Telomeres a secret to your longevity.
There is a direct link between telomere length and how long a person will live.
Then what are those telomeres that make us age?
Telomeres are protein DNA structure that protect our genetic data. They are involved in cell division and each time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter and shorter, leading to eventual cell death.
However, our genes and our telomeres are not necessarily our fate. Small pilot study shows for the first time that changes in diet, exercise, stress management, and social support may result in longer telomeres and therefore slow down our aging. Nutrition status such as healthy diet, adequate minerals and antioxidants intake stabilize telomeres and slow down their shortening.
Here are a few examples of recent studies which shows the connection of certain nutrients and the length of telomeres:
- Vitamin D, famous for the ability to increase immune function and prevent cancer.
Recent study from the International Journal of Obesity showed vitamin D increased telomerase activity by 19.2%.
(Int J Obes (Lond), 2012 Jun; 36(6): 805-9)
- Folic Acid, one of five nutrients used to get rid of excess homocysteine that builds up in your blood stream when you are antioxidant levels start to drop.
A study from the Journal of Nutrition suggests folic acid stimulates the activation of telomerase.
(J Nutr. 2009 Jul; 139(7): 1273-8)
- Ginkgo Biloba Extract, known as a brain booster because it helps open up blood vessels.
A study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology shows that Ginkgo helps prevent the loss of the telomere by activating telomerase in the sensitive cells that line your blood vessels known as the endothelium.
(Feb 2007, vol.49, issue 2, pp. 111-115)
- Green Tea Extract
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the telomeres of green tea drinkers were about 0.46 kilobases longer, which corresponds to, “approximately a difference of five years of life.”
(Br J Nutr. 2010 Jan; 103(1): 107-13. Epub 2009 Aug 13)
- Resveratrol, well-known anti-aging nutrient from red wine increase the number of endothelial progenitor cell. These vital cells make repairs to damaged blood vessels.
According to the lead researcher from the study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, Resveratrol significantly increased telomerase activity.
(Br J Pharmacol. 2008 October; 155(3): 387-394)
- Gamma Tocotrienol, one of the forms of vitamin E
From their study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, the researchers concluded that after being exposed to gamma Tocotrienol for just 24 hours telomere lengths of treated cells appear to have been roughly 16% longer.
(3(1); Jan-Feb 2010)
Published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, researchers discovered that Silymarin increased telomerase activity 3-fold, reduced the number of senescent cells, and increased the activity of endothelial progenitor cells by u to 64%.
(December 2010. Volume 56. Issue 6. Pp 610-618.)
We all know that the increase in estrogen hormones or activation of the estrogen receptors are associated with breast cancer. According to extensive research a few factors could contribute to estrogen dominance; external pollutants, stress, inflammation, and most importantly a defect in estrogen metabolism.
There are many pollutants that contribute to estrogen activity, such as xenoestrogens such as DDT, heavy metal toxicity, hormones added in food processing and environmental pollutants.
Stress, especially emotional stress leads to increased cortisol levels and at the same time a decrease in melatonin. A decrease in melatonin results in increasing estrogen and upregulation in estrogen receptors.
Life stressors and the aging process contribute to a decrease in androgen hormones such as DHEA and testosterones which has an impact on the immune system. The immune system creates inflammation which results in increasing enzymes that convert DHEA and testosterones into estrogens.
However, even if we have too many estrogen hormones it doesn’t mean that it can lead to cancer as long as they are effectively metabolized in methylation cycle. The process in itself is extremely complicated and it is very important that these hormones are metabolized the right way. If there is a defect in the methylation process it can create bad estrogen molecules which are highly oxidized and reactive. The defect in the methylation cycle could have a genetic factor but also lack of Vitamins, specially vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, selenium, and iodine.
To summarize my short article, you can avoid estrogen dominance by:
- Avoiding all pollutants
- Managing Stress
- Preventing Inflammation
- Eating healthy diet
- Taking the right supplements