Telomeres are long patterns of nucleotides (nuclei acids) found at the ends of the DNA.  When born a given DNA strand will have about 1500 units at each end.  As we age, these units get shorter and shorter.  But, there is something we can do about it.   

Telomeres were first identified in the 1970s by the Russian, Alexei Olovnikov, who recognized that they were required for cell division.  Between 1975-77, Yale University Post doctoral Elizabeth Blackburn discovered the nature of the telomeres, how telomeres and telomerase protect the chromosomes) and along with Carol Greider and Jack Szoastak won the Nobel Prize in 2009 in Physiology or Medicine.

When i was in Naturopathic College, there was an examination of the theory on how shortened telomeres were correlated with shortened lifespan…you need the telomeres to attach to the sides of the nucleus in order to have cell replication.  Replication of cells, along with other issues like free radicals, destroy the number of telomeres and eventually the cell cannot replicate.

Glutathione, along with a number of other anti-oxidants, protect the telomeres from being damaged by free radicals.  But glutathione does more than that.  Glutathione actually provokes the telomerase enzyme to produce more telomeres – yeah!!!  So we need to get our levels of glutathione up.

How do we do that?  Well first, we need the Methylation Cycle, which includes the Methionine Cycle, Folate Cycle, Biopterin Cycle and Urea Cycle, to function effectively in each cell.  All four components of the Methylation Cycle need to be functioning, because they are all inter-dependent.  If one goes down, they all go down.   The Methylation cycle is required for a huge number of cellular functions.

What are the most important nutrients for the Methylation Cycle?  Your B6, B9, B12 and the amino acids (methionine and cysteine in the methionine cycle) but others required for the Biopterin cycle.

Next we need to have our Mitochondria functioning and for that we need vital nutrients like:  CoQ10, iron, magnesium

Next we need the DNA to produce the mRNA tools required to regulate/synthesize the telomeres/enzymes and for that we need nutrients like: amino acids

Note:  these same components are required to regulate and synthesize glutathione!!  And glutathione is one of the most important compounds in the body – it is involved in all the different processes!!  Master anti-oxidant, master chelator, anti-inflammatory, respiratory, immune system, cellular transport,

So how do we get all these nutrients that support the Glutathione which in turns both protects and provokes more telomeres?  Our food naturally!!

What foods are best?

  • Hemp seed/oil  (has all your amino acids)
  • Eggs (has choline and B vitamins
  • Green leafy vegetables (high in Vit B9):  asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, beet/collard/turnip greens, spinach, etc
  • Lentils
  • Seeds:  hemp, flax, salba, sesame, sunflower, etc

It is so easy to help the body, when we know what foods to feast on to get the nutrients we need.

For more information on Glutathione and telomeres, click here.    Glutathion-Book

Here’s to your health!

For more information, contact: Dr Holly at holly@choicesunlimited.ca

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