Telomeres and aging

Worth reading: How healthy life style helps you to live longer or at least to stay healthy longer

Telomeres shortening rate has an impact on the pace of your aging and occurence of age-associated diseases

As we age, telomeres, the protective capS of the chromozomes, shorten. Shorter telomeres may lead to increased incidence of diseases and poor survival. Older people with shorter telomeres have 3 times increased risk to die from heart desease and 8 time higner risk to die from infectious diseases.

What is behind?


Role of telomeres

Telomeres play a crucial role in preserving the information in the genome of living organism. They are made from DNA–protein structures and are located at each ends of chromosome. Serving like “airback” they protect genome from nucleolytic degradation, unnecessary recombination, and interchromosomal fusion.

Telomers shortening

In a normal cellular process, a small portion of telomeric DNA is lost with each cell division, as it is used to correct the chromozomal DNA. If telomere length reaches a critical limit, the cell undergoes senescence or cell apoptosis (cell death). The second cell lifespan limitation is represented by the Hayflick limit. It says how many times a normal somatic, differentiated human cell will divide before cell division stops. The maximum is 50. It is important as during the cell division telemores may repair (recombine) the demaged genome, as said above. The less division remians, the less chances to correct the genome.

Telomeres shortening occurs at each DNA replication, and if continued leads to chromosomal degradation and cell death.
High telomeres shortening rate accelarates aging

The rate of telomeres shortening is greatly important

As said above, telemores shorten as we age, because they exchange their portion for the genome correction. It is standard. What is important is, how fast the telomeres shorten. Progressive shortening of telomeres leads to early apoptosis, or oncogenic transformation of somatic cells, affecting the health and lifespan of an organism.

Telomere length may determine health, lifespan, and the rate at which an organism is aging.

Your lifestyle may significantly impact the rate your telomers are shortening

In addition to genetic predispositions the life style may accelerate your telomeres shortening. Certain lifestyle factors are capable to increase the speed of telomere shortening, what may lead to illness or premature aging and even death. The typical illnes or their early onset that may be assosiated with the shortened telomeres are coronary heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, increased cancer risk (lung, bladder, renal cell, gastrointestinal, head and neck cancers) , osteoporosis, vulnerability to infections, and progressive bone marrow failure.

Main significant factors for telomeres shortening accelaration include:

  • smoking,
  • obesity,
  • lack of exercise,
  • unhealthy diet,
  • environment,
  • nature of work, and
  • stress.

You have the ability yourself to normalize the rate of your telomeres shortening and thus manage your aging and on-set of age-related deseases

It is obvious that the best thing to do for yourself, to stay healthy as long as possible and tnot to age in an annoying way, is to improve your life style.

01. Excersize

Exercise seems to be associated with reduced oxidative stress and elevated expression of telomere stabilizing protein,s and may therefore reduce the rating of aging and age-associated diseases.

02. Eat healthy diet

Dietary restriction is believed to preserve telomeres and other cellular components thanks to the reduction in oxidative stress.

03. Do not stress

The stress is associated with release of glucocorticoid hormones which can reduce the levels of antioxidant proteins and may therefore cause increased oxidative damage to DNA, accelerated telomere shortening and reduce telomerase activity.

04. Eat enaugh of antioxydants and fiber, or supplement them

Antioxidants, such as omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, can protect telomeric DNA from oxidative damage caused by DNA damaging agents. Telomere length is positively influenced by intake of fiber.

05. Restrict the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acid, replace casein with soya protein

06. Consider to supplement the telomerase activator

The telomearse is an enzym. It has a protein subunit (hTERT) and an RNA subunit (hTR).The telomerase has the ability to extend telomeres by adding telomeric ‘TTAGGG’ repeats to the ends of chromosomes.

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