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Aging and Telomere Testing

Brad Farra - Monday, October 12, 2009


There is a new lab test available that tests sections of DNA called telomeres. Telomeres are present to take damage when the cell replicates instead of the DNA itself taking the damage. With aging the telomere becomes shorter and shorter eventually becoming so short the cell can not replicate. Testing can now determine the length of a person's telomeres in relation to age. It's important to know that regardless of your age according to the length of your telomeres you can do a lot to slow the damage to these telomeres and thus the aging process. I will touch briefly on the nutritional and lifestyle modifications that can be made to slow the loss of telomere length (aging).

Many things in our diet increase oxidative stress on our bodies and thus shortens telomeres: refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, soda, artificial sweetener, trans fats, and saturated fats. If you steer clear of these items you are a step ahead of most. A healthy diet would include "antioxidants" to defend against this same oxidative stress. Fruits, vegetables, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, beans, and nuts are all important components of your anti-aging diet. Other important lifestyle modifications important for slowing the aging process includes weight management and a regular exercise program. Decreasing visceral fat and increasing regular aerobic exercise are both very important. Sleep 8 hours per night, use stress reduction techniques, and eliminate use of all Tobacco products. The final recommendations involve supplements. There are many supplements that can provide support to slow aging. Antioxidants can be taken in supplement form, but the best way to get them is in the food itself. A multi-vitamin is a key supplement for anti-aging, and vitamin D is also crucial.

So, don't feel like you have to go have your telomeres tested, but do all these things to achieve optimum health and longevity.

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