Telomeres and the Science of Aging

Posted on in On Our Radar by Elisa Lottor

How to Live Long and Prosper


If there were a way to prevent aging, prolong your life, and save money at the same time, there should be no reason not to do it. As Mr. Spock would say, “It’s only logical.” Unfortunately, we humans, unlike the Vulcans of Star Trek, are emotional beings.

We eat food that doesn’t provide the essential nutrients our body needs and instead pushes our body to its edge. Our dietary choices cost us a lot of money—not only in the short run but also in health costs over our lifetime. This article might help you exchange palate-pleasing foods with body-pleasing ones.

One of the biggest discoveries in antiaging research (that led to a Nobel Prize for the researchers) has been the relationship between aging and telomere shortening.

Telomeres are like aglets (those plastic things at the ends of shoelaces) for DNA. Every time a cell divides, its DNA replicates itself, but the process is not 100% accurate. However, it’s the telomeres, located at both ends, that sacrifice themselves to protect the DNA. As we age, our cells divide more and more, and the telomeres shorten. Eventually, the DNA begins to get damaged and we enter the last stage of life.

Telomere shortening is strongly correlated with aging. In fact, scientists believe that if we could slow it down, we could slow down aging itself! But our present diet and lifestyle have been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, resulting in early signs of aging, and premature onset of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

Modern medical science ensures that we live longer, but modern diet and lifestyle ensure that we spend these extra years suffering from old age. However, there are places where people seem to have discovered the fountain of youth. Places like Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda in California, and Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica are full of people who live a long and healthy life. Researchers have found that their diet and lifestyle have the biggest impact on their health.

two trees

Habits Worth Having

Anyone can emulate their diet and lifestyle by building a few simple habits:

» Eat Less: The simplest habit is to stop eating when you are about 80% full. Calorie restriction has the strongest impact on slowing down telomere shortening.

» Eat Whole: Natural, organic, unprocessed, and unrefined whole foods contain the most nutrients and negligible harmful substances. Include free-roaming animal proteins in your definition of whole foods.

» Eat Everything: Don’t go for any fad diet that restricts a vital portion of the nutrients necessary for maintaining a healthy body. Proteins, vegetables, dairy products, oils and fats, fermented foods, nuts, seeds, and grains are all necessary for maintaining the balance of the body. As long as you eat in moderation, you can have everything.

» Stop Eating Convenience Food: What you save in time from eating convenience foods, you lose 10 times over in your health and eventually in money. Candies, soft drinks, processed fruit juices, cereals, canned/frozen food, chips, cookies, etc., are often full of preservatives and additives and have high amounts of sugar, salt, and fat.

» Start Cooking at Home: Getting fresh ingredients and cooking at home is cheaper and healthier than eating out or buying convenience food. You can cook delicious and nutritious meals in as little as 15 minutes. All you need is the motivation to get started and a little bit of effort.

» Physically Exert Yourself: This is the lifestyle part. Physical exertion can mean anything from taking the stairs to walking whenever you can to cycling to work to even sex! Of course, you can go to the gym and do traditional exercise too if you want. But you must exert your body physically every day if you want to keep it healthy. Think of what happens to a car that just sits in the driveway for a long time and isn’t used. The same thing happens to our body, as it is a highly complex biological machine.

These six simple habits can lead to a dramatic change in your long-term health. Some researchers have found that having a healthy lifestyle might even increase telomere length. This means that not only can you slow down aging, you can actually reverse it!

How you live your golden years is partly in your hands. You can live them in a wheelchair taking a thousand pills and having multiple surgeries, or you can live them as a healthy, radiant, and productive senior citizen.

Show Me the Money

First of all, there are the savings you will earn by cutting down on eating out and buying convenience food. Next are the savings you’ll enjoy in the long run by reducing your healthcare costs. And finally, being productive into the later stages of your life means that you can earn more over your lifetime.

There you have it. The facts have been laid out before you. The only question is whether you’ll act on these facts like a rational person or give in to your emotions and knowingly continue toward a future of unnecessary suffering.

If logic alone doesn’t motivate you, try this trick: every morning, close your eyes and meditate on your future. Imagine yourself as vibrant, healthy, and full of life. Now make the choices that will lead you to that future you deserve.

Elisa Lottor, PhD, HMD, is an expert in nutrition, homeopathy, and energy medicine, and author of The Miracle of Regenerative Medicine: How to Naturally Reverse the Aging Process.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join our once-monthly newsletter to get all the latest news & resources

No spam. Unsubscribe any time.