Slow down your biological clock by protecting your “telomeres” with these powerful strategies…
Aging…. It’s happening to all of us, but did you know that most Americans are aging “too fast”? You see, researchers now know more than ever how to measure aging where it actually happens, at the level of our DNA. And for Americans, the news isn’t good. Americans are aging faster than necessary and there are things we can do about it. Let me explain….
Inside each cell of our body is a nucleus. Inside each nucleus are chromosomes, which are made of DNA. On the end of each strand of DNA is an “end cap” known as the telomere. Telomeres deteriorate (shorten) with aging, eventually resulting in “old” cells that die without reproducing themselves. Aging of the DNA occurs significantly faster in certain people for certain reasons. (Note: DNA telomeres have been compared to the coating at the end of our shoelaces that prevent fraying.)
Experts agree, longer telomeres are better than shorter ones, since telomeres protect cells from malfunction and early death! Protecting telomeres is a focus of anti-aging research. You see, once a telomere disappears, the cell can no longer replicate and repair itself, so when it dies, it’s gone forever. We now believe that protecting telomeres is a key to slowing aging and maximizing health in to our later years.
Premature aging is all around us, think about it:
- More and more people are developing memory loss in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. “Memory loss” care centers now provide care for the increasing number of people whose brains have stopped working “too early”.
- Cancer is all around us as immune systems fail to keep abnormal cancer cells from thriving in our bodies. Shortened telomeres increase the risk of cancer and death from cancer.
- Orthopedic surgeons cannot keep up with replacing joints that are wearing out “early” in middle aged Americans, creating an epidemic of artificial joints.
- Diabetes type 2, which used to occur only after age 40, is now occurring in young adults and even in children as the pancreas stops functioning decades too early.
- Arteries are aging well before their time. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes are occurring in the 40’s and 50’s, reducing blood flow to precious organs.
- Bones get thin and muscles get weak all too early, resulting in osteoporosis and sarcopenia, with brittle bones and frail muscles.
- Fatigue and inactivity from loss of youthful energy is now considered “normal”.
These conditions are all common, but is all of this really necessary? Researchers would say “NO!” and that if cellular DNA is maintained in a youthful state, we have the best chance of maintaining a youthful body well in to our later decades, avoiding many of the epidemic conditions we see all around us.
Fact: Every person can support the health and vitality of their cells with some very simple strategies.
Here are some practical research-based approaches to help maintain your telomeres and cellular “youthfulness”. (Note, if you are or have been a patient at the Center for Nutrition, you likely have implemented these strategies already! We make “resistance to aging” a priority for our patients!)
Here we go….
Nutrition matters! Don’t neglect to consume the following:
1. Take your multi! Telomeres were 5.1% longer in multivitamin users. Go with quality, such as our Metabolism Essentials Multi. (I personally spent 7 years researching the details of the custom formulation for this nutrient-rich supplement with a goal of “Optimum Health”.)
2. Get your Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids from a high-quality supplement such as Omega 3 Essentials (at least 2 capsules daily) and from wild caught ocean fish. DHA from fish oil was shown protective in those with memory loss of aging.
3. Keep your vitamin D level optimal. A blood level of 50 ng/mL, compared to 16 ng/mL, was associated with a reduction in telomere aging of 5 years. I recommend a goal of 30-50 ng/mL. Most people need 2 capsules per day of our Vitamin D-3 to maintain this range.
4. High fiber intake is associated with longer telomeres. Fruits, vegetables, and supplements, like Satisfy Fiber are options. 90% of Americans do not get adequate fiber.
5. Follow the Mediterranean Diet, rich in polyphenols and anti-inflammatory compounds. Include olive oil, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seafood and legumes to protect your telomeres. After weight loss goals are met, our patients are placed on powerful components of the Mediterranean Diet long term to maintain weight loss and optimum health.
The world is dangerous! Avoid things that ASSAULT your telomeres and accelerate aging:
1. Avoid excess calories. Lower calorie diets promote longer telomeres. Stated another way, it may be true that we are only allowed a certain number of calories in life. We can consume our allotted calories over many years or fewer years, we get a choice. I say go slow. Save some of your calories for another day! Avoid high calorie foods and beverages.
2. Avoid sugary sodas. 20 oz of sugary soda per day accelerates telomere aging by 4.6 years. Is that daily soda worth being 4 ½ years older?
3. Avoid smoking. Have you noticed the skin of chronic smokers? The wrinkles and sagging imply accelerated aging, from the inside out! Smoking shortens telomeres the equivalent of 4.6 years of aging.
Be a great “Body Manager”. Take good care of yourself:
1. Manage your weight. Being overweight is associated with shorter telomeres and faster aging. If you’ve gained more than 15 lbs after age 21, you need a plan that actually works. We can help, go to TagueNutrition.com to learn more or schedule a free consultation.
2. Stay active. We all know that being fit is a sign of youthfulness. Your telomeres respond well to physical activities and an active lifestyle. I recommend a minimum of 9 minutes of fitness time, intense enough to get sweaty and short of breath, each and every day.
3. Limit stress and worry. Stress from depression, wrong circumstances, sleep deprivation, or long work hours accelerates aging of telomeres. Set boundaries and live by them. Proverbs 14:30 had it right over 2,000 years ago, “A tranquil heart is life to the body!” Pursue tranquility…
Now you have a plan to manage aging, with 11 straightforward strategies! Why age prematurely when it is not necessary? Life is short regardless, let’s live the most vibrant, energetic, and productive lives possible. Daily routines matter, choose a lifestyle that promotes energy, slows aging and promotes youthfulness!
And remember, Optimum Health is ALWAYS worth the effort.
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.
P.S. For more information, visit us here.