Telomeres: Our Cellular Timekeepers

telomeres-image

There are many speculations in regards to contributors to cell ageing. One of the studied theories is; accelerated ageing may be due to increased telomere shortening – when cells divide around 50 times, they will enter a phase in which they no longer behave as they did when they were younger.

How do our cells know when to retire? Well, each cell has its own internal clock, 92 to be precise. One cap on each end of the cells 46 chromosomes – these are known as Telomeres (think of the plastic ends of a shoe lace). Once a cell transitions into division (mitosis), a copy of the chromosomes takes place. Each new cell (daughter cell) will receive an exact copy of the chromosomes from the mother cell.

During this copying, the very end of our chromosomes do not copy – it is as if, a photocopier has cut off the last line of a page. With the result, our chromosomes shorten with each division. Once the cells Telomeres shrink to a critical size, the cell no longer divides.

Unfortunately, as we age, oxidative stress from  toxins and poor diet can speed the telomere shortening process. This means we age faster, and the sooner we age, we face age-related health conditions, including skin health issues.

Scientists discovered the enzyme, Telomerase in 1985. This extends telomeres and is reported to rebuild them to their former length. Theoretically, if our cells telomeres were able to rebuild then our cells could come out of retirement and return back to the workforce.

Ensuring you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle including supplementation to combat oxidative stress will assist with the longevity of your telomeres. Ageing is a given, we must go through the processes, however, what we have noted, is, our lifestyles and toxic diets increase our cells ageing and reduces our life expectancy. By being mindful of the following points, you may find your cells work more effectively and your skin health and internal health improve.

  • Increase your intake of plants in your daily diet
  • Ensure your food sources are organic and from reliable sources
  • Omit activities that increase oxidative stress. E.g. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption
  • Decrease or omit the consumption of processed foods
  • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays: avoid sun exposure during the hottest part of the day
  • Increase food sources containing Antioxidants
  • Topical supplementation in skin care products has shown a decrease in signs of dermal cellular ageing. Topical application is paramount for skin health, due to our diets not containing adequate nutrients to supply to skin cells
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