Seven tips to slow down telomere shortening to live longer by Dr.Bill Andrews.
Telomeres are non-coding sequences of repetitive DNA at the end of chromosomes that are linked to human lifespan — and Dr.Bill Andrews is seeking out natural compounds that will turn on expression of telomerase, an enzyme that restores the length of telomere.
Dr.Bill Andrews on the Today Show Dec.13/2011
Keeping telomeres long by reversing age-related shortening can potentially slow the onset of poor health and increase human lifespan.
However, as we await the latest developments in antiaging strategies such as inducing telomerase activity, there are a few lifestyle changes we can make to slow down telomere shortening as much as possible.
In a recent interview Dr. Bill Andrews, a molecular biologist who has studied aging at a molecular level for more than 15 years, he shared seven of the best known ways science knows of now to slow down telomeres shortening to live longer:
- Don’t ever smoke. Smoking is not only hazardous to your lungs and cardiovascular health, but is also found to increase rate of telomeres shortening, which can lead to dysfunction and instability of chromosomes.
- De-stress your life. Reducing psychological stress and depression, and increasing feelings of personal control and purpose in life. The more stress you have in your life, greater risk of increasing the rate of the telomeres shortening and aging more quickly. How to slow it down? As simple as it might sound, the key is to always have a positive outlook on life. Plus, enjoy a vacation once in a while, enjoy friends and social activities, receive plenty of sleep every night, and try meditation.
- Exercise regularly. By increasing amounts of physical activity, especially intense physical activity, 4 to 5 times a week, such as getting on a bike, going for a brisk walk or jog, joining a gym, or practicing yoga, activities that increase your heart rate or make you sweat. Research shows you could keep your telomeres long and healthy, even buffering the effects of chronic stress.
- Get your antioxidants daily. When high amounts of free radicals attack cells (causing oxidative stress), they leave no stone unturned making chromosomes and their telomeres vulnerable to shortening. You can best protect yourself by getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet from eating fruits and vegetables daily and supplements.
- Never go without fish oil. Fish oil contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are well-known for being healthy to the heart, but recent evidence has shown that increasing amounts in the diet is associated also with slowing telomere shortening over time. You can get enough by eating fish a couple of times per week and by supplementing with long-chain omega-3s daily.
- Get enough of the “sunshine vitamin.” Several discoveries have made vitamin D the most popular nutrient of the decade because of its many benefits including an association with longer telomeres length. You can make sure you’re getting enough by practicing safe sun exposure and supplementing with vitamin D daily.
- Practice safe weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight is important to keep telomeres long. Eating a low-fat diet, eating less red and processed meat, like hot dogs and sausages, or taking dietary supplements that activate telomerase. If overweight, losing some extra weight or reducing waist circumference. Incorporating products into your weight-loss program such as cleansing and replacing meals with shakes and bars is helpful for losing weight and slowing telomere shortening.
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