Many factors are known to contribute to human lifespan. Many natural health followers carefully control their diet to include organic choices of fruits and vegetables in their natural, uncooked state, while remaining physically active and maintaining body weight within a healthy range.
The science of how lifestyle habits and nutrition promote
health and longevity, known as Epigenetics, has dramatically advanced
our knowledge base by providing a solid understanding of telomeres:
telomeres are the tiny strands of DNA akin to a zipper that shorten with
poor dietary choices, inflammation and everyday stress. Researchers
reporting in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry show that
reducing oxidative stress, cellular inflammation and improving DNA
methylation pathways can extend telomere length and slow the biologic
aging clock. Specific nutrients provide the necessary building blocks to
support DNA health and extend your natural lifespan.
expression is not set in stone, and our genes are continually under the
influence of our environment, lifestyle and dietary choices. Gene
settings are made initially from our time in the womb, based largely on
the nutritional status and lifestyle of the mother. As we age, our genes
instantly read micronutrient and environmental cues in an effort to
ensure short term survival. Every morsel of food energy we consume
results in an alteration in gene expression, either promoting optimal
health or eventual illness.
methylation pathway is critical to maintain DNA integrity and to
prevent telomere shortening. Foods and nutrients that donate methyl
groups are essential to prevent genetic mutations that result in cancer.
Researchers reporting in The Journal of Nutrition found that men
with the highest levels of folate in their blood have the longest
telomeres when compared to those with the lowest levels. In addition to
folate (800 mcg each day), vitamin B12 (500 to 1000 mcg daily) and the
entire B-vitamin family are associated with longer telomeres.
Sulfur-enriched proteins from nuts and seeds are also important methyl
Independent research projects have concluded that
the minerals zinc (25 to 50 mg per day) and magnesium (400 to 800 mg
each day) are necessary to accurately complete DNA sequencing during
cell replication. A lack of these cofactors leads to DNA strand
breakage, premature cell destruction and acceleration of the aging
process. Vitamin C (1 to 3 grams per day) has been shown to slow the
loss of telomeres in human vascular endothelial cells, an important
element in preventing cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E tocotrienols
(400 mg per day of a full-spectrum supplement) have been shown to
restore the length of telomeres while reducing DNA damage, making it
possible for a nutrient to reverse the shortening of telomeres and
reverse an underlying cause of aging.
Stress and inflammation are
two controllable factors that independently shorten telomere length and
increase cell aging. Stress management is essential to lower the
release of chemical messengers that fuel the flames of inflammation.
Additionally, researchers have identified a host of polyphenol compounds
(resveratrol, grape seed extract and curcumin) that lower systemic
inflammation, help to maintain telomere length and extend healthy
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