The length of your telomeres determines how fast you age. Dr Simoné investigates how we can, in fact, slow this process down to improve your mental and physical health and move you into active anti-ageing and disease prevention.
So what Are Telomeres and why do they determine how fast you are ageing?
Telomeres are segments of DNA at the end of our chromosomes and scientists often compare them to the plastic tips of shoelaces that keep the laces together. Telomeres function in a similar way, reducing the potential for chromosomes to start fraying or tangling with one another. When this tangling occurs, it can cause genetic information to get confused or even destroyed, leading to cell malfunction, increasing the risk of disease and accelerating ageing both physically and mentally.
Each time a cell divides and splits, it’s telomeres become shorter. After years of this continuous process, telomeres become too short for more divisions. At this point, cells are unable to divide further and become inactive, die or continue dividing anyway — an abnormal process that’s linked to disease (Goldman et al. 2018).
In fact, the biology of telomerase has broad ramifications for human health and ageing. Therefore, the discovery of telomerase and studies on telomere capping by Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider, and Jack Szostak, were honoured with the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine, supporting the importance of this research.
Essentially, when our telomeres get short, this is how our bodies age. As more of our cells lose their telomeres, without others to take their place, the body itself follows and begins to break down. Each telomere’s potential lifespan is directly related to our life spans. Research by Reiss et. al 2018 & Goldman et al. 2018 confirms the length of our telomeres do in fact determine how fast we age.
The Good news: Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres and keeps them from wearing out too fast or too early, however with constant cell division, telomerase levels are depleted, enabling telomeres to shorten.
Support research: E. Callaway in 2010 carried out a mouse model to investigate this theory. Mice engineered to lack telomerase aged quickly but when the enzyme was replaced, they bounced back to optimum health. By reawakening telomerase in human cells where it’s stopped working, normal human ageing could be slowed. “This has implications for thinking about telomerase as a serious anti-ageing intervention,” DePinho, a cancer geneticist who led the study.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TEST YOUR TELOMERES CONTACT US AT REJUV AT INFO@REUV.CO.UK
How to lengthen telomeres and slow ageing?
1. Control and Reduce Stress
Dr Epel an anti-ageing specialist stated; “Telomeres are a protective casing at the end of a strand of DNA. Each time a cell divides, it loses a few its telomeres. An enzyme called telomerase can replenish it, but chronic stress and cortisol exposure decrease your supply. When the telomere is too diminished, the cell often dies or becomes pro-inflammatory. This sets the ageing process in motion, along with associated health risks.” A 2004 study compared healthy women who were mothers of healthy children (the control moms) and those who cared for chronically ill children (caregiving mothers). On average, the caregiving mothers had telomeres that were 10 years shorter than the control moms. That is, their cells behaved as if one decade older. Another study that examined African-American boys found that those who came from stressful environments had telomeres that were about 40 %shorter than peers from stable homes. Therefore the environments we have our kids raised in also affects our next generation!
We have known for years that chronic stress not only can lead to depression and anxiety but it increases belly fat due to the increased cortisol levels. Now we also know it accelerates ageing! Taking adaptogen herbs and other nutrients to help block the co-factors produced in metabolic pathways are key! Based on the evergrowing levels of stress we are all under and seeing so many stress-related diseases (both mentally and physically) I decided to formulate a new product based on this evidence-based research. Let’s face it not all of us can practise all of the following steps constantly each day in our busy lives. As always, I was researching a way to fast track us all with the ever-increasing levels of stress of 21-century living.
Watch this space for the launch of my new ‘Anti-Stress and Brain Boost’ complex next month!
2. Exercise, move your body and play each day
Not only will this oxygenate your body but studies also show that you will help slow down telomere shortening & therefore ageing.
3. Eat a range of colourful foods to boost antioxidant and vitamin benefits
Due to over-farming and living in a toxic world, I also suggest taking a whole food organic multi-vitamin and mineral complex such as The Super Elixir, which I formulate for www.welleco.com, giving you all the nutrients to support your 11 systems and therefore slow down ageing.
4. Practice Prayer and Meditation
A study by Carlson et al. 2015 among breast cancer survivors, revealed those who participated in mindful meditation and practised yoga kept their telomeres at the same length; the telomeres of the control group, who did neither activity, shortened during the study time.
A 2008 study by Ornish et al. investigated a group of men and found that, after three months of a vegan diet, aerobic exercise and stress management, including yoga, there was increased telomerase activity. A 2013 follow-up study found that those lifestyle changes are associated with longer telomeres.
Meditation comes in different forms for different people. Some like to meditate alone, others practise yoga, some just set positive intentions for the day, others its time with family and friends by simply turning their phones off. Personally, I like to get still and have time in prayer but regardless of how you choose to ‘decompress’ it’s clear it is vital for our minds and bodies.