Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Telomere Length and the Importance To Our Longevity

      Are you familiar with telomeres? I wasn't until recently but I've been reading some interesting articles lately about them.  It is important to keep each other informed on how to stay healthy so I am including some information today that may pique your interest. The first excerpt is from an article entitled 8 Ways to Maximize Telomere Length and Increase Life Expectancy.  The excerpt explains better than I can  what telomeres are and how they affect our lives.

"Research has uncovered that shorter lengths of biological structures called telomeres are linked to many age-related diseases and higher mortality rates while longer telomeres are associated with vitality and increased life expectancy. The good news is that certain nutritional and lifestyle factors are associated with longer telomeres.
Telomeres are the portion of DNA that is joined to the ends of each of the 46 human chromosomes in cells. Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, one of the three Nobel Prize winners of 2009, has found a link between shorter lengths of telomeres and risk of diabetes, some cancers and cardiovascular disease, in addition to depression, dementia and osteoarthritis…"

       Here is an excerpt from another that talks about essential nutrients to extend telomere length.  Targeted nutrients naturally extend telomere length and provide anti-aging effect:

"The methylation pathway is critical to maintain DNA integrity and to prevent telomere shortening. Foods and nutrients that donate methyl groups are essential to prevent genetic mutations that result in cancer. Researchers reporting in The Journal of Nutrition found that men with the highest levels of folate in their blood have the longest telomeres when compared to those with the lowest levels. In addition to folate (800 mcg each day), vitamin B12 (500 to 1000 mcg daily) and the entire B-vitamin family are associated with longer telomeres. Sulfur-enriched proteins from nuts and seeds are also important methyl group donors.

Independent research projects have concluded that the minerals zinc (25 to 50 mg per day) and magnesium (400 to 800 mg each day) are necessary to accurately complete DNA sequencing during cell replication. A lack of these cofactors leads to DNA strand breakage, premature cell destruction and acceleration of the aging process. Vitamin C (1 to 3 grams per day) has been shown to slow the loss of telomeres in human vascular endothelial cells, an important element in preventing cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E tocotrienols (400 mg per day of a full-spectrum supplement) have been shown to restore the length of telomeres while reducing DNA damage, making it possible for a nutrient to reverse the shortening of telomeres and reverse an underlying cause of aging.

Stress and inflammation are two controllable factors that independently shorten telomere length and increase cell aging. Stress management is essential to lower the release of chemical messengers that fuel the flames of inflammation. Additionally, researchers have identified a host of polyphenol compounds (resveratrol, grape seed extract and curcumin) that lower systemic inflammation, help to maintain telomere length and extend healthy lifespan."

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