Telomere is a protein that protects the DNA information in the body. Our cells regenerate themselves constantly throughout our lives but telomeres get shorter each time a cell replicates. When telomeres are too short it will cause premature cellular aging.
Telomere shortening is involved in all aspects of the aging process on a cellular level. Telomere length represents our biological age as opposed to our chronological age.
Many scientific studies have shown a strong connection between short telomeres and cellular aging.
What are telomeres, and how do they affect aging?
Telomeres are the caps at the ends of chromosomes that protect DNA from damage. As we age, they get shorter. When they get too short, the cell can go into an aged, unhealthy state where it can no longer divide and replenish tissue. Or the cell can die. Short telomeres predict the early onset of the diseases of aging, like heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, diabetes, and, in some studies, dementia.
Short telomeres in young people appear to have health significance as well. For example, short telomeres in the immune cells mean they are more likely to become infected with the common cold.
It’s important to maintain our telomeres, so we can replenish tissue when we are older. A special enzyme in our cells, called telomerase, protects telomeres and actually rebuilds, and lengthens them.
What is the disease-span, and how should we think about it in the context of aging?
The years of our healthy life make up health-span. Once we develop chronic, age-related diseases like the ones listed above, we are living in our “disease-span.” Quality of life is greatly reduced in the disease-span—no one wants to live that way for long. We also know that when one disease sets in, others are close behind. Aging tissue creates ripe conditions for any number of diseases to set in. For example, people with diabetes often also have heart disease. And depression is a very common unwelcome companion to many chronic diseases.
So we want to increase our health-span, and decrease our disease-span. Telomere length appears to be a weak predictor of when we actually die, but a more reliable predictor of when we get diseases, so, how long we stay healthy—our health-span.
What can we do to protect our telomeres?
It’s important to recognize that our telomere health is influenced by many things, not just our health behaviors. For example, telomeres are associated with:
· Levels of antioxidants in our blood (which reflect our diet)
· Chemical exposures to toxins like cadmium and lead
· Level of belly fat, because it reflects underlying insulin sensitivity
· The way we view stressful situations (as a threat vs. a challenge)
Each of us has an opportunity to personalize our own telomere renewal plan: Take a close look at how you live your day, and what you might change to shift your biology toward slower cell aging.
What can we do to strengthen our telomeres?
In order to support the functioning of the sirtuin proteins that help to maintain the lengths of telomeres, NAD+ is required. NAD+, the acronym for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a coenzyme naturally produced in our bodies, however, it’s supplies decrease as we age. By age 50 a typical person may have only half the NAD+ they did in youth. NAD+ supplementation, exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep will help you keep healthy NAD levels in your body in ways that are sustainable and lasting.
A fascinating aspect of NAD+ is its dual role in protecting against factors that age us. This includes mitigating chemical stress, inflammation, DNA damage, and failing mitochondria.
At the same time, NAD+ promotes longevity by facilitating DNA repair and providing cellular benefits associated with caloric restriction and exercise.
In other words, while a decline in NAD+ levels may negatively influence lifespan, restoring NAD+ is increasingly being viewed as a cutting-edge tool to promote longevity.
NAD+ Therapy at Vit&Drip Center, Puerto Banus, Marbella
At Vit&Drip Center we offer a variety of treatments designed to support and improve your long term health and well-being. We offer NAD+ IV Therapy, Antioxidant therapy, Telomere support supplementation, and more.
Contact us today if you have any questions about our treatments, or want to book your appointment.