First of all let’s define what the heck are telomeres? Well telomeres are the equivalent of what some call the fountain of youth. Animals and plants have a generally defined lifespan between the time they are born and between the time they die. When the science of genetics was developed the first thing geneticists were looking for where to identify the genes that presumably control ur aging.
Further research revels that there are extensions of non coding DNA at the terminal ends of the chromosome. These extensions are called “telomeres” and they have two fundamental function. One they prevent the DNA double helix from unwinding an action that will cause it to be degraded by enzymes. And two the telomeres allow the DNA to be copied without losing genetic information. The DNA coping enzyme DNA polymerase is what duplicates DNA molecules. However physical limitations prevent it from reading and coping a short stretch of the DNA at the terminal end of the DNA strand. The reason for shortening of the telomeres is very simple.
Let’s just add a little background to that a little history. In the early 1970s Russian theorist Alexei Olovnikov first recognized that the ends of a chromosome couldn’t be replicated when the cells divided a finding that revealed the segment of the terminal DNA sequences in a chromosome are lost every time a cell replicates. When the loss of the DNA strand reaches a critical level the cell can no longer replicate and then it dies.
Ok so I one of the multiple things I love about Bruce Lipton is how he explains this whole subject and specially the analogies he uses to do so. So here it goes: We can relate the telomeres to the aglet of our shoe laces (it is the little plastic capsule at the very end of our shoe laces). The aglet holds the strands together and prevents them from unwinding because if you lose the aglet what happens? The shoelace starts to unwind and you get a big bushy end to that shoe lace. It is very difficult now to push that shoelace through the eyelet in the shoe because it’s al flared out. And so it actually decreases the function of that shoelace. Simply the same occurs in the DNA. If the DNA helix unfolds. Then the DNA is going to be broken down by enzymes. But the telomeres act as the equivalent of an aglet. They hold the strands of the DNA together to prevent its unwinding and subsequent degradation so that’s one function of the telomere.
But the primary function of the telomere turns out that it makes an extension of the DNA that allows the DNA to be shortened every time the DNA is copied without affecting the gene programs so this allows so many divisions before we run out of telomeres. And then it was believed that the lifespan of an organism is based on how many times a cell can divide before it looses those telomeres extensions and then cuts into the DNA program.
Leonard Hayflick a scientist back in the 1960s did a calculation based on how long the telomere extension was and how many times it could divide before the telomere was gone. He comes up with a number that a cell can divide about 60 times before it loses its telomere. Well when he put that information in our biology how may years does that account for? Well Hayflicks number can come up to a human living around 90 years before the telomeres are lost and then subsequent replications of the DNA interfere with the gene programs.
In 1984 research scientist Elizabeth Blackburn discovered an enzyme, “telomerase” that can extend the length of telomeres which when translated it means the potential to extend the human life span. However this enzyme can be activated or inhibited based on what we are experiencing in our life. So for example things that will inhibit the enzyme and prevent us from extending our lifespan include things such as bad nutrition, childhood abuse, PTSD, domestic violence no purpose of life. In the contrary activities that enhance telomerase activity and can extend our lifespan and our health and these activities include, good nutrition specially omega 3, exercise, happiness and gratitude, positive outlook, self love and self worth and having a purpose in life. So if you understand this and start o live with love and purpose and happiness then its going to make your life extended because you are going to activate this telomerase increase the telomeres and allow your stem cells to replicate more frequently and also in the process to extend your life and health.
So to sum this all up how we can start lengthening this “telomerase” enzyme? As bruce Lipton comments by having a healthy diet by exercising, practicing gratitude and by having an actual purpose in life. There are more ways to work with telomeres as well and if you need extra information please feel free to reach out to a physician or a micro biologist for an specialist for further research.
Remember YOU HAVE THE POWER!!
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Gaia [Gaiamtv]. (2020, January 5). Telomeres, Longevity and Spirituality [Video]. Gaia. https://www.gaia.com/video/telomeres-longevity-spirituality?fullplayer=feature