Be Well

Telomeres Are the Secret to Anti-Ageing

Growing older is a natural part of living a fun and fulfilling life. Whether we like it or not, we can’t stop aging. Surprisingly science has found a new answer to aging.

Telomere shortening has been discovered to be the primary cause of human ageing. The DNA is the genetic code that contains the information for the structuring and functioning of the human body. It’ s like the hard disk in a computer that provides all the data for the programs that run within a network.

Our DNA is a long thread of the double helix that is packaged in the form of the chromosomes. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in human cells.

The end parts of the chromosomes are called telomeres. Their name derives from Greek telos- that means ‘end’ and -meros that means ‘part’, and they are literally ‘the end part’ of chromosomes.

Telomere ends serve to protect the DNA. They are often compared to the plastic protective tips in shoelaces that protect a lace from unravelling. At the same way, telomeres play an important role in protecting the DNA and keeping it stable.

Human cells at 20 years of age have an average telomere length is around 8.000 bases pairs. Around 35-150 base pairs are lost every year until we reach a level of less than 4500 base pairs of telomeres.

What is really important in ageing is the rate in which those telomeres shorten. A person who loses 35 instead of 150 base pairs per year, ages at a five times slower pace.

Cells have internal mechanisms that repair and can re-lengthen telomeres.

Multiple factors activate the repair mechanism:

  • vitamins
  • antioxidants
  • a healthy diet
  • omega 3 fatty acids
  • exercise

Cellular ageing

Cells have a limited amount of divisions available through a lifetime. This number is around 50 times and is regulated through the length of telomeres. The lifestyle determines how much those cellular divisions are going to last or how often they will divide.

There are factors that speed up the aging process and force cells to divide faster in order to repair damaged tissues, like:

  • Smoking
  • Lack of sleep
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Dehydration

The faster cells divide the faster telomeres shrink.

Biological vs Chronological Age

Two individuals can have the same chronological age but are in a completely different biological condition and thus they can have different biological age. Telomere length is an accurate index of the biological versus the chronological age of a person.

The longer the telomeres, the younger the biological age of the body.

Research suggests that preserving telomeres length has the potential to prevent ageing and treat diseases associated with ageing and possibly increase life cycle beyond the current theoretical maximum of 125 years.

Cycloastragenol & Telomere Lengthening

According to science, cycloestragenol is a plant extract derived from the Asian plant Astragalus membranaceus and has anti-aging, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It has been found to be involved in the production of telomerase, the enzyme that helps elongate telomeres.