What are Telomeres and why test them?
Telomeres put simply are the end caps of our DNA. They are found at each end of our chromosomes. They protect our DNA. When our cells divide the telomere gets shorter until there is no more telomere left to protect our DNA leading to cell death and aging.
Telomere shortening can be accelerated by:
- Oxidative stress
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Genetic predisposition
- Lifestyle habits
- Acceleration of the shortening of telomeres contributes to
- Cardio-vascular diseases
- Neurodegenerative diseases like dementia
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cancers and a whole host of other chronic diseases
So why test Telomeres?
Because they are biomarkers for biological age. The shorter the telomeres the more likely are the chances that one will develop chronic debilitating diseases and inversely the longer the telomeres, the younger one’s biological age and the lesser chance of developing chronic debilitating diseases.
Can the shortening of the telomeres be reversed?
Yes, there is now evidence that telomeres can be repaired and even lengthened by an enzyme called telomerase.
Proper functioning of telomerase is markedly improved by basic lifestyle modifications that include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Regular exercise.
- Managing chronic stress.
- Eating foods rich in antioxidants protect our DNA from oxidative stress.
- Taking supplements such as N-acetyl-cysteine.
By making pro-active, life-affirming changes one can slow down or even reverse the aging process, and by doing telomere testing one can quantify the positive changes.
For more information about telomere testing please email us at email@example.com or call us at 703 992 9915.