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Can our DNA determine how long we will live?

The longer or shorter length of telomeres is what makes them one of the most precise biomarkers of the passage of time in our body, our true internal clock.

Inside every one of us there’s a biological clock that is directly related to our health and tells us a lot about our lifespan. Each person has a unique code and length that not only defines their present health but also their future.

This biological clock is determined by our DNA. Yet, DNA is still vastly uncharted territory for science. A new light in scientific research suggests that Telomeres may serve as a map to better understand this complex subject.

You may be asking yourself, what is a Telomere?

Telomeres are distinctive structures found at the ends of our chromosomes that contain vital information from our DNA. They allow chromosomes to be replicated properly during cell division and protect the ends of the chromosomes from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes. (Chromosomes fusing together may lead to health problems and diseases)

The longer or shorter length of telomeres is what makes them one of the most precise biomarkers of the passage of time in our body, our true internal clock.

It is important to acknowledge that telomere length shortens with age. Every time a cell divides, telomeres shorten. The shorter they are, the less information contained, and with that loss of information, the capacity of some natural body restoration processes are also lost. Shorter telomeres have been associated with an increased incidence of diseases and poor survival.

One of the main factors that contribute to telomere shortening during cell division is oxidative stress. According to Masood A. Shammas NCBI article Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging, “Oxidative stress accounts for the loss of between 50-100 base pairs per cell division.” The amount of oxidative stress in the body is usually affected by lifestyle factors that we’ve mentioned in previous articles such as diet, smoking, stress, exposure to toxic chemicals or environments, and free radicals.

So, the big question is: how do we keep our telomeres at the right length?

When telomeres are at their proper length, our genetic information is protected and the process of cell division is attainable. In this case, the telomeres prevent aging and cellular damage that may even be carried out to cancer.

According to Shammas, “The rate of telomere shortening can be either increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors.” He suggests that a better choice of diet and physical activity have a great potential to reduce the rate of telomere shortening or at least prevent excessive telomere reduction, which leads to delay the onset of age-associated diseases and increases lifespan.

Another way that we may keep our telomeres at their proper length is through a plant called “Huág Qí” or also known as Astragalus. The Astragalus plant is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine and has been used for years as an anti-agent. It is believed to stimulate the immune system through its antioxidant effects that inhibit free radical production – free radicals damage cells and are linked to many health problems associated with aging.

We are currently conducting more research in Astragalus to see if there are in the market that have both Astragalus Glutathione and that are truly effective.

Stay tuned to find out more about Astragalus!




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