Bigger Is Better And Your Health Depends On It

The longer your Telomeres, the happier the partner.

Size Matters

Er.......wait, what were you thinking??  NO.......Get your head out of the gutter. 

Telomeres are a protective cap on the ends of our chromosomes. The longer the cap the healthier you are. Telomeres protect from premature degradation of the chromosome, preventing early cell death. They also protect, and preserve, the genetic codes on the chromosomes. These codes insure healthy cell division and aid in the key transfer of healthy information. This healthy information is passed onto newly born cells instructing them how to behave.

Some great work has been done by Nobel Prize winning scientist Elizabeth Blackburn. She discovered that Telomere length has a direct impact on our health and the speed at which we will age. The length also dictates disease status/risk. The longer the Telomeres, the healthier.  And the good news? If you take care of your telomeres, they can actually grow........bigger.

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Let's take a moment to talk about what early aging really means. Although the length of Telomeres have been linked to longevity, early aging is something different. For instance, you can be a person in their early 70's who runs 4-6 miles 3 times a week, has a very active life, lives an independent, full life who runs circles around people in their 20's; i.e., you live life! Or you can be a person in their early 70's who takes medications, has very little exercise capacity, injures easily, and leads a less dynamic lifestyle; i.e, doesn't live life as much! Now, out of the blue the more active individual develops a life threatening disease and passes within a couple years. While the less active, more comorbid individual, continues their life on the couch, not doing much but accumulating number each year. Scientifically, aging is how your overall systems are holding up over time. Aging is not how long one can live, independent of a dysfunctional body.

Youthfulness if you will.

How does an individual slow the aging process and ensure a more vital life? By securing more amounts of Telomerase. Telomerase is an enzyme that adds DNA to the ends of the chromosomes, preventing and slowing down the shortening of the protective caps. Telomerase makes them longer.

If you think of your chromosomes, which carry genetic material, as shoelaces, Telomeres are the little protective tips at the end.”

”It’s about keeping healthier for longer.
— Elizabeth Blackburn - Nobel Prize Winner

During our lives these protective tips wear down, cells can’t replenish and they malfunction. This damage changes how cells divide, changes which genetic codes are passed on, changes how the new cells behave. Malfunctioning cells multiple and increase our risk for unwanted health conditions and diseases: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, a weakened immune system and more. But the process is workable. We have more control over our aging, disease processes, and vitality we recognize daily. All by providing careful consideration to how we are treating our Telomeres.

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There are more specialized cells that manage our aging process and overall health. So, taking care of the telomeres in those cells is even more important. Typically speaking these are immune cells and some specific tissue cells.  

It gets a tad deeper. Specific organelles in those cells are what dictate a cell's health. They are the life force of the cell and produce life giving energy; as ATP

Behold the Mighty Mitochondria.  These things inside the cell are the workhorse that create the "currency" that our cells and body spend to think, move, digest, laugh, read, create heartbeats, text, detox the liver, flip the finger, fight infection, drive a car - frankly, they allow us to stay alive. They are critical in fighting off diseases, keeping us injury free, healing, and they slow the process of physiological breakdown; aging. We can have healthy or unhealthy, little or many, hardworking or lazy, mitochondria. How does this tie to together with Telomere length? Studies suggest that telomere dysfunction has a direct link to decreased numbers and the overall poor health of the mitochondria. Number and size of mitochondria in a cell matters. Especially in those precious immune cells and tissue cells like in our heart, brian, lymphatic system. These cells dictate our vitality and how dynamic our lives really are. They also dictate the health of other cells in our body. Unhealthy mitochondria release damaging free radicals. Free radicals attach to cells throughout the body and break them apart. Even healthy cells are at risk of early death by free radical damage. Your telomeres affect mitochondrial health, which has systemic effects in other areas of the body; positive or negative.

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Over time it becomes a vicious cycle with a history of dysfunctional programing. Shortened telomeres pass on bad messages to new cells, who create a population of unhealthy cells, which creates a large number of unhealthy mitochondria, who produce unhealthy free radicals, who damage immune cells and all other cells, who create a body that is now aged, unhealthy, diseased, and unable to live a life. Lowering vitality and quality  of life. 

Why is a BIGGER telomere better? Because they degrade at a lesser rate and pass on more healthy DNA to replicating cells. Specifically passing on its genome (message) to the mitochondria to ensure less damage and more energy to our bodies. Improved telomeres and larger telomeres can help in reversing the damage described above, as well.

As Dr. Blackburn said, "Telomeres listen to you, they listen to your behaviors, they listen to your state of mind." It should come to no surprise to any one of us that not everything is our parents fault, or grandparents for that matter. Science now has proven we can not blame things on our genes as much as we have to look at our unhealthy behaviors. The buck stops here. If you are unhappy with your lack of vitality in life, or suffering from pesky ailments, there's personal responsibility that has to come into play. There is very good news! With proper guidance and personal change, positive impacts can be made to lengthen telomeres and provide healthy mitochondria. 

Poor mitochondrial health is now linked to chronic fatigue syndrome and poor sleep patterns that are epidemic. And other devastating diseases:

  • Schizophrenia and bipolar disease;
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease;
  • Epilepsy, migraines, and nerve pain;
  • Loss of muscle control and balance;
  • Heart disease and strokes;
  • Fibromyalgia;
  • Blindness;
  • Diabetes;
  • Hepatitis C and cirrhosis.

In summary, telomerase increases the size of our telomeres. The longer the telomere the healthier the DNA; healthy DNA produce healthy mitochondria; healthy mitochondria produce large amounts of energy, and for longer periods of time; large amounts of energy for long periods of time increase vitality. 

There are approaches to ensure healthier telomere length. 

How do we get BIGGER, well....uh, er......
— Said Everyone, Always.
  1. There are co-enzymes that can gobble up free radicals before they can cause damage. Also, these co-enzymes reside in the mitochondria reducing the reactions that produce free radicals.
  2. There are amino acids that lower with that vicious cycle. Specific amino acids help transport fuel to the mitochondria and clean up some waste products before they accumulate in the body.
  3. There are specialized antioxidants that have synergistic effects in mitochondrial health. These antioxidants are known to repair damage to dysfunctional mitochondria and other cells. Reversing the aging process.
  4. There are herbs that support the detoxification systems of the energy producing mitochondria. As well as other injured systems.

There are basic positive factors which affect the mitochondria. Quality sleep during the normal circadian rhythm, mindful approaches to psychological stress, and healthy lifestyle choices are a start. 

Some negative, hidden factors are exposures to chemicals. These are found in everyday products like cleaning supplies and detergents, hygiene products, food storage containers, off-gassing from mattresses and furniture, even blue light from the screen you are looking at right now all affect telomeres negatively. Don't underestimate the toxins in the industrialized food supply. In fact, the FDA, after admitting that Glyphosate has dangerous effects, recently increased the allowable usage of the pesticide for U.S. crops. Not to mention it allows some unhealthy additives in our food supply without labeling.

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There are the obvious culprits too. Processed foods. An over dependence on industrial produced grains, fruits, veggies, animal protein, and dairy which lack micronutrient density. Which are filled with unwanted toxins too. Lack of exercise, drinking, medications, the list is very long. But the take away here is that bigger is better and you have the ability to reverse the size of your shortening telomere.

Size does matter!

As a holistic health coach in functional medicine, and a long time veteran in health care, I apply various scientific methods to ensure positive outcomes. These methods are designed to coach up telomere and mitochondrial health. While coaching down the physiological stressors that impact our health negatively. Creating a physiological and psychological environment for optimal health is what I do best as a coach.  To understand this approach better, let me explain. I dive deep into symptoms. Correlate medical history. Analyze the latest blood work. Investigate lower GI & immune health. Identify specific foods that are causing underlying immune stress to the body.

An individual program is then developed for the next 90 days which focuses on healing foods for your body, rejuvenating techniques are provided to boost immunity and wellbeing, discussions around fitness to nurture the body, and key nutrient support to aid injured systems and aid repair, while providing insights within areas of opportunity. We get really involved together. There are timely one on one coaching sessions, candid results and recommendation sessions, and follow up communications during the protocols.

Visit alchemydenova.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. Let's walk together toward optimal health. Really, who doesn't want to be bigger!!!

Sean Merrick