Aging is inevitable.
But thanks to some groundbreaking scientific revelations, it is indeed possible to slam the breaks on aging—and even reverse some of the existing damage.
The secret to this fountain of youth lies within your ability to disrupt your body’s own aging processes—all the way down to the cellular level. And today, I’m going to show you how one all-natural, science-backed strategy can help you do just that.
The pace at which you age is dictated by your telomeres. They “cap” the end of your DNA strands in each of your chromosomes. They’re a lot like the little plastic tips on your shoelaces that keep your laces from fraying.
Your telomeres “cap” the ends of your chromosomes.
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Similar to the way your skull protects your brain, telomeres work to protect the precious DNA inside your cells’ chromosomes from any sort of damage—a major factor linked to accelerated aging.
And throughout your lifetime, your cells will continually divide and copy themselves—a process called cell division. This process is essential for your body to grow and heal itself.
The basic anatomy of a cell.
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But cell division comes with a caveat: Each time your cell is copied and divides, your telomeres gradually get smaller—making your DNA more vulnerable.
Eventually, if your telomeres become short enough, your cells lose their ability to divide, causing them to deteriorate and eventually die. This cell death contributes to aging and increases the risk of age-related diseases.
However, emerging research has uncovered that this cellular decline can be slowed significantly, making it possible to actually lengthen your telomeres.
The first step is to address what daily factors may be damaging your telomeres and speeding up the aging process.
In a 2012 study on lifestyle, cancer, and aging, researchers pinpointed five major lifestyle/environmental threats that can rapidly shorten telomeres:
Of those, chronic stress was shown to cause some of the most significant damage.
In a 2004 study, women with the highest levels of perceived stress were found to have dramatically shorter telomeres as compared to those with lower levels of stress. In fact, the amount of telomere shortening in the high-stress women was equivalent to at least ten years of aging!
Now that you know the major age-accelerating habits to avoid, let’s talk a little bit more about what you can do to protect your telomeres and even restore their length.
One effective technique for decreasing stress and slowing aging is to strengthen your vagal tone. Your vagal tone is a measure of how fast your body bounces back after a stressful event.
When your vagal tone is strong, your body is able to return itself to a calm, collected state quickly and easily.
But when your vagal tone is low, your body is more apt to remain in a heightened state of alert for longer. This increases the amount of time your body is affected by high levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol, further shortening telomere length.
Fortunately, a 2018 study analysis on cellular aging found that techniques that improve vagal tone—including sound-based vagal nerve stimulation (VNS), meditation, and breathwork—help to strengthen and even lengthen telomeres.
In addition to fortifying your vagal tone and avoiding the four major age-accelerating habits, there are three more easy ways you can protect your telomeres.
Below are a few more telomere-strengthening lifestyle changes that can help you both look and feel decades younger.
Taking care of your telomeres has been the best-kept secret in anti-aging for years. But now, the word is out!
Working these manageable steps into your everyday routine will give you the best chance for healthier, happier, stronger years. You certainly deserve it!
Be well, Jim
Ask, T., Lugo, R. and Sütterlin, S. (2018). The Neuro-Immuno-Senescence Integrative Model (NISIM) on the Negative Association Between Parasympathetic Activity and Cellular Senescence. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Retrieved from: frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00726/full
Blackburn, E. (2017). Could your thoughts make you age faster? TED. Retrieved from:ideas.ted.com/could-your-thoughts-make-you-age-faster/
Blackburn, E. and Epel, E. (2012). Telomeres and adversity: Too toxic to ignore. Nature. 490: pp. 169 – 170. Retrieved from: nature.com/articles/490169a
Dean, S. et al. (2017). The association between telomere length and mortality in Bangladesh. Aging. 9(6): pp. 1537 – 1548. Retrieved from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5509454/
Epel, E., et al. (2011). Can meditation slow the rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres. Annual New York Academy of Science. 1172: pp. 34 – 53. Retrieved from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057175/
OpenStax College. (2016). Telomeres and telomerase. Khan Academy. Retrieved from: khanacademy.org/science/biology/dna-as-the-genetic-material/dna-replication/a/telomeres-telomerase
Schutte, N. and Malouff, J. (2014). A meta-analytic review of the effects of mindfulness meditation on telomerase activity. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 42: pp. 45 – 48. Retrieved from: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24636500/
Shammas. (2011). Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging. Current Opinions in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 14(1): pp. 28 – 34. Retrieved from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3370421
Schulman, J. (2018). Telomeres: The Key to Staying Young and Disease-Free? Healthline. Retrieved from: healthline.com/health/telomeres#telomere-lengthening
Before you go, here's a FREE GIFT just for stopping by.
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I hope it helps you. Jim