as Aplastic anemia are linked to impaired telomere maintenance. 
  • Metabolic ailments and syndromes. All metabolic diseases are triggered by the human body’s inability to process food and efficiently turn it into fuel–energy. One in three Americans suffers from metabolic syndromes, including chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, and others. The shortening of telomeres is one of the primary causes.
  • Cardiovascular problems. Associated with the aforementioned metabolic diseases, cardiovascular problems are one of the leading causes of mortality – especially in the Western hemisphere. Telomere damage is a potential driver of them.
  • Alzheimer’s. The most common form of dementia, affecting 1 in 10 adults over 65, Alzheimer’s is linked to telomere shortening. 


What causes telomere damage, and how can we prevent it?

 Although aging is a natural process, there are straightforward ways to pace it and even slow it. Among the many recommendations health experts give, here are the most important:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid exposure to pollution.
  • Exercise. Recent studies show an inverse correlation between exercise duration and damage to the DNA in our cells. Exercise eliminates fat and waste product in our cells, decreasing oxidation and preserving telomeres. 
  • A diet rich in antioxidants. Consuming fiber, fish, soy protein, healthy fats, flax seeds, kiwi, berries, broccoli, green tea, whole grains, and other foods rich in vitamins C and E are crucial to stop telomere damage.
  • Reduce stress levels. High levels of stress release a particular type of hormone called glucocorticoid, which reduces the antioxidant process and promotes telomere shortening. Studies show that people under higher stress levels are at much higher risk of age-related health problems, such as the ones mentioned before.

Protecting telomeres by eating LESS.

 More and more scientists, doctors, and health professionals advise that eating the right foods is not sufficient to preserve our health. Diet restriction and eating fewer calories have an incredibly positive effect on our longevity, health, and overall well-being. 

 When we burden our bodies with fewer calories or amplify our no-eating windows (such as intermittent fasting), we allow our cells to renovate themselves, avoid oxidative processes and prevent DNA damage. New animal research shows that diet restriction promotes longer telomeres in kidneys and other crucial organs, increasing lifespan and health conditions. 

Telomeres and aging – conclusion

 The desire to slow aging is related to our physical appearance and the condition in which our organs function. We decrease our chances of suffering from many diseases and syndromes by slowing the aging process. 

Fortunately, our bodies can renovate and heal, given the proper tools. Protecting our telomeres – which protect our DNA material – is one of the vital steps to reducing and slowing the overall aging process. 

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