Telomeres, Telomerase and Your Aging Cells
Posted on 04 January 2022
What rhymes with ‘new year’? Telomere! We take this as a sign to start 2022 with some straight-up telomere education. Additionally, if your New Year’s resolutions are already looking shaky, it’s not too late to add cellular health to the list and get started on a targeted intervention that doesn’t involve early mornings.
What are Telomeres?
“Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures that cap the end of each chromosome arm and function to maintain genome stability” – Turner et al. 2019
Inside the nucleus of all human cells are our chromosomes, which are made of DNA. The telomere is particular sequence of nucleotides (what DNA is made of) and proteins that acts more-or-less like the protective plastic cap on the end of a shoelace that stops it from fraying. Telomeres protect DNA from degradation and from other potential biological mistakes, such as chromosomes fusing together.
Telomeres and Aging
Telomeres shorten each time cells divide and replicate during a process called mitosis that happens continuously in our bodies. To use another metaphor, it’s a bit like when you photocopy a document, then again, and it loses detail with each replication. There is a limit to how many times telomeres can replicate, hence they are known as ‘the mitotic clock’. At a certain point the telomere shortens to a length where cellular replication ceases and the cell enters the irreversible aged state of ‘senescence’.
Can Telomeres be Lengthened or Maintained?
First things first, we need to understand what speeds up telomere shortening. There are two main culprits:
- Psychological stress
- Oxidative stress
Psychological stress such as caring for a sick child, and oxidative stressors like exposure to toxins including alcohol and pollution, have been shown in research studies to correlate with decreased telomere length and decreased activity of the enzyme telomerase, which has the job of repairing telomeres and maintaining their length.
With that in mind, interventions around telomere lengthening and maintenance have focused on establishing a low-stress, healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep (we weren't kidding about early mornings) and boosting telomerase activity through the use of targeted supplements.
In developing our product Telomere Health we spent a year combing through cutting edge telomere health research and put together ingredients that individually have shown promise in reducing the impact of oxidative stress, increasing telomerase activity, maintaining telomere length and elongating short telomeres in human, cell and animal studies. You can click here for a closer look into the ingredients in Telomere Health.
In terms of what you’ll feel, the most common feedback is that customers have more energy and just ‘feel younger’, which makes sense when you are giving your cells some premium help to handle stressors . Who couldn’t use a bit of that in 2022?