Telomeres are specific genetic material that appear at the tips of the DNA molecule that make up our genes. Think of telomeres as the plastic tips of shoelaces. Just as those tips keep the lace intact by preventing it from fraying, the telomeres keep the chromosome ends from fraying, or interfering with each other, so the genetic instructions stay intact.
But each time a cell divides the telomeres shorten in length. In this way telomeres are responsible for cellular death. Once the telomere becomes too short, that cell can no longer divide, it becomes inactive, or “dies.”
While we are young and vital, an enzyme called telomerase stimulates the growth of telomeres. As we age the cells produce less and less of the enzyme and telomeres shorten.
Researchers have found that shorter telomeres are associated with shorter lives. A study done in 2009 by the University of Utah looked at a group of people all aged 60-plus. The researchers found that those in the group with shorter telomeres were 8-times more likely to die from infectious diseases, and 3-times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
Scientists are currently experimenting with various techniques for telomerase re-activation that can reverse telomere damage, and lengthen telomeres. Theoretically, lengthening telomeres can increase vitality and significantly increase a healthy lifespan –the proverbial Fountain of Youth.
Human Growth Hormone and Telomeres
Human growth hormone, or HGH is currently being used for various anti-aging protocols and techniques. Interestingly enough, HGH production is also linked to telomere length. Like most things in the human body, the production and release of telomerase, the enzyme discovered to influence telomere growth, is regulated by hormones.
A study published in 2009 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that telomere length was closely associated to optimal levels of HGH in the body.
Another recent study published in the journal, Mechanisms of Aging and Development, found that older individuals who were involved in high intensity exercise, such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), showed fewer of the typical signs of aging than their more sedentary counterparts. Those involved in HIIT also had significantly longer telomeres.
It is known that high-intensity training increases the production of HGH in the body. That is why such workouts are so good at burning fat and building lean muscle. This evidence seems to suggest that high intensity workouts can also lengthen your life.
The anti-aging effects of HGH optimization therapy have been long documented. These studies and others that indicate a positive association between optimal levels of HGH in the blood and maximum telomere length, could point to the reason for the anti-aging effects of HGH.
Anti-Aging Medicine Today
We really are at the cutting edge of some remarkable anti-aging discoveries. It has been said that the first human being to live to the age of 1000, is already alive today!
I do not know if that is true, but I do know this – we will see dramatic increases in human lifespan in our lifetime. That is all the more reason why I encourage all of you to take advantage of the kinds of age-optimization techniques we have available right now. This way you can truly look, feel, and be your best when something new comes along.
That means make lifestyle changes such caloric reduction and exercise, and consider the programs we have available to us right now to help you age well, such as hormone replacement therapies and hormone optimization.
Would you like to live to be 120 years old or more? What would you do if you with all of the extra time?
Do you think scientists should be trying to radically increase the human lifespan?
Start the conversation below.