Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Nov 24, 2009

Telomeres, Telomerase and News on Health and Longevity

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:09 am

Two days before Thanksgiving big dinner night, here are two pieces of news on health and longevity.

As people age, telomeres shorten and cells become more susceptible to dying. The damage and death of cells cause aging and disease in people. Telomerase repairs and lengthens telomeres, which cap and protect the ends of chromosomes housing DNA.

(1) Telomeres. “There is a clear link between living to 100 and inheriting a hyperactive version of an enzyme that prevents cells from ageing, researchers say. Scientists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the US say centenarian Ashkenazi Jews have this mutant gene. They found that 86 very old people and their children had higher levels of telomerase which protects the DNA.”

(2) Good news — healthy eating and exercise may boost telomerase. “Taking more exercise and eating the right foods may help increase levels of an enzyme vital for guarding against age-related cell damage, work suggests. Among 24 men asked to adopt healthy lifestyle changes for a US study in The Lancet Oncology, levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average.

On the other hand, unhealthy habits, such as smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle “are associated with shorter-than-average telomeres.” Think of health while gobbling at Thanksgiving table or any eating occasions.

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