Our bodies really are the most advanced piece of engineering in the Universe; what we can achieve, feel and experience is absolutely mind-boggling when you think about it. We even have an inbuilt repair mechanism, how awesome is that?! We are made up of around 37 trillion cells which reproduce to create new cells when old ones die, repair damaged cells and promote growth. However, every time a cell reproduces, effectively makes an identical copy of itself, telomeres at the end of our chromosomes get shorter and shorter and, once they get too short, the cell is unable to replicate itself. This means that the cell ages and is then not able to properly do the job that it’s meant to and it will eventually die. The result for us is old age and eventually death.
The guy in the video below is Bill Andrews PHD and he’s a molecular biologist and gerontologist who has spent pretty much all of his working life trying to find a ‘cure’ for aging. He says that he will achieve his aim ‘or die trying. His work centres around creating a product that will lengthen telomeres and therefore, he believes, increase life expectancy.
Scientific research into telomeres is considered to be of vital importance, so much so that, in 2009, the Nobel prize for Physiology or medicine was awarded to three American scientists who discovered telomeres.
They may not have found the elixir of life just yet but there is no doubt that the scientific community is working hard towards it.
Until someone comes up with a pill or a tonic that will stop or even reverse the aging process, what can we do to help keep our telomeres at a good length? Making sure that we get enough of the right vitamins is a sensible place to start.
Apparently there is a molecular link between Vitamin D and DNA repair which is essential to maintaining telomere length. So, where do we find Vitamin D? Firstly, from sunlight which promotes vitamin D synthesis from cholesterol in the skin but it can also be found in certain foods such as:
Eggs, cheese and oily fish, such as mackeral, all contain vitamin D as does, love it or hate it, beef liver which also contains B vitamins, considered vitally important for natural cell replication. If you’re not a liver fan you can top up your B vitamin intake with fish such as sardines and fresh, wild caught salmon.
If we want to address DNA damage and help boost telemere length we should stock up on natural sources of C and E vitamins which can be found in oranges, avocados, almonds, red peppers, sweet potatoe and spinach.
These foods, as well as being rich in the vitamins believed to influence telomere length, also form the basis of a healthy and natural diet; combine this with a good exercise programme and stress reducing meditation and you could live better, younger and maybe even longer.