What Causes Telomeres To Shorten?

Lifestyle factors can cause Telomeres to shorten. 

Telomere length can be reduced by stress, cigarette smoking, obesity, poor sleep, and insufficient sleep.

Shorter Telomere Length

This can be viewed as a biomarker of genomic damage and advanced cellular ageing.”

There has been a lot more publicity of late about what causes telomeres to shorten and the significance to ageing, risk of cancer, chronic illness, and telomere length.

What are Telomeres?

As you will know, the body is made up of cells and in each cell is a nucleus that contains all the genetic material.

Genes are composed of strands of DNA called chromosomes and on the ends of the chromosomes are telomeres. Telomeres protect the genetic material and make it possible for the cells to divide. You can imagine a telomere looking a little like the plastic tip on the end of a shoelace. It protects the chromosome from fraying and damaging.

Telomeres shorten each time the cell divides, and when the telomeres are too short, the cell can’t divide and therefore dies. Shortened Telomeres are a marker of disease risk, disease progression, and premature mortality. Therefore, the risk of illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even Dementia is increased.

For a healthy long life with a reduced risk of chronic illness, you need long Telomeres.

Stress and Telomeres

A stressful childhood and adverse life events that cause anxiety can influence Telomere Length as an adult.

It is interesting to note that higher levels of Pessimism are also associated with shorter Telomeres and increased levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

Factors that can increase telomeres length include a healthy diet.

A study showing how effective this can be done on 30 men with biopsy-diagnosed low-risk prostate cancer. They were asked to make lifestyle-related techniques which included a low-fat whole food diet, low in refined carbohydrates, moderate exercises ( 30 minutes a day), stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, and supplements which included fish oil, vitamin C vitamin E, and selenium and a protein powder. Telomerase activity increased by 29.84% in 3 months (Telomerase is an enzyme that repairs and lengthens Telomeres)

No doubt we will hear more in the future about Telomeres and health and premature aging.

We hear so much that a healthy diet, low stress, a balanced lifestyle, supplementation with good quality Nutrition, and moderate regular exercise can have a huge impact on our wellness, disease risk, and longevity.

Why do Telomeres Shorten

These factors influence all aspects of our health, from our immune system to our nervous system, in fact, everybody’s system.¬† Now, also at the subtle genetic level and this interesting world of the Telomere.

In its wisdom, the body gives us ways to help influence and change our health for the positive at even these critical genetic levels.