The researches done by scientists and doctors to find a cure for cancer and to stop or even reverse the anti-aging process lead them to telomeres.
So what are telomeres?
Telomeres are present in the chromosomes as protective regions at the ends of our chromosomes that hold the DNA together like the plastic cap on your shoelace. Many studies have shown that people who have shorter telomeres have a weak immunity. They also have heart problems and increased mortality and with each passing year the telomeres become shorter and the symptoms worsen. They are also associated with aging by the researchers but that is not confirmed. However, exposure to UV light and metabolic damage is also cause of shortening of telomeres which in turn can trigger cancer and aging.
One of the two main reasons for shortening of telomeres is exposure to UV rays. The skin cells at best will commit suicide and fall off due to UV rays exposure or at worst will remain and have cancerous mutations. One of the results of UV rays exposure is photoproduct, which happens when UV rays make the adjacent DNA units stick together. The photoproduct effect makes the telomeres longer by the release of a protein telomerase. It is a bad thing as because of it the telomere has no limit to how many times it can replicate. This interferes with the DNA’s normal function leading to skin cancer.
The other reason for shortening of the telomere is metabolic damage. This occurs due to consuming unhealthy food and becoming obese over a long period of time. Metabolism, while breaking down food and extracting energy, is generating high energy particle called free radicals into the system. This leads to wear away at your telomeres. Older overweight adults are at a greater risk of shortening of telomeres and cancer as their bodies have been metabolizing more food than an average healthy person.
Thus, at first, the perception that researchers had that length of telomeres is predetermined by genetics is changed. Now they have realized that unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, obesity, stress, poor diet and UV rays exposure diminish our telomeres and cause cancer.
Here’s What You Can Do
Having a healthy lifestyle is the key to a longer and healthier life for you. For this purpose the steps you have to take are:
- Always apply sunscreen with UV light protection when you go out of home or are going outside at daytime.
- Eat healthy and unprocessed food. Especially diets rich in antioxidants such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes will counter the metabolic rate and will protect your telomeres.
- Exercise and physical activity is a must. So exercising three days a week will help you in the long run.
- Quit smoking as it not only damages your lungs but also causes different types of cancers.
- Keep yourself hydrated it will also affect your metabolism and overall health.
We hope that following these steps will keep your telomeres from shortening for a longer period of time and will keep you healthy and live longer. Stay safe and healthy!