Talking About Telomeres With Catherine Hanson-FaridEastern Biotech
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”
– Satchel Paige
A mystery to ponder is when we will die. It sounds stark and while many questions are best left a mystery, what we cannot neglect is the discovery by three scientists of a particle of our DNA, called telomeres. Telomeres can scientifically reveal our genetic health so we can forget about our chronological age and focus on reducing our biological age instead.
Telomeres: Nobel Prize Winning Bio-Medical Revolution
Telomeres are described as ‘caps’ at the end of each strand of DNA that protect chromosomes, much like the aglets at the ends of shoelaces. Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed. Equally, telomeres are an essential part of human cells that affect how our cells age. They indicate whether our body clock is ticking too fast, or if you’ve practically stopped aging – This is obviously my optimal longevity dream!
Telomere Testing: Getting To Know Our Aglets
It is the length of our telomeres that tell us our true cellular age. No matter what length is inherited at birth, over time, they shorten for everyone as a natural passage of time. Short telomeres have negative effects on our health and are the main cause for age-related breakdown of our cells. When telomeres get too short, cells can no longer reproduce, which causes tissue to degenerate and eventually die. A telomere test gives you vital information – How many years forward or backward your biological clock is in comparison to your chronological clock.
Be Good To Your Telomeres
Always remember, when it comes to our telomeres, “Long is good, short is bad.” A telomere test reveals whether we stick to our routine , or if a change in lifestyle is required. Sometimes, what we think has been a disciplined regime may not be lengthening our telomeres, and this is why, a talk with your physician after the test is essential to tailor your own program.
Meditation and Yoga
A 2008 study among men found that after three months of following a vegan diet, aerobic exercise and stress management, including yoga, there was increased telomerase activity. A 2013 follow-up study found that those lifestyle changes are associated with longer telomeres.
Keep Stress Levels Low
A 2004 study compared healthy women who were mothers of healthy children (the control moms), and those who cared for chronically ill children (caregiving mothers). On average, the caregiving mothers had telomeres that were 10 years shorter than the control moms. This means, their cells behaved as if they were a whole decade older.
From boosting happiness to providing an energy boost, the benefits of exercise are well documented. Another study about how exercise keeps your cells young found that middle-aged adults who were intense runners (we’re talking 45–50 miles a week) had telomere lengths that were, on average, 75% longer than their sedentary counterparts. Being part of the fitness industry made this study resonate personally with me and I have become a firm advocate of this test, as it is a scientific benchmark that can foster awareness and compliance to new and healthy habits.
Feed Your Telomeres
Telomeres thrive on Omega-3s. This includes fish, seaweed and flaxseed oil, which are all sources of the essential fatty acids that are linked to longer telomeres. Another way to feed your telomeres is to eat plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruit and nuts – basically, food that follows the Mediterranean diet closely. Foods associated with shorter telomeres include the usual suspects: sugar, processed meats, white bread and pastries, saturated fat, omega-6 polyunsaturated fats – everything me and my family stay well away from. This revolutionary discovery needs to be used to its full potential because I firmly believe that it can even unravel further mysteries about our bodies.
Take the telomere test to find out exactly what your body clock is telling you.
Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences,
P.O. Box 212671,
Elite Business Center,
1st Floor, Office No. 109,
Al Barsha, Behind Mall of Emirates, Dubai, UAE
Phone: +9714 3255730
At 53 years old, Catherine’s mission is to discover and share innovations related to extending healthy longevity. She is the Operations Director for REPs UAE and is currently studying for a diploma in Nutrition for Cancer prevention and longevity.