Aging Cells: Are Telomeres The Key To Aging?

The key to fighting aging cells could be “shoelace caps” on DNA molecules known as telomeres. When they become too short, the chromosome is unable to divide. This could be the key anti-aging product.

woman's face young and aging

What’s the best way to prevent aging cells? The answer might be related to something that people wear every day: shoelace caps. English inventor Harvey Kennedy invented the “aglet” in 1790 by dipping shoelaces in wax. Kennedy reportedly earned $2.5 million from his 1790 invention. That concept might be the secret to developing an anti-aging product that could greatly extend the global average lifespan of 71 years. Today there are many theories about why people age and the most effective way to combat it. The answer might be in human DNA and finding the most effective way to keep cells alive longer.   

How Long Do Human Cells Live?

The human body has an estimated 37 trillion cells. That’s a huge number but it’s worth noting they last up to 10 years. However, as we age the problem is the cells start dying faster. This leads to normal signs of aging like dry skin, gray hair, and memory loss. The key to a long life might be to extend the lifespan of the cells by protecting them from damage. A better approach is to fight aging from the inside-out and possibly by protecting the “caps” of DNA molecules.

You might have heard that the body replaces its cells every 7 years. If that’s the case it might seem like it’s impossible for people to age. In fact, it’s “bro-science” that you might hear from your friend but isn’t even related to the average lifespan of a human cell.

Cell Biology 

It’s important to know the basics of how cells start out. There are different ways the body produces new cells. One of the main ways is by cells that divide in the process known as “mitosis.” This is actually related to the theory that chromosome “caps” are the key to aging.

During the process of mitosis, an original cell (parent) divides to make 2 new cells (daughters). These are exact copies of the original cells.

Stem cells are the other way that cells are produced. These cells exist throughout the body but there are fewer of them. Scientists believe the average number of stem cells in the human body is 200,000.

Stem cells can reproduce new cells in different ways. Like regular cells, they can use mitosis to copy themselves. However, they can also produce “specialized” cells include blood/nerve cells that are unable to copy themselves.

All cells die within time. In fact, this helps to explain why people don’t have webbed hands/feet. Certain cells die at birth, which explains why people don’t have duck feet.

The “7-year” theory about cell life also isn’t true. For example, stomach cells might die after 2 days because of stomach acid. Meanwhile, fat/bone cells can last for up to a decade.

Telomeres and Aging Cells

Human genes are made up of lots of stuff including DNA molecules known as chromosomes. When they copy/divide this helps to keep human cells alive. Telomeres are “caps” on the ends of the chromosomes that work like the plastic tips of shoelaces.

There’s no question that a good diet, regular exercise, and a good night’s sleep can extend your lifespan. The oldest age-verified person in history was a Frenchwoman who lived to be 122 years old. Combining a healthy lifestyle with cell science might help people live a lot longer than the global average of 71 years.

In recent years scientists have been studying the effects of telomeres on aging. When cells divide there’s some data that doesn’t get copied. This is what causes telomeres to get shorter. Over time the process happens so many times the chromosome can’t divide and dies off.

Scientists have been studying ways to extend the lifespan of telomeres. This involves minimizing damage to the molecule caps when the DNA molecules divide/copy. The theory is that this could function as an anti-aging process that could help people to live longer.

The process of cell division is important because it allows the cells to get new tissues. When people have short telomeres sooner this can be a sign of different health conditions/events like:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Dementia

This theory of aging has been trending in recent years. In fact, many scientists and health experts believe it’s more valid than the free radical theory of aging. That theory was presented in 1956 and six decades later it’s still a theory.

The focus on telomere is about a healthy diet/lifestyle that can help prevent serious diseases that people often experience during their senior years. The goal is to boost health and prevent disease. The goal is to stay as disease-free as possible, which can sustain good health.

Top Foods to Boost Telomere Health

Plant-based foods

There are various options including vegan/vegetarian diets. However, even if you don’t take those options studies show a “flexitarian” diet of mostly plant-based foods can provide many health benefits in terms of telomeres. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that processed meats are cancer-causing while red meat might be.

Omega-3s

These fatty acids have been trending in recent years due to low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diets like Keto and Atkins. In fact, Atkins allows unlimited healthy fat in daily diets. You can get this healthy fat from foods like fatty fish, avocado, nuts/seeds, and olive oil.

Studies show that omega-3s provide more nutritional value versus omega-6s found in cheap vegetable oils. Omega-6s like sunflower oils can provide health values. However, studies show that more omega-3s can help to prevent shorter telomeres over time.

Stress-free eating

Studies show that eating at the “right” times can help to protect telomeres. This is due to the negative effects of stress on the body. For example, when people eat while stressed out it can cause them to binge on unhealthy comfort foods high in salt, sugar, and fat. This can cause several negative effects on health.

When people are stressed their body produces more of the stress hormone known as “cortisol.” When you combine the stress hormones and comfort food it can trigger weight gain and inflammation. In serious cases, it can speed up the aging process.

Antioxidants

While this isn’t an actual food the goal should be to go with food with different colors. That’s a sign of different antioxidants, which can help to fight off infection, inflammation, illness, etc. There are many foods that are high-antioxidant including:

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Citrus
  • Green tea
  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts/seeds
  • Tomatoes
  • Whole grains

These are some of the many foods that are high in various antioxidants for preventing aging cells.

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