Did you know that you can do something to help you live longer, healthier and with more vitality and stamina? Through research in Anti-Aging medicine, there have been many phenomenal breakthroughs that have the potential to enable you to do all of these.

This new exciting research is concentrating on lengthening your telomeres. Telomeres are the bits of DNA at the ends of your chromosomes. They guide the reformation of your DNA once it splits into forming two new cells. Your cells go through this process every single second of every day of your life somewhere in your body.

The problem is that when this splitting happens, the length of the telomere shortens ever so slightly. Over time (your lifetime), this shortening continues to happen with the final result being the telomere becomes so short that the cell line no longer can continue to divide. The cells then die (aging happens with ultimate death). Moreover, the shorter the telomeres get, the older you look, the more chance you develop degenerative medical problems, and the more decrepit you feel.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to stop or delay this aging process? If there were something you could do or take to prevent this shortening from occurring, enabling you to live longer and with less medical problems, would you do it? New studies are giving you this hope, and now we know multiple ways to prevent or delay the normal telomere shortening. The result is the dream of living longer with less medical problems, improving your vitality and energy, and boosting your health is becoming a reality. You could say that if you prevent your telomeres from getting shorter, or you make them longer, you program your body to create younger cells: the potential fountain of youth.

There are studies being published every year showing us that people who are healthier and younger-looking than others their age have longer telomeres.[1],[2],[3] Keeping your telomeres long and healthy is now one of the most important actions you can do to keep your body more youthful and strong, and potentially lengthen your lifespan.

A study published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology followed almost 20,000 people in Denmark for 19 years. They discovered that the people with short telomeres had a 50% increased risk of heart attacks and a 25% increased risk of early death.[4]

Another study in the same journal found a high risk of heart attack risks related to telomere length. People with short telomeres had an increased risk of heart attacks by an alarming 280% to 320%,[5] confirming the concept that shorter telomeres are not good for your health and may shorten your lifespan.

There are a number of actions that you can do and supplements that you can take which can lengthen your telomeres. Most of them are based on boosting your immunity and decreasing inflammation. Others are based on stimulating the length of your telomeres. Let’s start with inflammation and immunity.

Inflammation: The cause of degenerative medical conditions

Immunity is your body’s ability to fight off toxins, bacteria, viruses, etc. from attacking you and your cells. As you age, your ability to produce this response lessens every year naturally. The result of less efficient immunity is that your body tries to build up a bigger response which ultimately results in inflammation. The inflammation can then damage tissues of your body. For example, arthritis is due to inflammation in your joint.

A measurement of your immunity efficiency is called your Immunidex. As you can see from the graph, it decreases as you age. In other words, as you age, your body produces an immune response but it is less efficient. Consequently your body tries harder to kill the offending agents. You could say that instead of shooting the offending with rifles using pinpoint accuracy, they get “old” and don’t hit their targets as well (less efficient). The response of the body is to recruit more and more of these immune cells to the area. But even they aren’t so great at “shooting”, so they use grenades. The offending agents are killed, but you have lots of collateral damage. This collateral damage and the debris left behind results in the process of inflammation. This process is particularly noticeable in autoimmune conditions such as arthritis.

This graph illustrates the relationship of your ImmunIndex to the length of your telomeres. As you can see, if you increase your immune efficiency, then your telomeres lengthen. In other words, longer telomeres equates to more efficient immune system to protect your body resulting in less collateral damage (back to sharp shooting) and less inflammation making you healthier

Your immune system not only kills those invading marauders, it also cleans up and gets rid of the debris left behind with cells called macrophages. They act like giant amoebas that engulf the debris and get rid of it. If your immune system is functioning at maximum efficiency, they can eliminate these problems and clean up the mess. They are therefore integral in the repair of your tissues.

If you have an excessive onslaught of invaders, too many insults attacking your cells, your immune system has to work way overtime and put out even more effort with more collateral damage. The result is that you get excessive amounts of toxic byproducts in the area which results in inflammation. Some of these byproducts are what we call free radicals. These are charged particles that can damage your cells, including their DNA, even more. Another substance is called cytokines which inflict even more damage. The inflammatory process worsens.

Just like the rest of your body, telomeres are very susceptible to shortening in the presence of inflammation.[6] The consequence of this inflammation is the development of chronic diseases. This has been in the news, and even the magazine TIME wrote an interesting article on this.

It turns out that people with these chronic diseases also have shortened telomeres. These debilitating conditions include atherosclerosis[7],[8] high blood pressure,[9] chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)[10], heart attacks[11] and cancer.[12] These are the medical conditions that can shorten your life in addition to making you have a poorer quality of life.

There are multiple studies connecting short telomeres with higher risk of developing cancer too. For instance, the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment showed breast cancer cells have shorter telomeres than normal cells.[13] Another study showed mouth cancers have short telomeres.[14] Yet another study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, reported short telomeres in colon cancer.[15]

So let’s summarize this. Inflammation occurs that results in degenerative medical conditions. These conditions are associated with short telomeres. Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Did the telomeres get shorter resulting in less efficient immunity and resultant inflammation? Or did the inflammation result in shorter telomeres? Research is attempting to answer these questions. In the meantime, the best action we can do is to fight both: decrease inflammation and keep your telomeres longer.

Decreasing inflammation in your body is probably the most important action you can take to help preserve your health. You can take multiple actions to do this, and I discuss these in my LEARN program. You have available multiple immune boosters and anti-inflammatory agents that can help. In turn, these result in longer telomeres.

You can lengthen telomeres by preventing them from shortening through an enzyme called telomerase. Telomerase is an enzyme that can be produced by any cell in your body and the production is encoded in your DNA. Its job is to lengthen your telomeres. However, most of the time the “switch” to turn on this production is in the “off” position. Thus, the aging process occurs as telomeres shorten through natural replication of your cells.

By turning the “switch” to “on”, your cell can produce the telomerase enzyme which has the ability to keep the telomeres longer with each replication. Therefore, the key is to figure out a way to turn on this switch so your cells can continue to replicate with longer telomeres. It turns out that the products of inflammation, cytokines, shorten your telomeres by blocking the action of this enzyme. Thus, fighting inflammation and elongating telomeres is a unified battle.

In addition, if you do have inflammation forming that produces toxic free radicals, we should fight these with compounds that neutralize. These compounds are called anti-oxidants and they are an integral part of this fight to keep you staying young.

There are compounds and nutrients that you can take that can do all the above. Read the next segment of this article to find out more.

Stimulate Growth of Your Telomeres

 

References

[1] Christensen, Kaare, et al, “Perceived age as clinically useful biomarker of ageing: cohort study,”BMJ. 2009; 339:b5262.
[2] Jeanclos E, et al, “Shortened telomere length in white blood cells…,” Diabetes. 1998; 47(3): 482-486.
[3]  Wong LSM, et al, “Telomere biology…,” Eur J Heart... 2008; 10(11):1049-1056.
[4] Weischer M, et al. Short telomere length, myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, and early death. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Mar;32(3):82209.
[5] Brouilette S, et al. White cell telomere length and risk of premature myocardial infarction. Aterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2003 May 1;23(5):842-6.
[6] Serra V, Grune T, Sitte N, Saretzki G, von Zglinicki T. "Telomere length as a marker of oxidative stress in primary human fibroblast cultures." Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;908:327-30.
[7] Edo MD, Adres V. "Aging, telomeres, and atherosclerosis." Review Cardiovasc Res 2005;66: 213- 221.
[8]  Samani N, et al. “Telomere Shortening in Atherosclerosis.” Lancet. 2001 Aug 11;358(9280):472-3.
[9] Benetos A, Okuda K, Lajemi M, Kimura M, Thomas F, et al. "Telomere length as an indicator of biological aging: the gender effect and relation with pulse pressure and pulse wave velocity." Hypertension 2001;37: 381-385.
[10] Amsellem V, et al. "Telomere dysfunction causes sustained inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Dec;184(12):1358-66.
[11] enetos A, Gardner JP, Zureik M, Labat C, Xiaobin L, et al. "Short telomeres are associated with increased carotid atherosclerosis in hypertensive subjects." Hypertension 2001;37: 381-385.
[12] Lappe J, et. al. "Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk." Am. J. Clinical Nutrition 2007;85,6:1586-1591.
[13] Diehl MC, et al. Elevated TRF2 in advanced breast cancers with short telomeres. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jul 13.
[14] Aida J, et al. Telomere lengths in the oral epithelia with and without carcinoma. Eur J Cancer. 2010 Jan;46(2):430-8.
[15] Rampazzo E, et al. Relationship between telomere shortening, genetic instability, and site of tumour origin in colorectal cancers. Br J Cancer. 2010 Apr 13;102(8):1300-5.