As you age, cellular division continues, and age-related damage to your cells causes your telomere tips to shorten. The length of your telomeres can reveal vulnerabilities you have to chronic, life-threatening illnesses including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The older you get, the shorter your telomeres become.
Telomere structure and length in young people can range from 8,000 to 15,000 base pairs in length, but when these protective end caps become too short, their protective function does not allow cells to continue to divide. These cells then die, and this response is what lends to a shortened life span.
You can take certain steps to protect and lengthen your telomeres that may add years to your life.
How To Lengthen Telomeres
Much of longevity has a genetic link, but there is scientific evidence that certain lifestyle and environmental changes can lengthen your telomeres. A high-quality diet similar to the Mediterranean diet is a great place to start.
How To Regrow Telomeres
High impact exercise including running may lengthen telomeres. In fact, a study on longevity and running revealed that people who ran no less than 50 minutes a week could increase their telomere length by 27 percent.
A good night’s sleep is also one way to boost longevity aWhat if someone told you that you might be able to add a few days, months, or even years to your life by protecting ? The key to longevity may be found in a small linear cap on your genes called telomeres. Telomeres are little protective parts of the cell that can be a tool in anti-aging when lengthened.
Made of protein and shelterin, telomeres are located at the end of your linear chromosomes. Located in the eukaryote of the cell, telomeres are made up of of six nucleotide sequences that are in pairs that repeat many times.
The role of telomeres is to protect your DNA strands from damage during cellular division. The length of a telomere is an important factor in cell regeneration and longevity, and choices you make can impact how long they are.
A study on telomere length and sleep found that 7 hours of sleep provided some anti-aging benefit to males, but the same benefit did not extend to women. Women who want to treat their telomeres well, and improve their length, may do so by maintaining a BMI of <30, according to another study, primarily due to insulin resistance.
Telomeres And Stress
A positive mental attitude and lower stress may not lengthen your telomeres, but they can stop them from shortening rapidly.
There are several companies like TeloYears or Titanovo that offer to tell you how long your telomeres are for around $100 to $200. However, these tests are not approved by the FDA, and can be misleading due to their limited ability to read varying strands of your DNA.
Telomere Lengthening Products
There are supplements out on the market that promise to provide protection and support to telomeres. Natural supplements can be used that include Vitamin-D3 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
The Telomere Effect
“The Telomere Effect” published in 2017 and written by Elissa Epel and Elizabeth Blackburn is a great book to read on the topic of longevity and telomere length. The authors give a rundown on what you can do to make micro lifestyle changes that make the difference between a healthy body down to the cell level and one that is detrimental to your telomeres and their protective role.
It appears that there is still so much to learn about longevity and much of it starts in the body itself. Common sense remains to be true, that environment, exercise, and good diet choices can provide many benefits that extend your life.