There are two promising fronts in the war against disease and infirmity. Stem cell and Telomere research. Remember telomeres? They are the tips on the strands of our DNA that keep the strands from fraying and being damaged, akin to the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces. Telomeres shorten each time a cell divides, which is, on average, 50 times during the lifespan, so if one can prolong telomere length, conceivably one will live longer/healthier. Shortened telomeres contribute to heart disease, diabetes, decreased immunity, and possibly brittle bones.

One of the great things about the research on telomeres is that there are everyday things that you can do to keep your telomeres young, long, and happy, according to the YOU 1) Deal with stress in positive ways to take it down a notch. Stress is a part of life these days, so one has to account for it. Walk, run, swim,  change your diet (for the better), meditate. Research has shown that pessimists, and stressed-out persons have shortened telomeres. 2) Diet, research has shown that a diet high in fruits, veges, and lean protein helps telomeres retain their length. Any surprises her? 3) Inactive people have shorter telomeres than active people. Research shows that the sitting around crowd is a decade older in telomere length than those that are active. 4) Good riddance to tobacco. Smoking two packs/day for twenty years aged participants in one study an additional 7.4 years. Tobacco also interferes with sex life, lungs, heart, and wrinkles. 5) No need to add the expensive telomere enhanced packets being hawked on TV. Go with foods rich in vitamins C and E, and more of a Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres.

Be active, happy, and eat better can make you healthier and enjoy life longer. There is a lot of research going on with telomeres, so there may be other things that also help. I’ll let you know.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.