Inside all your cells, at the ends of your DNA are protective caps called telomeres (otherwise known as “aglets”, the plastic ends of a shoelace). Naturally, hey shorten with age. But can also change with certain lifestyles, both good and bad. Bad as in unhealthy lifestyles and bad habits that you may want to reduce once you get a telomere test and find out that your telomeres are abnormally short for your age group.
Knowing about the length of your telomere can help you in so many ways. Doctors can now gain insight into your health and can further give you their advice on what to do and what not to do. Like changing your bad habits into good ones and reduce eating unhealthy food because it can greatly affect the length of your telomeres.
What exactly are Telomeres?
These are the protective caps on the ends of your DNA strands that tend to shorten and fray with age. It protects your DNA from fusing with each other during cell replication; otherwise you may get really, really sick and have major problems with your health.
Is it possible for you to have a young biological age?
Yes, it is very possible. As long as you follow a strict diet and avoid being stressed all the time because over-stressing can damage your telomeres. Your rate of telomere length shortening may be slowed when important and healthy changes to your lifestyle are made. Some studies have suggested that telomere length may increase over time by exercising, getting the right nutrients to your body, getting a good night sleep, and managing your stress levels.
Why does Telomere shorten?
Telomeres are typically at their longest once you are born. However, throughout your entire human life, the telomeres shorten. At every cell division (replication), telomeres lose a bit of their DNA until the cell cannot replicate and becomes “senescent,” which is the cellular equivalent of ageing. If the cells cannot divide, they die.
Does different lifestyle really impact the Telomere length?
Yes, it does. If you keep on eating unhealthy food like processed food and sugar, and also the harmful chemicals on the body like if you smoke or inhale fossil fumes. This greatly affects the length of the telomeres which causes for it to shorten at an abnormally fast pace and can cause health problems in the future because you are susceptible to infections.
How to lengthen the Telomere
Telomerase is an enzyme that elongates a telomere making its length longer (obviously) and somehow gives it life again which means cells get to live longer and replicate again and again.
Knowing more about telomeres may be boring especially if it’s your first time reading about it, but once you realize its importance in today’s society and how many people have been helped by having a telomere test, makes it all the difference. Being aware that this type of test can avoid you from getting infectious diseases and conditions is already a big educational blow to your brain.