Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Preserving Youth

Telomeres may be a Key to younger biological age

People with higher levels of omega-3s and men who drak the most green tea had longer telomeres, a sign of younger, healthier cells, new studies reveal.

Telomeres – the protective caps at the end of chromosome DNA strands that contain our genetic code – are like the tip of a shoelace that keeps it from unraveling. When a cell divides, the new cell must take with it a complete copy of the DNA strand to function properly. Long, healthy telomeres on the ends of each chromosome allow the new cell to get a complete DNA copy. Age, stress, and poor nutrition can erode telomeres, eventually damaging chromosomes and any new cells. Doctors are beginning to gauge biological age by telomere length.

Doctors in a telomere study measured blood levels of omega-3s and the length of white-blood-cell telomeres in 608 outpatients with stable coronary artery disease and followed up for five years. Those who started the study with the lowest levels of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids (DHA and EPA) had the most rapid telomere shortening, and those with the highest DHA and EPA levels had the slowest telomere shortening. Researchers found a direct link: the higher the level of DHA and EPA, the less likely telomeres were to shorten. Doctors concluded that omega-3s may protect against cellular aging in those with coronary artery disease.

In another study, researchers measured the diets and telomere length in 2006 Chinese men and women, aged at least 65. After adjusting for environmental and demographic factors, women who consumed more fats and oils had shorter telomeres compared to women who ate fewer fats and oils. Men who drank the most green tea, about 25 ounces per day, had much longer telomeres compared to the men who drank the least. Doctors said the average difference in telomere length in the men equaled about 5 years of life.

Reference: Journal of the American Medical Association; 2010, Vol. 303, No. 3, 250-7

This article was also published in our newletter “Natural Insights for Well Being”, September 2010. Stop by Van’s Health Foods at 2148 First Street Livermore, CA or call us at 925-447-2976 to be added to our mailing list.

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Thank you,

The Van’s Health Foods Team

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Van's Health on September - 20 - 2010
categories: Herbs, Newsletters