Irrespective of culture and geography, almost all people have an inner propensity to live long. With that desire inside their mind, ancient civilizations as well as modern human beings have propounded ideas, formulas, theories, assumptions, and hypotheses to understand aging and longevity. Scientists have proposed that most of the so-called “causes of aging” come from internal sources such as the hormones, cells, and sources of energy inside our bodies, which start to decline over time and cause the loss of energy, vitality, and immunity, which we associate with aging.
There are also the ideas that focus on external causes of aging such as poor diet, stress, lack of exercise or physical challenges, air and water pollution, contamination in the food supply chain, and toxins that get into your body through food and hazardous environment that leads to toxin build-up in your blood. Well, these internal and external causes contribute to aging, however, these are not the real cause. The real reason why human beings get old is related to a genetic material called telomere. Aging is related to the shortening of the telomere. It is the telomere that determines how you age and why you age.
Deep within your DNA, located in the nucleus of each cell, are the building blocks of every cell in your body. At the end of each strand of DNA is a little bit of genetic material called the telomere, which controls the aging process. The telomere is a part of the chromosome. When cells divide, telomeres become shorter, cell division will continue to shorten the telomeres, and finally one day there will be no telomeres. This will stop cell division, and when cells cannot divide, or say cannot form new cells, your life will come to an end. In fact, the shorter your telomeres, the “older” your body is, regardless of your actual biological age.
The genetic material telomeres are linked with the enzyme called telomerase. In fact, telomeres are rebuilt by telomerase. However, in the cells, telomerase is “turned off.” Fortunately, there are a handful of nutrients that are proven to not only prevent the loss of the telomere but to activate telomerase and rebuild the telomere. These nutrients include:
- Resveratrol: It is found in the skin of grapes. Other sources include red wine, raisins, purple grape juice, peanuts, and mulberries.
- Green Tea: The extract of green tea, EGCG, has a powerful protective effect on telomeres.
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine: This potent amino acid is a building block of your body’s primary antioxidant called glutathione (GSH) and has the ability to prevent the death of cells by activating the human telomerase gene.
- Alpha Tocopherol: Alpha-tocopherol is a type of E vitamin. This vitamin is responsible for protecting telomere shortening as well as restoring telomerase.
- Gamma Tocotrienol: Gamma tocotrienol can modify telomere length through telomerase. Interestingly, Gamma tocotrienol is a type of E vitamin.
- L-Carnosine: It is an amino acid that helps preserve your telomeres. This amino acid also extends the life cycle of your cells.
- L-Arginine: A popular amino acid for improving blood flow, l-arginine increases telomerase activity by stimulating the production of nitric oxide (NO), the molecule that relaxes your blood vessels.
- Vitamin C: It was known that vitamin C prevented the loss of telomeres, but now new evidence has shown that it increases telomerase activity in specific stem cells.
- Vitamin D3: Vitamin D is well known for its ability to increase immune function and prevent cancer; but recent research shows that vitamin D also activates telomerase.
- Milk Thistle (Silymarin extract): This ancient, well-known herb is popular for detoxification and also as a liver tonic; but was recently discovered to activate telomerase.
- Gingko Biloba: There is evidence to show that, ginkgo biloba extract significantly increased telomerase activity
- Folic Acid: This B vitamin is important for making the DNA found in your telomeres. A number of studies have shown that folic acid stimulates the activation of telomerase.
- Acetyl L-Carnitine: Studies suggest that acetyl l-carnitine, an amino acid, activates the human telomerase gene through a chain reaction that starts with the increase of Nerve Growth Factor