Six Anti-Aging Tips to Keep Your DNA Young and Healthy

Get to know the latest anti-aging target, your telemores, and how doing so can prevent the signs of aging.

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Telomeres are the DNA ‘cap’ at the end of each chromosome critical for healthy cell function (imagine the plastic piece at the end of a shoelace to visualize). Growing evidence suggests that telomere shortening can inhibit stem cell function, cellular regeneration, and organ maintenance, contributing to the dreaded aging process. While there is still much to learn about telomere biochemistry, maintaining their health is huge in preventing the signs of aging. Some key supplements are showing promise towards maintaining their structure, which will help you look and feel younger longer.

1. Young at heart with omega-3s
A 2010 study in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) uncovered an inverse association between blood levels of fish oil and the rate of telomere shortening over five years, suggesting a possible explanation for the protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Since telomeres are a marker of biological aging, telomere length has been shown to predict mortality in patients with cardiovascular diseases. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco studied more than 600 patients and found that the higher the blood levels of fish-derived omega-3 acids in patients with coronary heart disease, the longer the telomeres.

Bottom line: I recommend selecting a high quality fish oil supplement and taking 2-3 capsules (or 1 teaspoon) twice daily with meals.

2. Get moving daily
If you’re searching for the fountain of youth, it may be as close as your local gym. A 2008 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine of more than 2400 twins compared the telomere length in those that exercised versus the sedentary ones. After one year, they found — based on telomere length — that those who exercised were biologically younger than those who didn’t. In fact, the telomeres of the most active subjects were 200 nucleotides longer than those of the least active subjects.

 Bottom line: I prescribe that all my patients do three 30-minute strength training sessions per week, 1-2 interval cardio sessions (no more than 30 minutes each) and one yoga class or DVD.

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