Sometimes, when people look in the mirror, they see nothing but the marks the years have left on their bodies. They see wrinkles and grey hairs they’ve earned over the years; they see sagging skin, age spots and bags under their eyes. They can’t help but think fondly of the flawless skin, firm bodies and vital energy of their youth.
What if there were a way to recapture that vitality? The latest research in anti-aging science has revealed that the human body contains the potential to reverse the signs of aging and add years to its life span; modern science has found a way to access that potential. By boosting and maintaining telomeres, people can diminish the symptoms of age and promote overall health at a cellular level.
Telomeres: Your Genetic Safeguard
Imagine your chromosomes are microscopic “X’s” made of DNA; at the tip of each X is a region called a telomere. Telomeres are responsible for binding and protecting chromosomes from getting tangled or losing genetic information. They also act as genetic alarm clocks; over time, as they lose the nucleotides of which they’re made, they activate the aging process.
Telomere Shortening and Aging
Each time your cells divide, portions of telomeres called nucleotides are lost. When telomeres get too short, cells stop replicating. Biologists have observed a close relationship between telomere shortening and symptoms of aging. People with shorter telomeres age prematurely and develop age-related diseases; those with longer telomeres, on average, live longer. If shorter telomeres mean premature aging, how can you protect and lengthen telomeres to boost health and add years to your life span?
The Answer is in Telomerase
An enzyme found in embryonic stem cells, called telomerase, replaces DNA in telomeres and helps them to increase cellular division. However, except in certain cells that need to divide indefinitely, and cellular anomalies such as cancer, the production of telomerase stops in most cells by the time people have reached adulthood. Anti-aging experts are researching ways to activate telomerase in healthy adult cells.
Unlocking Telomerase with Natural Products
Although they don’t have all the answers yet, many scientists agree that one way to boost telomerase is through nutritional supplementation. After years of studies, natural sources of telomerase-unlocking compounds have been discovered in botanical sources such as Astralagus (an ingredient commonly used in Chinese medicine) and minerals such as folate.
Anti-Aging Products: Do They Work?
“Telomere support” is now one of the buzzwords in the anti-aging industry. One study by Stanford University School of Medicine has revealed that telomere extension in cultured cells treated with telomerase were able to divide up to 40 times more than untreated cells, adding 1,000 nucleotides to telomere length. People using telomere-supportive products have reported experiencing more energy and better immune function as well as diminished symptoms of aging in the skin.
The jury is still out on how effective telomere-lengthening methods are in extending life spans. However, researchers are optimistic that telomerase will be a key to unlocking the biological fountain of youth.
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