DNA makes up every cell in our body and telomeres protect our DNA and every cell from damage which allows the cells to replicate correctly. As we age, cells die or become damaged which requires the surrounding cells replicate, or make new cells, replacing the aging, damaged cells. Telomeres are like the plastic ends on your shoelaces, protecting the ends of chromosome from “fraying” after a cell replicates. Just like your shoelaces, if a telomere becomes too short to do its job, your chromosome you’re your shoelace, begins to unravel, or fray at the ends. Each time a cell replicates, the telomere becomes a little shorter until eventually it becomes too short to allow the cell to replicate or divide. When this happens, the cell becomes inactive, dies, or begins to malfunction and divides incorrectly.
Shorter telomeres have been associated with aging and a higher rate of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, and cancer. When a telomere is too short to protect the chromosome, cells can malfunction causing genetic material to become confused or destroyed leading to aging and chronic disease. Basically, shorter telomeres mean your cells have a more difficult time splitting and replicating which can lead to faster aging and disease. Telomere length is a key indicator for how well you are aging.
Telomere shortening is frequently caused by chronic stress, chronic or acute inflammation, or environmental toxins such as smoke, alcohol and pollution. Individuals over 60 with the shortest telomeres have the highest rates chronic disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. One study found that people with shortest telomeres were 23 percent more likely to die within three years than those with longer telomeres.
How to Lengthen Your Telomeres:
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
A diet that includes processed foods, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and saturated fats will shorten the length of your telomeres. While an anti-inflammatory diet will slow the shortening process and may help reverse the damage already done. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals will protect the cells and their telomeres from oxidative damage. You should consume at 10-12 servings of fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables a day. Your diet should also include foods high in fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and vitamin E. Some research has shown a high-quality multivitamin can also help maintain telomere length but a multi-vitamin should never replace natural foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Reduce Stress
Studies have shown that individuals in stressful environments have shorter telomeres than the control groups. Avoiding stress is impossible but finding methods that you can incorporate into your daily life that reduce stress can help maintain telomere length. Individuals that practice yoga, meditation or healing prayer have longer telomeres.
- Exercise regularly
Researchers have shown that individuals that exercise are less likely to have short telomeres and the more a person exercises the longer their telomere length. For people in their middle ages the correlation between exercise and telomere length was the greatest. Exercise also has the added benefit of reducing stress. So, get out there and exercise.
- Control know cardiovascular risk factors
To maintain longer telomeres it is important to control all known cardiovascular risk factors including; attaining and maintaining an ideal body composition, stop smoking, control blood pressure, reduce VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides an increase HDL cholesterol, reduce C-reactive protein levels, reduce homocysteine levels and HbA1C levels less than 5%.
The Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic in collaboration with SpectraCell Laboratories, offers a test that can determine the length of your telomeres in relation to your age.
Test results provided by SpectraCell Laboratories
“The Patient Telomere Score is calculated based on the patient’s average telomere length in peripheral whole blood cells. This average is then compared to telomere lengths from a population sample in the same age range as the patient to determine the patient’s percentile score.” https://www.spectracell.com/clinicians/products/telomere-testing/
Other Services at the Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic
- Weight loss and nutritional counseling
- Food Intolerance testing
- Human growth hormone
- Bio-identical hormone replacement
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy
- P-Shot PRP procedure
- Facial rejuvenation
- Chelation therapy
- Comprehensive blood panels
- Telomere testing
- Cancer testing
Frequency of Testing
Telomere testing should be done once a year along with your comprehensive blood panel. A yearly test will evaluate any changes in the length of your telomeres and help you and your physician determine if changes need to be made to your health plan.
Using innovation, the most advanced treatment options and cutting-edge science, the Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic will help you develop a customized health program that will enable you to achieve your peak physical and mental performance. We want to empower you to take charge of your health. Contact us today to learn more.