Welcome to Be Made Whole.Net. - The Longevity Factor. Now you can live a long, healthy life! Is it possible? The choice is yours.
Human lifespan has increased considerably since the 1600s, when the average lifespan was 30 years. By 2010, the average U.S. life expectancy was 78. The reasons for this dramatic rise included improved sanitation measures, antibiotics, clean water, refrigeration, vaccines and other medical efforts to prevent children and babies from dying, improved diets and better health care. As you will soon discover below, recent scientific breakthroughs in the field of genetics have not only identified specific factors involved with aging, but quite possible, how to reverse the negative effects of aging and significantly extend life.
What causes aging and can this debilitating natural process be reversed? Genetic researchers tell us the answer to that age old question is found inside the nucleus, the center of each of our cells where our genes are located on twisted, double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the ends of the chromosomes are stretches of DNA called telomeres, which protect our genetic data, make it possible for cells to divide, and hold some secrets to how we age and possibly, why we get cancer. Telomeres have been compared with the plastic tips on shoelaces because they prevent chromosome ends from fraying and sticking to each other, which would scramble an organism's genetic information to cause cancer, other diseases or death. Genetic researchers at the University of Utah found shorter telomeres are associated with shorter lives. Among people older than 60, those with shorter telomeres were three times more likely to die from heart disease and eight times more likely to die from infectious disease. Eventually, telomeres become so short cell replication stops and accelerated aging occurs. Short telomeres are also associated with degenerative diseases like cancer and cardiovascular conditions. This special ABC News report investigates the role telomeres play in possibly reversing the natural process of aging.
The Telomere Effect
Have you wondered why some 60-year-olds look and feel like 40-year-olds and why some 40-year-olds look and feel like 60-year-olds? Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and leading health psychologist Dr. Elissa Epel have discovered that there are changes we can make to our daily habits that will lengthen our telomeres and help to keep us vital and disease-free
The Telomeres and Aging
What is a telomere? Located at the ends of our chromosomes are protective threads of DNA called telomeres. Telomeres keep our chromosomes from unraveling and fraying so cell division can continue. Here's what's interesting about telomeres: as our cells age telomeres shorten, and -- as we age -- our chromosomes grow shorter. Could telomeres be the key to slowing down or stopping the aging process? Scientists have discovered to live a long healthy life, your telomeres must remain viable, and long, in order to sustain normal biological processes. Long telomeres are associated with optimal biological age – you look and feel much younger than your chronological age based on your birth date. Specific nutritional factors on telomere length include chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, DNA integrity and the natural activity of telomerase – the enzyme that adds the telomere ends to newly synthesized DNA. Let's find out more about the link between telomere shortening and aging, Watch now and learn the science behind why we age and what we can do to live a long, healthy life.
The Telomeres- The Secret of Aging and Living a Long, Healthy Life
Have scientists discovered the key to stop and even reverse aging? Besides the process of normal aging, environmental pollutants and oxidative damage accelerate telomere shortening. PCBs have been associated as a cause of cancer and also with telomere shortening. Cardiovascular disease, end-stage kidney disease, cirrhosis, and diabetes, are associated with accelerated aging and research suggests they also cause telomere shortening. A diet low in key nutrients like antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds like resveratrol, and high in trans fats and simple carbohydrates and refined sugar play roles in telomere shortening. Watch this short informative video to find out more about reversing the process of aging.
Michio Kaku: How to Reverse Aging
Enzymes like Telomerase and Resveratrol, though not the Fountain of Youth unto themselves, offer tantalizing clues to how we might someday soon unravel the aging process.
Dr. Oz's Best Anti-Aging Tips
Dr. Oz gives five vital tips on how to keep our bodies and minds young and healthy. Dr. Oz also presents a list of foods that are proven to prevent aging.
Scientists Can Reverse DNA Aging In Mice | TIME
Researchers have found a way to protect a mouse's DNA from the damage that comes with aging, and they’re ready to test it in people.
People who work out the most have a huge advantage when it comes to aging
If you want your body to stay young, you might want to exercise more. Scientists recently found that only people who exercise the most actually benefit at a cellular level.
Resveratrol Anti-Aging News
A single drug that could combats ageing and could help people to live to 150-years-old may be available within five years, following landmark research. The new drugs are synthetic versions of resveratrol which is found in red wine and is believed to have an anti-ageing effect as it boosts activity of a protein called SIRT1. Genetics professor David Sinclair, based at Harvard University, said: 'Ultimately, these drugs would treat one disease, but unlike drugs of today, they would prevent 20 others.The work proves that a single anti-aging enzyme in the body can be targeted, with the potential to prevent age-related diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heartdisease and significantly extend lifespans.
Resveratrol - 60 Minutes
As we have seen above, telomere length shortens with age. Progressive shortening of telomeres affects both health and lifespan. Shorter telomeres have been associated with increased incidence of diseases and accelerated aging. The rate of telomere shortening can be increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors. Better choice of diet and activities has great potential to affect the rate of telomere shortening, preventing age-associated diseases and increasing lifespan. Recent evidence suggests that even a high quality balanced multivitamin helps maintain telomere length. Specifically, studies have linked longer telomeres with levels of vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant resveratrol. In January 2009, CBS news' 60 Minutes reported that scientists from across the country have identified a substance in red wine called resveratrol that they believe might do more than just protect the heart, but could in very high concentrations significantly extend life an extra decade or two by preventing a number of age related illnesses.
The Ageless Woman
You won't believe your eyes! Did she find the 'fountain of youth'? Learn the age-defying secrets shared by this amazing 70-year old beauty.
Dr. Lorraine Day - Rebuilding the Immune System
Dr. Lorraine Day reversed her severe, advanced cancer by rebuilding her immune system by natural therapies, so her body could heal itself. Dr. Day is an internationally acclaimed orthopedic trauma surgeon and best selling author who was for 15 years on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine as Associate Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics. She was also Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at San Francisco General Hospital and is recognized world-wide as an AIDS expert. She has been invited to lecture extensively throughout the U.S. and the world and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows including 60 minutes, Nightline, CNN Crossfire, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King Live, The 700 Club, John Ankerberg Show, USA Radio Network, Art Bell Radio Show, Three Angels Broadcasting Network and Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Longevity and Oxidative Stress
Even though the average life expectancy in the United States has increased dramatically during this past century, our quality of life due to chronic degenerative disease has taken a major hit. We are essentially "living too short and dying too long". Most of us can simply look forward to suffering and dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, macular degeneration, and the list goes on and on, unless we literally attack the underlying cause of All of these diseases—oxidative stress.
Tips to Help Slow Down Aging
Actress Suzanne Somers offers three tips to redefine and slow the aging process.
Dr. Yu's Detoxification Protocol for a Longer, Healthier Life
Can Diabetes Drug Metformin Increase Number of Healthy Years, Extend Life?
A drug that has been used for decades to treat type 2 diabetes is now being researched to extend a person’s life span.
Study: High-intensity Aerobic Exercise May Reverse Aging
The good news is that researchers say they have found a way that may reverse aging for older people. The bad news is you are going to have to hit the gym for some high-intensity aerobic training to do it.
For the study, researchers from the Mayo Clinic compared three types of exercise: high-intensity interval training, resistance training and a combination of the two. They found that only high-intensity interval training and combined training “improved aerobic capacity and mitochondrial function for skeletal muscle,” with mitochondrial function being a common problem for older adults.
"We encourage everyone to exercise regularly, but the take-home message for aging adults that supervised high-intensity training is probably best, because, both metabolically and at the molecular level, it confers the most benefits," saysK. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and senior researcher on the study.
He added that high-intensity training appears to reverse some aspects of aging and warned that resistance training is also important for increasing muscle strength, suggesting hitting the weights “a couple of days a week.”
Specifically, researchers found that high-intensity interval training reversed aging by improving muscle protein content, which improved “energetic functions” and caused muscle enlargement in older adults.
It also improved cells’ ability to make new proteins, which reverses a “major adverse effect of aging.”
The study monitored older and younger adults who were divided into groups to do each of the three types of exercise over 12 weeks. Researchers then gathered health information 72 hours after participants completed a type of exercise.
The findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Article Los Angeles Times
Telomere length linked to catching a cold in preliminary study
By: Eryn Brown
February 20, 2013,6:00 a.m.
Test subjects with shorter immune cell telomeres faced an increased risk of catching a cold, researchers wrote Tuesday in JAMA (abstract here.)
It was the first time the DNA structures had been implicated in acute illnesses in healthy, relatively young people, wrote study leader Sheldon Cohen, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University, and colleagues at other institutions.
Telomeres are DNA “caps” that sit at the end of chromosomes and protect them from damage. They shorten each time a cell divides, ultimately getting whittled away to such an extent that the cell can no longer divide, loses its ability to function properly and dies.
In studies over the years, shorter telomeres in people have been connected to aging and aging-related disorders like cancer, heart disease and dementia. But according to the authors of the JAMA paper, researchers hadn’t determined how telomere length might relate to more acute bouts of illness in otherwise healthy, younger adults.
To gauge whether there was any relationship, the team conducted an experiment on 152 healthy adults, ages 18 to 55, in the Pittsburgh area. Researchers first collected blood to measure telomere length in leukocytes, or white blood cells. Then they placed the study participants in quarantine for six days, administering nasal drops containing a virus that causes the common cold (rhinovirus type 39) after the first 24 hours.
Over the course of the experiment, 69% of the participants, or 105 people, were infected with the virus; 22%, or 33 people, developed colds.
Overall, shorter telomeres in four types of blood cells were associated with greater risk of infection, with the strongest link occurring in a type of T-cell called CD8CD28- cells. What’s more, shorter telomere length in CD8CD28- cells was also associated with clinical illness (that is, getting a cold). The connection between shorter telomeres and infection got stronger with increasing age in study subjects.
The researchers speculated that, when challenged with viral antigens, T-cells with shorter telomeres might not proliferate as well as T-cells with longer telomeres, making it harder for the body to clear away virus-infected cells.
“A provocative possibility is that telomere length is a very stable marker of disease susceptibility, with associations between telomere length and clinical outcomes beginning to emerge in early adulthood,” they wrote. But they also cautioned that their data were preliminary, and that any clinical implications remained unknown.
"Now that I know about my telomeres, I have an additional thing to worry about—what should I be eating to keep them healthy and stable?" you might be thinking. Ack! Between advocates of gluten-free and dairy-free and high fat and low carb, there's already too much conflicting nutrition advice on what we should be eating. So let me make this simple for you. To start with, Michael Pollan's synthesis of decades of nutrition research holds well: "Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants." I like that because it's achievable. Gravitate toward the produce section, stay away from those Golden Arches. And telomere science supports it—a whole food diet is related to longer telomeres, and the American diet (high in meat and processed foods) is related to shorter telomeres. But telomere studies tell us another layer of helpful details—what types of food specifically are related to longer telomeres? And why?
Let's start with the why
We have a pretty good sense of the chemical environment that stabilizes telomeres over time—maintaining low insulin, inflammation, and oxidative stress. When we eat a high sugar food with no fiber to slow it down (think soda!), we get a spike in glucose and inflammation. Nope, not a good chemical environment if you want your telomeres to last 100 years. Oxidative stress (when there are too many free radicals and too little antioxidants) also shortens telomeres. We need anti-oxidants to neutralize these free radicals, and thus keep our level of total oxidative stress low. The main way we get antioxidants is through food rich in vitamins. So we need to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to maintain strong antioxidant defenses and keep our oxidative stress in balance.
What creates oxidative stress?
We have free radicals (loose electrons) in our body from the way our cells create energy (a necessary natural process), and through many other exposures, such as smoke and pollution, and certain types of food. Animal products (meat, butter, cheese) are high in compounds that create oxidative stress or AGES (advanced glycation end-products), whereas plant-based foods are low in AGES. Cooking at high heat (vs. moderate) also creates more AGES and thus more oxidative stress.
Types of foods related to longer telomeres:
Go for a rainbow of color in your produce (antioxidants)! The color reflects the flavonoids and carotenoids, which reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Eat plenty of produce, try to include at various times citrus, berries, apples, plums, carrots, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes. There are also antioxidants in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and green tea. In a study in China, adults who drank 3 cups of green tea a day had longer telomeres than those who drank less than one. I was thrilled this year when a study examined coffee and the news was good—coffee drinkers had longer telomeres.
Go for foods rich in omega-3 free fatty acids! Certain fish, algae (seaweed!), walnuts. These reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. And limit the omega-6 oils (linoleic acid, found in corn, safflower, sunflower oils, fast food). In one of our studies, greater levels of omega 3 in the blood were associated with slower telomere decline over the years.
Go sparingly on processed meat, processed food, and sugared drinks.
Will you try a Meatless Monday with me?
Processed meat is on the World Health Organization's"probably carcinogenic" list now. Even small reductions in how much processed meat you eat can make a big difference in your health, and in the impact on our environment. According to this vegetarian calculator, if you are meat-free for one month (or do meatless Mondays for around 7 months), you've saved almost 20 animals' lives and have prevented 130 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into our air. That's a high impact! In other words, it's a win-win for our telomeres, and for the earth.
How we eat is as important as what we eat
Eating when we're stressed is a double whammy. It leads us to choose unhealthy snacks, what we call 'comfort food.' Then we consume these high fat/high sugar foods with a good dose of our internally produced stress hormones, cortisol. This cocktail of comfort food with stress hormones may lead to inflammatory responses and belly fat. Emotional stress alone, when intense, can create spikes of inflammation, and when chronic it can create oxidative stress.
I have a huge sweet tooth. Especially when I'm stressed. So I'm sympathetic to the vast majority who cannot cut out sugar, and who feel they've failed because our body's highly evolved metabolism is not wired to let us lose weight and keep it off. Nope. Rather, what we teach in our weight interventions is moderation, and … meditation. Not the "Om" kind, but rather a brief mindful focus on our internal body feelings (awareness of type of emotion, hunger, and fullness) right before eating. It appears to help with lowering sweets and glucose levels. Stay tuned this month for a lesson in bringing mindfulness to all your daily activities.