New literature has documented that even in old people, the telomeres (the sequence of base pairs at the end of our chromosomes) that seem to control the number of cell divisions have still not reached their terminal positions.
Commonly referred to as the "caps on our shoelaces" for our DNA or genes, telomeres protect these strands at the end of our DNA from shortening and fraying. It's now believed these internal time-keepers (and their length) control how quickly we age or how early we see signs of aging.
Aging is a complex scientific process that we're still learning more about every day, but the simplest way to explain the role of telomeres and aging is the older we get, the shorter our telomeres get. The reason why they get shorter as we age is that when our cells divide they cannot replicate and repair themselves as accurately as they did when we were younger.
What Are Telomeres?
Essentially, a telomere is like a cap on a shoelace, but for chromosomes. If the "cap" becomes damaged, the "shoelace" begins to fray and can no longer function. Telomeres consist of repetitive nucleotide sequences that help protect the chromosomal DNA from damage. Telomeres shorten every time a cell divides until the cell finally dies. This information was first discovered by a group of scientists at Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, California. These experts now believe that telomeres have a significant impact on the cellular aging process. Seniors over the age of 90 have telomeres that should be able to undergo many more cell divisions, which indicates that humans have not met their genetic potential. By rebuilding the shortening telomere, we can increase the number of cell divisions the telomeres can experience and improve human lifespans.
If you're wondering how to lengthen your telomeres, we will explore different ways in this article. Some of these include:
- Reducing stress levels
- Exercising regularly
- Eating certain foods
- Getting enough sleep
- Taking telomere length supplements
Tips for Lengthening Telomeres
Recent studies show better lifestyle choices can affect the length of our telomeres. Healthy lifestyle choices include reducing stress, exercise, a healthy diet and productive sleep.
It's well known that stress can contribute to many different conditions, ranging from depression and anxiety to heart disease and diabetes. Studies show that chronic stress also has links to shorter telomeres. In an analysis of stress' effects, researchers found that the duration and intensity at which you experience stress have extreme effects on telomere length .
Managing and reducing stress will not only make you healthier overall but could also increase your lifespan. Everyone handles stress differently, so it's important to find a method that works for you. Some people prefer to relax with yoga, pilates, or meditation, which all help protect telomere length, according to recent research . If you're experiencing chronic stress, periodic relaxation may not be enough. Support systems like friends and family members or professional help like therapists can be major solutions for lowering your stress levels. Additionally, lifestyle changes like exercising more can also benefit your overall feelings of stress.
In addition to reducing stress, it's nearly impossible to overstate exercise's importance to a healthy body and long life. Regular exercise is also essential for preserving telomere length. A 2018 study from the European Heart Journal measured telomere length in healthy, but sedentary, adults for six months . After separating participants into three exercise groups and a control group, researchers found that the groups who participated in aerobic endurance and interval training were better protected from telomere shortening.
Other studies have similar findings, with endurance training and high-intensity aerobic exercise preserving telomere length . However, it takes regular exercise to have a noticeable and beneficial effect on your telomeres. Experts are still attempting to determine if resistance training and power-lifting benefit telomere length, but some studies show a positive effect.
Eat Foods That Strengthen Telomeres
Your diet can also play a substantial role in telomere length. Some foods are particularly beneficial, while others may actively shorten your telomeres. Most experts recommend a plant-based diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. If you're wondering how to keep your telomeres longer with nutrients, there are some specific foods you should probably include in your meals.
Perhaps the most important additions to any telomere-conscious diet are antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Antioxidants combat free radicals that damage DNA and parts of cells, including telomeres. Citrus fruits are fantastic sources of vitamin C, while vitamin E is available in leafy greens, cereals, and olive oil.
Flax is one of the best diet additions because it is bursting with omega-3s, which help prevent inflammation and build cell membranes. A study from 2010 found that high levels of omega-3s resulted in significantly slower telomere shortening .
Spinach and other leafy green veggies are not only good sources of vitamin E but also contain folate and fiber. Folate is a B vitamin that contributes to DNA synthesis and repair, as well as numerous other functions. Studies have proven the positive relationship between folate and telomere length .
Conditions like diabetes appear to have complex relationships with telomere length, so eating foods that prevent insulin resistance may also benefit your telomeres. This includes foods with soluble and insoluble fiber, such as oats or lentils.
Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can often leave you feeling like you've shaved years off of your life, but it's possible that you actually have. Sleep — and a lack of it — can dramatically influence both our mental and physical health, including many aspects of the aging process. This, of course, includes telomere length.
When we sleep, our bodies perform a range of functions for cellular repair and rejuvenation. Alternatively, inflammation levels increase when we don't get enough sleep, which is a major contributor to biological aging. Generally, longer sleep has associations with longer telomeres. More specifically, one study found that each hour of additional sleep beyond five hours significantly improved telomere length in postmenopausal women .
Try a Telomere Lengthening Supplement
All the lifestyle changes listed above help prevent telomere shortening, but do you know how to lengthen telomeres? Telomeres can actually regain portions of their lost length with the help of a unique enzyme. This enzyme, telomerase, is responsible for maintaining the length of telomeres . Without telomerase, telomeres progressively shorten until they die or cease functioning. However, by activating telomerase, it is possible to actively restore telomeres and allow for many future cell divisions. This essentially slows your internal clock, inhibiting and even reversing many of the harmful effects of aging.
Ten nutrients support telomere length, cell health, and DNA health to support longer telomeres. One of the most important of these is ac-11®, an extract from a tropical woody vine called Uncaria tomentosa (or cat's claw). ac-11® can benefit conditions like Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, and viral illnesses thanks to powerful antioxidant and neuroprotective qualities . In clinical pilot studies, ac-11® directly contributed to improvements in telomere length and reversed common signs of aging.†
Other key nutrients that may activate telomerase include astragalus root extract, milk thistle seed extract, Korean ginseng extract, and L-citrulline. Each of these activators also has multitudes of other beneficial effects. For example, L-citrulline is an amino acid that promotes blood flow by creating nitric oxide, which helps fight heart disease and clogged arteries.
Many telomere supplements focus solely on telomerase activation, which is only truly effective in stem cells. To have a noticeable effect on your longevity and overall health, a supplement must combine telomerase activators with key vitamins and other nutrients to help repair DNA and maintain the telomere length already present. Healthycell® Telomere Length combines all of these ingredients in one synergistic, natural formula to help you age better and improve your quality of life.†
Backed by actual scientific research, Telomere Length sources integral ingredients from unique locations, such as our ac-11® extract from the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. This ensures that you'll receive the cellular nutrition that most directly impacts the health of your telomeres, in addition to inhibiting homocysteine levels, boosting nitric oxide, and supporting DNA repair — without the harmful side effects of other supplements.†
Lengthening Telomeres Made Easy
Leading a healthy lifestyle that's restful, free of stress, includes a healthy diet, and full of exercise is the best way to prevent the shortening of your telomeres. However, if you want to take it a step further and actively improve the length of your telomeres, you need an effective, high-quality supplement. Healthycell Telomere Length provides you with all of the nutrients and telomerase activators you need.
†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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