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Once upon a time the grand debate about long life centered on genetics and environment.  Genetics was considered an unalterable condition and environment was the wild-card variable.  Now we know that genetics, environment, attitude, diet, and exercise (all choices) seem to all be key components to a longer, healthier life.  

Epigenetics is a new pathway of scientific theory that hasThe red ends show regions of telomeres in a chromosome (structure in the cell nucleus containing DNA, histone & nonhistone proteins) uncovered physical and philosophical elements imposing themselves on your lifeand life-span.  Which means you have a certain amount of control over your genetic expression.  

Telomeres are the “time keepers” attached to every strand of DNA, sort of like the plastic caps over the ends of your shoestrings. Each time cells divide, telomeres get shorter.

The red ends show regions of telomeres in a chromosome (structure in the cell nucleus containing DNA, histone & nonhistone proteins

As the telomere gets shorter, the body produces cells that are older, weaker, and more decrepit.  When telomeres run down, cell division stops, and life ends.  By slowing down the loss of telomeres, we may be able to extend lifespan, and feel younger longer. 

What can you do to keep your telomeres in the best possible condition?   


You can pay attention to:

Vitamin D-- the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published research showing that participants with higher levels of vitamin D were also likely to have longer telomeres. Better yet, the difference between telomere length in those with the lowest and highest vitamin D levels was equivalent to 5 years of aging.
2,000 units/day is the current recommendation, although your body will easily make up to 10,000 units/day of this vitamin all by itself with moderate exposure to the sun.
Sadly, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that an astounding 3 out of 4 Americans aren’t getting enough vitamin D.

Vitamin C-- One antioxidant that has consistently been associated with longer telomeres in studies is vitamin C. Raising your level of vitamin C in the cells could slow down the loss of telomeres up to 62%.  Correct antioxidant protection can enable your body to last years – even decades – longer.

Omega-3 fatty acids-- EPA and DHA-- A recent study indicates that those with the highest levels of omega-3’s had the least telomere shortening over a 5-year period.  Conversely, subjects with low levels experienced more, rapid telomere shortening.

Resveratrol--  In addition to supporting telomere length, resveratrol helps promote longer cell life and extended youth. Resveratrol turns on your “longevity genes,” while switching off genes that lead to health problems.  Resveratrol can prevent damaged cells from multiplying, stimulate DNA repair, and normalize blood sugar.

Protein-- Consumption of high quality protein is beneficial to cell production.  Eating a healthy diet of fresh, organic foods has been found to decrease the chances of premature death by 14%.  Eating smaller portions can significantly lower your chances of obesity, cancer, heart diseas and diabetes.  
Homocysteines-- People with high homocysteine levels tripled the amount of telomere length that was lost during cell division. In other words,  high homocysteine levels can age you up to 300% faster than people with low homocysteine levels. For more information on Homocysteines, please read: Women Vitamins- Anti-Aging Series #1-Homocysteines   
Be safe, be healthy, take your Women Vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten


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