There is a great life lesson learned in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s play, Mephistopheles. The devil told Faust to seek a life of moderation, stop being lazy, exercise regularly and avoid unhealthy foods. Not bad advice for the Middle Ages. It sounds like the advice your doctor would give you today.
Have you ever wondered why so many older adults seem to be frail? They appear unable to do much. Are we destined to follow their examples? Aging is guaranteed, followed shortly after that by death. Can you make changes now and have a different ending? Death will still occur. But life will not be one of decay and despair.
There are two primary causes of aging. One is the decline in our production of human growth hormone (HGH). The other is the shortening of our telomeres at the end of each DNA molecule.
Our bodies make vast amounts of HGH when we are young. It is made while we sleep. That is one reason babies sleep a lot. HGH regulates the growth of all our body’s organs and systems. When HGH levels are high, you look and feel young. When HGH levels decrease, you begin to look and feel older. When HGH levels are very low, you look and act as if you were nearly on death’s bed. It is a scenario of daily decay.
The length of a telomere shortens every time a cell replicates (splits in two). As such, every cell has a finite life. Our lifestyle habits can reduce the loss of telomere length or increase it. Increasing the loss of telomere length leads to aging. At the end of a cell’s life, the telomere cannot be shortened any further, and the cell dies.
You are either growing or decaying – there is no middle ground. Most people do not know what causes us to age. Hence, they do not know what they can do to counter the causes and effects of aging. Your HGH levels usually decline with age. Low levels of HGH mimic a new hormone – human decay hormone. The result is the same with telomere length. You are decaying.
Increasing HGH levels is not difficult. Several things will naturally cause your body to make more HGH. The simplest is fasting. A twelve-hour fast causes HGH to be produced at ten times the normal level. Other things you can do to increase HGH is to lose body fat, reduce sugar intake, don’t eat a lot before going to sleep (HGH production is done when you are sleeping. Digestion and other metabolic processes interfere with the HGH production), and high-intensity exercise (like running sprints).
Smoking, lack of physical exercise, obesity, stress, exposure to toxins, and more can speed up the aging processes. A nutritionally balanced diet can assist with HGH production and shortening the rate of loss of telomere.
Telomere length is influenced by maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise (more endurance than high intensity), daily stress management, and eating foods high in antioxidants (flax, mushrooms, spinach, oats, and berries are the best for telomere health). Some supplements assist the body in fighting the aging processes, such as glutathione and N-acetyl-cysteine.
There was a ten-year telomere length study of 787 participants that showed telomere length was indicative of developing and dying of cancer. Individuals with the shortest telomere group were three times more likely to develop cancer compared to the longest telomere group. Similar results were seen with cardiovascular disease.
Telomerase is an enzyme our bodies make that assists in the repair of telomeres. Lab animals genetically engineered without the ability to produce telomerase showed very rapid aging. When telomerase was introduced into these lab animals, their results were shocking – they literally got younger.
The telomerase enzyme is active within germ cells, tumor cells, stem cells, and heart cells. As such, cancer cells do not die. It is one of the reasons why cancer treatment is so difficult. Heart cell regeneration is not practical, and those cells are protected by telomerase.
Fasting, at least twelve hours a day, and regular exercise (low-intensity endurance = walking) are two ways to combat the causes of aging. As you can see from this article, other factors can affect the production of HGH and shorten the rate of telomere loss.
Thanks, Red. Good article. What about supplements? Any thoughts on Healthycell Telomere Length Supplement…available at Amazon?
Ed, I try to get all my nutrients via food. That being said, there are a couple that I supplement – Vitamin E (all eight molecules that makeup vitamin E) and vitamin K2. I find it difficult to eat the foods containing those two nutrients. I have never researched a supplement. I can’t recommend for or against a particular one. I’ve seen advertisements with testimonials on telomere (and other) enhancement. Do they work? I don’t know. If given the option of a supplement and a food option, then I would opt for the food. That being said, I choose two vitamins to supplement because I prefer the supplement to the food. More than happy to continue this discussion on this site or via email. firstname.lastname@example.org