How to Lengthen Cell Telomeres and Reverse Aging
by Andrea Phillips
We can reverse aging when we lengthen our telomeres. Medical research continues to prove that the common thread to several life-impairing and life-threatening health conditions, is a certain DNA marker of cell damage and aging. This marker is the shortening of our telomeres, which are the tips of our chromosomes. With each division of our cells, they become shorter.
There was a time when shortened telomeres were only related to aging, but unfortunately, even young children are now presenting with shortened telomeres, which is a strong indicator of the problem being a result of lifestyle and disease, and not just age. This is also proven by the fact that some elderly people with good health, do have longer telomeres.
In various studies that have been done, there is definitive proof that shortened telomeres are found in those suffering from specific diseases.
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cardiovascular Disease – Studies show how atherosclerosis is heightened by short telomeres and the repair of vascular lesions is even impaired by them.
- Arthritis/Rheumatism – characterized by chronic inflammation, these ailments adversely affect immune aging telomere length.
- Cancerous Tumors – When doctors measured tissue samples from tumor tissues, the telomere length was shorter than in those tissues in healthier parts of the body. This is one way it is determined if it is an advanced state, how fast it is growing and the rate of survival.
- Major Depressive Disorder – 300 million people suffer from Major Depressive Disorder worldwide. It confirms the role of thoughts and feelings in the health of the body.
This knowledge gives us leverage in healing ourselves and reversing aging as we discover ways to lengthen our telomeres.
For both adults and children, the ability to suspend the shortening of our telomeres and initiate their lengthening comes with the elimination of sugar-laden drinks and foods. Since sugar knocks out the minerals from the body, the body actually becomes mineral deficient. Even refined grains, stripped of their minerals, contribute to obesity and diabetes. This correction alone begins to reverse aging; especially of the skin.
Fresh instead of processed
Processed foods in general, due to their lack of nutrients and their added chemical preservatives, salts and sugars, all contribute to shortened telomeres and compromised health. Replacing them with fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes, begins immediately to reverse the DNA damage and lengthen cell telomeres.
Get up and get moving
So many studies have proven that when you sit less and exercise more, health is improved. This is partly because it lengthens the telomeres. It is definitely about being active and moving at every opportunity. Physical activity fights the oxidative damage which causes telomere shortening. Take it a day at a time and do a little less sitting, a bit more movement and a lot less sugar and you will be adding years to your life.
Healing with unrefined oils
All fats we consume have an effect at a cellular level. Refined oils are stripped of the nutrition we need. Electrons stripped from the oils in the refining process, kill the good fats in the oils and then they can’t flow into our capillaries; which compromises our circulation. So, one very easy yet profound solution is to eliminate refined oils and begin consuming unrefined oils, such as flaxseed oil and olive oil. These oils also help facilitate the proper balance of omega 3 fatty acids to omega 6 fatty acids in our bodies, which is essential to suppress inflammation and disease.
“Antioxidants in polyphenols, found in grapes and blueberries, protect against age‐related diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, alzheimer’s and the like. They fight against oxidative damage, inflammation and telomere damage. Enjoying grapes and blueberries is an enjoyable solution.
Regularly consuming the inflammation busters, ginger and turmeric, is essential too. They both enhance immune response and telomere repair.
The practice of meditation has been shown in studies to regulate telomere length and repair. These studies have ventured into the intriguing realm of cell signaling, wherein meditation relieves psychological stress linked to disease, and how telomeres and the enzyme telomerase play a part; actually showing that increased meditation causes increased telomere length.
Safeguarding our children’s lives
There are some specific ways to help extend our children’s lives.
- At the conception of their lives, breastfeeding provides a strong health foundation that studies have shown how children who are breastfed do have longer telomeres as opposed to those who aren’t.
- Nourishing our children with fresh foods is so important. When children are fed too many processed foods and an overabundance of sugar, childhood obesity sets in and the stress on their young bodies shows up at a cellular level. Studies record obese children under the age of 9 with shortened telomeres. What is even more amazing, is that, in one study done, the shortened telomeres showed up even before the onset of obesity, caused by the effects of sugary drinks; which led into the obesity. Taking charge to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes is key.
- Another danger affecting our children’s health is lead exposure. It has been proven to be linked with shorter telomeres, and contribute to diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. This is because the shorter telomeres cause arterial thickness to increase as they grow. Making sure our homes, schools, water supplies, etc. are free from lead exposure is of the utmost importance.
- Including lots of physical activity in our children’s lives in this age of screens and sedentary enjoyment of TV/PC games and entertainment, is a big challenge. We must answer the challenge by providing fun and creative movement and activity in their lives.
- Children can also enjoy the stress release of meditation. They experience stress too in their young lives. They feel it if there is tension between their parents, the peer pressures from playmates, the pressure to perform well at school and more. Today’s news about school shootings and child abuse, impact upon them as well. So, allowing them to practice meditation can be a big help.
Many of the solutions presented here can become lifestyle changes we can enjoy and be empowered by. We can lengthen our telomeres and reverse aging. This gives us the inspiration and actions to uplift our health realities.