We've heard about telomeres. These are structures at the tips of chromosomes that play a key role in cellular aging. Studies say, humans can control telomeres. Due to this, molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn said, it is easier to manipulate human aging than we think.
Elizabeth Blackburn's discovery about telomeres brought hope to scientists and ordinary people that aging can be slowed down, or even reversed. However, biologist Blackburn thinks her novel work isn't receiving much attention and significance than it deserves.
Thus, together with psychologist Elissa Epel, she created the book, “The Telomere Effect.” This book literally exposes a cheat sheet to a younger you. Blackburn mentioned that we can lengthen our telomeres, and perhaps our life, by following a copious yet easy advice gathered from thousands of studies.
“We can provide a new level of specificity and tell people more precisely with clues emerging from telomere science, what exactly about exercise is related to long telomeres, what exact foods are related to long telomeres, what aspects of sleep are more related to long telomeres,” Epel said to Stat
The length of telomeres is linked to long life. How it basically works is that, if a person is prone to heart attack, if he has shorter telomeres, he may experience heart failure earlier than the average people.
Judith Campisi, an expert on cellular aging at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif., agrees saying, “If you have a terrible diet and you smoke, you’re definitely shortening your life, and shortening your telomeres.”
“If all aging was due to telomeres, we would have solved the aging problem a long time ago,” she added.
This means, our efforts to make our telomeres longer would probably also make our lives longer. Luckily, for us there are ways to lengthen telomeres.
“It organized my thinking around the levers of health span — food, sleep, exercise, lean body mass, stress — how so many of us are in a failure state, which I think accelerates aging,” Sara Gottfried said, a Harvard-trained gynecologist in Berkeley, Calif., after she took a telomere test, and realized how to extend her own telomere.