The length of your telomeres is one factor that impacts aging and longevity. Telomere shortening has been associated with aging and higher rates of chronic disease, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer. Researchers believe it is a critical factor in the aging process but is are shorter telomeres hereditary or caused by environmental factors?
Telomeres protect our DNA and every cell from damage. Healthy telomeres are long and allow the cells to replicate correctly, but every time a cell divides, the telomere becomes a little shorter. Like the plastic ends of your shoelace, when the telomere becomes too short and worn, like your shoelace, your chromosome begins to fray and unravel. When this happens the cell becomes inactive, divides incorrectly and/or eventually dies.
Genetics vs. Environmental Research
Researchers have shown that longer telomeres are associated with a longer life, but at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, in Australia researchers wanted to understand if telomere length is impacted by hereditary or environmental factors. Results of the study were published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in July, 2019.
The study was a Population-based cross-sectional study with more than 1800 families participating in 30 cities and towns across Australia. Researchers extracted DNA and evaluated telomere length from the blood samples of 1206 children between the ages of 11 and 12, and 1343 parents, of whom 1143 were parent-child pairs.
Results showed there was a modest relationship between the telomere length of the parents and their children with the strongest concordance being between the father and the child. The researchers concluded that children’s telomere length appeared to be partly the results of genetics. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/9/Suppl_3/118.full.pdf
The length and longevity of our telomeres appears to be only partly determined by genetics.
Environmental factors that can impact telomere length include:
- Chronic psychological stress
- Sleep quality and sleep duration
- Body mass index
- Lack of exercise
- Low social support
- Lower level of education
- Oxidative stress and antioxidants
How to protect, repair and lengthen your telomeres
- Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
- Achieve an ideal body weight and composition
- Engage in regular exercise
- Reduce stress
- Take nutritional supplements that will help protect and repair telomeres
- Attain the proper balance of hormones through bio-identical hormone therapy
- Achieve 8 hours of sleep per night
- Appropriate fasting
- Stop smoking
The Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic
At the Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic can help you test the length of your telomeres and based on those results, help you develop a health and wellness plan to protect, repair, and lengthen your telomeres, helping you live a longer, healthier life.
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/
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.
Services at the Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic
- Bio-identical hormone replacement for men and women, including HGH and testosterone therapy
- Weight loss and nutritional counseling
- Comprehensive laboratory testing
- Facial rejuevenation
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy
- IV Nutritional therapy
- P-Shot PRP procedure for men
- Chelation therapy
- Food intolerance testing
The Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic in Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico, is Central America’s most experienced Age Management clinic, combining proven methods of preventative medicine with the most advanced technology to help you slow down the aging process and fight age-related disease. Let us help you live your best life. Contact us today to learn more about telomere testing and preventative medicine.
- Nguyen MT, Lycett K, Vryer R, et al. Telomere length:population epidemiology and concordance in Australian children aged 11–12 years and their parents. BMJ Open 2019;9:118–126. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2017-020263