There’s a perfectly good explanation for how we stay young, and it has nothing to do with the latest high-dollar anti-ageing cream. Healthy cells in the body are designed to regenerate every day. Without this natural cycle of regeneration, we would be blind in about 10 minutes and dead within about 24 hours.
It’s the body’s remarkable ability to regenerate that holds the power to fight premature ageing and disease.
TELOMERES TURN BACK TIME
How do healthy cells regenerate? It helps to think of this cellular regeneration as occurring within a hard drive, where all of the data within your body is stored as DNA. DNA damage occurs through factors like exposure to outside toxins and radiation, chronic stress, and an inflammatory diet.
Each DNA strand has a data counter called a telomere. A telomere counts down every time a healthy cell regenerates. Telomeres have also been compared to the plastic cap at the end of a shoestring; every time a healthy cell divides, some of this protective cap material is lost. Cells can divide only a certain amount Of times before they die, and long and healthy telomeres are needed to protect DNA chromosomes during each cellular division. Depending upon the damage that has already been done to a DNA strand, a telomere cap may be longer or shorter which can be reflected in a person’s longer or shorter lifespan.
Scientists have discovered that short telomeres that are not able to fully regenerate can present a major problem in the body. Namely, short telomeres can lead to premature ageing and disease. Arthritis Research & Therapy researchers discovered linked to joint damage and osteoarthritis. l Accelerated telomere shortening has been known to increase the ageing process and has been linked to a number of early onset age-related health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and a higher cancer risk.2
Telomere shortening is a significant cause for concern, while telomere lengthening can reset the body’s clock and better equip it to buffer the effects of ageing and disease. In 2015, Stanford University School of Medicine scientists unveiled a new procedure that can increase human telomere length with the potential to treat diseases caused by telomere shortening.3
DRINK FROM THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
The latest research on telomere lengthening is exciting though it could take decades before a new anti-ageing and anti-disease treatment is available to the public. Fortunately, based on what we now know about the causes of telomere shortening we can stop the clock with the lifestyle choices we make.
Replacing telomere-shortening inflammatory foods with Really Healthy Foods has been proven to lengthen life, along with important lifestyle changes like meditation and exercise.4 To take it a step further, targeted nutrients can protect healthy telomeres against shortening and dysfunction. Researchers discovered that a lack of folate led to a damaged telomere cap that left chromosomal materials vulnerable to ageing and disease.5 A vitamin B12 supplement has also been shown to lengthen telomeres.6 Taking a daily B vitamin spray, rich in B12 and natural foliate MTHFR versus synthetic (damaging) folic acid, can protect DNA strands by keeping telomeres long and strong.
The purpose of protecting telomeres with essential vitamins is simple. Lengthen your telomeres, and you can lengthen your life.
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- Maria Harbo Laila Bendix, Anne-Christine, Bay-Jensen Jesper Grookjaer, Kent Søe, Thomas, L Andersen. Per Kjaersgaard-Andersen, Steen Koelvraa, Jean-Marie Delaisse The distribution pattern of critically short telomeres in human osteoarthritic knees Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012; 14 DOI: 10.1186/ar13687.
- Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2011 Jan 14(1):28-34. doi: 101097/ MCO.Ob013e32834121b1.
- J. Ramunos, E Yokubov, J Brady, S Corbel, C Holbrook M. Brandt J. Stein, J. G. Santiago, J. P Cooke, H M. Blau. Transient delivery of modified mRNA encoding TERT rapidly extends telomere in human cells The FASEB journal, 2015 DOI: 10.10960.14-259531.
- Lancet Oncol. 2013 Oct; 24(11):1112-20. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70366-8. Epub 2013 Sep 17
- J Nutr Biochem. 2009 Dec. 20(12); 917-26. doi: 10.1016/j.nutbio.2009.06.008. Epub 2009 Sep 4
- Am J Clin Nutr; 2009 Jun;89(6). 1857-63. doi: 10.394/ajcn 2008.26986. Epub 2009 Mar 11