What are telomeres? What is a telomere?
What are telomeres?
Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, who won the Nobel Prize in 2009 for her discovery of telomerase, explains.
Telomerase is the enzyme that replenishes telomeres.
Since winning the Nobel Prize, Dr Blackburn has been researching how diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits influence telomeres, our lifespan and overall health.
Dr Blackburn works with Shaklee Corporation, on the Science Advisory Board.
What Are Telomeres?
Telomeres are the end caps on your chromosomes. They essentially protect our DNA if our cells get damaged.
Every time our cells divide, our telomeres shorten. Eventually, they wear down so much they can no longer protect the DNA, and the cell dies. Shorter telomeres have been linked to diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer, aging, and a increased risk of death. If we can protect our telomeres, then we can slow the aging process, and even slow down disease.
Imagine a shoelace, with plastic tips at the ends.
Sometimes those plastic tips become damaged and come off the shoelace, leaving the lace prone to damage. This is what telomeres do at the ends of our chromosomes, which are made of long strands of DNA molecules. Every DNA strand has a little cap at the end, protecting it. That cap is a telomere.
Evidence suggests telomere length is a reliable indicator of overall health. Short telomeres are associated with increased health risk factors.
If you would like to read the actual study, click on the following link: telomere study.
For me, this is really important, and one of the reasons I chose to work with Shaklee, and take their supplements. Study results show that people with Multiple Sclerosis have shorter telomeres. I’m especially interested in preserving the length I have and slowing down any new shortening!