Telomeres inform doctors about how well their patients’ cells age. They should be healthy and strong enough to fight off any mutations or degeneration in the body. But as you get older, telomere shortening fastens the aging process and can lead to various health problems. What can you do to increase telomere length?
In This Article:
- What Are Telomeres?
- What Do Telomeres Do?
- Can You Extend Telomere Length?
Increase Telomere Length – Increase Your Lifespan
What Are Telomeres?
Telomeres are unique structures that are found at the ends of our chromosomes. They are made up of the same short DNA sequence that is repeated over and over.
Telomeres, like the plastic points at the ends of shoelaces, are caps at the end of each strand of DNA that safeguards our chromosomes. Without the covering, shoelaces shred to the point that they can no longer do their job, much as without telomeres, DNA strands get damaged, and our cells are unable to function.
What Do Telomeres Do?
Telomeres keep chromosomes from losing base pair sequences at their ends. They also prevent chromosomes from merging. However, part of the telomere is lost each time a cell divides (usually 25-200 base pairs per division).
When the telomere grows too short, the chromosome hits a “critical length” and can no longer replicate. This indicates that a cell grows “old” and dies as a result of a process known as apoptosis. Two processes govern telomere activity: erosion and addition. As previously stated, erosion happens whenever a cell divides. The activity of telomerase governs addition.
Can You Extend Telomere Length?
The answer is “YES.” With the proper method, you will not only prevent telomere shortening but also increase telomere length.
The research team, led by John Ramunas, Ph.D., and Eduard Yakubov, Ph.D., publish their findings in The FASEB Journal on making discoveries on how to increase the telomere length. The researchers utilized a modified ribonucleic acid (RNA) form that contained the TERT coding sequence to lengthen telomeres.
The researchers explain in their paper that adding as little as three applications of the modified RNA (dubbed modified TERT mRNA) to human cells over a few days enhanced telomere length by up to 10%. The research adds that telomeres in young people are around 8,000-10,000 nucleotides long. Still, the modified TERT-encoding RNA extended telomere length by approximately 1,000 nucleotides.
There are also other ways for you to increase telomere length by yourself actively:
1. Have a Healthy Diet
Lifestyle variables such as a poor diet, physical inactivity, or smoking habits have been linked to shorter leukocyte telomere length. Some studies have found a link between diet or the consumption of certain foods and the length of leukocyte telomeres.
To be sure, the rates of telomere shortening in leukocytes and somatic cells are comparable. Therefore telomere length in leukocytes is currently considered to be indicative of global telomere length in somatic cells.
Here are some of the food you should include in your diet to increase telomere length:
Berries. Nature’s tastiest, most nutrient-dense finger foods are an excellent source of antioxidants, which combat cell-damaging free radicals. According to research, people with more significant amounts of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E, and selenium had longer telomeres.
Mushrooms. They are a great source of vitamin D, which is linked to telomere length. According to a 2017 research published in The Journal of Nutrition, people with low vitamin D (less than 50) had shorter telomeres than those with adequate vitamin D. ( over 50). Another great source of vitamin D is nonfat dairy products.
Oats. This classic breakfast grain’s soluble and insoluble fiber helps blood sugar control. It reduces insulin resistance, which can damage and shorten telomeres. When combined with the telomere-protective berries, oatmeal provides an extra dose of fiber.
Flax. Flax is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for reducing inflammation and repairing cell membranes throughout the body. According to research, omega-3 fatty acids help keep telomeres from shrinking too rapidly.
Epitalon. You can also increase telomere length by adding Epitalon to your diet. This is a synthetic peptide that comes in the form of a pill for quick and easy absorption. In various studies, it has been shown to boost telomerase production, which lengthens telomeres as a result.
2. Exercise More
It is widely documented that moderate and regular physical activity can minimize the effects of aging by lowering the amount of oxidative stress, which is one of the causes of the sped-up aging process.
Research on 68 caregivers, both male, and female, from a community known to deal with chronic high stress, physical inactivity, and a high risk of illness led to some clear results. Half of them who followed the endurance training program consisting of 40 minutes of aerobic activity three to five days each week has increased their telomere length while the other group who remain inactive have slightly shortened telomeres.
Therefore, exercise more frequently can help you prevent telomere shortening and slow down the aging process. Exercise in any form is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy. A jog around the block, jumping rope in the front yard, or doing simple sit-ups or push-ups every day has proven to be very beneficial for increasing telomere length and your overall health.
The majority of research shows that food has a significant impact on the degree of biological aging. Indeed, a healthy diet rich in dietary fiber and unsaturated lipids protects telomere health. Because antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities of foods are related to longer telomeres, these effects are likely to be globally mediated by oxidative stress and inflammation. Exercise on a regular basis is also very important, but remember to keep it consistent.
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