Telomeres? Tell us more!
Telomeres act like a protective cap to prevent wear and tear on chromosomes. They also prevent DNA strands from tangling with each other – a process that can cause cell malfunction and disease. So far so good, right?
Unfortunately, telomeres get shorter each time a cell replicates itself. Like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces, without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can't do their job.
And it’s not just the act of replication that shortens telomeres.
Telomere length is linked to exposure to inflammation and oxidative stress. Poor health behaviours, age-related diseases, obesity and early mortality have all been associated with shorter telomeres. This is the main cause of age-related break down of our cells, which can no longer reproduce, causing our tissues to degenerate and eventually die.
Looking after your telomeres
The triad of inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune cell ageing combine to create significant pre-disease mechanisms. These can be counteracted through nutritional interventions. In a recent randomised controlled trial, omega-3 supplementation lowered the concentration of pro-inflammatory influences. Supplementing your diet also significantly lowers oxidative stress.
Telomeres will typically shorten as we get older. The good news is that you can take steps to lengthen your telomeres, which may help to slow down the biological ageing process.
Molecular Biologist and Nobel prize winner Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn emphasises that “keeping telomeres – the ends of our chromosomes – in prime condition can stave off diseases associated with ageing”.
Professor Elizabeth Blackburn in her lab before her Nobel prize award in 2009 Photograph: Micheline Pelletier Decaux/Corbis via Getty Images
Elementary Vital has the most beneficial ratio of omega 3 & 6 according to research, encouraging telomere length and protection. Vital also contains Vitamin C, antioxidants, lignans, fibre and other valuable nutrients that fight ageing, boost the immune system, balance blood sugar & reduce inflammation.
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Good nutrition – it’s ELEMENTARY!