There are many things that can make us look and feel older than we actually are, but how can we explain why some people seem to age faster than others? It’s all down to our telomeres. Never heard of these before? You’re not alone, so here’s everything you need to know.
What are they?
After being observed by scientists for the first time back in the 1930s, telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA within the body which protect our chromosomes from damage and deterioration. To understand this better, most scientists tend to liken telomeres to the plastic tips found on the end of shoelaces which prevent fraying, but telomeres also allow our cells to divide which is necessary for the generation of new tissue in the body such as skin.
How do they contribute to ageing?
To replenish themselves, our cells must divide in order to make copies of themselves, to help us grow while keeping our DNA intact. When this happens our telomeres get shorter, shortening every time cell division happens until they become too short and stop doing their job properly, causing the cells to age and cease functioning properly. After around 50 to 70 cell divisions, most cells become weaker and weaker until they die. This shortening of the telomeres is an indicator that the body’s biological age is advancing which could be much faster than our chronological age, hence the reason some 65-year-olds feel as healthy as they did at 30 and others feel much older. The longer your telomeres are, the more youthful you will feel and the less susceptible you will be to disease and frequent illness.
Are there ways to lengthen the telomeres?
Everyone’s telomeres will shorten with advancing age but, as always, there are things that can help keep them longer for, well, longer. Exercising regularly encourages the production of telomerase, an enzyme that adds length the end of the telomeres and keeps them from wearing down so quickly, ensuring that the cells continue to behave like they did years ago. Keeping stress levels to a minimum and getting plenty of sleep can also help, as the stress hormone cortisol shortens the length of the telomeres, accelerating our biological ageing without us realising. Not smoking or drinking alcohol will also help but there are other ways to make the telomeres longer: supplements.
Tell me more…
One specific supplement in fact. The TimeBlock Day & Night Nutrient Complex is the world’s first supplement that has been proven to actually lengthen the telomeres. Split into Day and Night capsules, TimeBlock use a combination of natural botanical ingredients, extracts and plant nutrients to support the immune system, prevent oxidative damage and encourage cell renewal, all of which have a positive effect on the quality and length of the telomeres within the body. Ground-breaking stuff! With TimeBlock, you can essentially pause or turn back the biological clock (in some cases), meaning your skin and general wellbeing will defy the age you celebrate on your next birthday. To further support all the good work these supplements do for your DNA, make sure you apply a sunscreen every day to defend the cells against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Image from iStockphoto