I've said it before and I'll say it again, our lifestyle choices and habits have a direct impact on how well, or not, we age. DNA, the building block of life found in chromosomes, are in nearly every cell of all living beings. You may recall from Biology Class in High School or College that you have a unique genetic code which is carried by the DNA found in every cell of your body. Each of our human cells contains 46 chromosomes.
TELOMERES are the protective caps found at the ends of our chromosomes that protect our genetic information when our cells divide. Our cells divide and produce new cells constantly in order for our bodies to heal and function properly as our old cells get worn out. TELOMERES allow our cells to divide without scrambling or damaging the cells' genetic information. Think of the plastic tips of our shoelaces which prevent the shoelace from fraying. TELOMERES keep the chromosome ends from doing the same.
When we are born, our TELOMERES are at their longest length. HOORAY! However, as our cells divide throughout our lifetime, our telomeres lose some of their DNA and gradually shorten until the cell can no longer replicate. BOO! Negatively impacted by the normal process of our cells dividing and replicating, TELOMERES also take a big hit from oxidative stress - when free radicals are produced, causing damage, and antioxidants are introduced to neutralize and detoxify their harmful effects. Not to mention a poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, the toxins in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.
Numerous studies associate increased disease risk among patients who have shorter TELOMERES. The rate of change of your telomere length and be affected, both positively and negatively - shortening more rapidly during a serious illness or infection or shortening significantly slower during periods of good health. How a person lives can have an ultimate effect: food choices, exercise and stress management have been implicated in how fast or slow TELOMERES shorten.
If you want to track your cellular age based on your TELOMERE length, start with TeloYears (www.teloyears.com). A simple genetic test will reveal your TELOMERE length and your cellular age.
Start aging smarter today!