“We know it only takes one critically short telomere to make a cell die, so it’s clear that the more really short telomeres a person has the faster problems will develop.” ~ Carol Greider
We talk a lot about longevity in our house and are fascinated with the concept of living the longest, healthiest life possible. Longevity is foremost in our minds when we choose the foods we eat, the water we drink, supplements we take, thoughts we think, words we say, the air we breathe, and virtually every aspect of our lives. We often ask each other, “Is this the most life-affirming choice we can make at this moment?” Some people may find this extreme but it works for us.
Recently we were asked to be part of a study that checks the length of our telomeres to see what our “real” ages are. In very simple terms, telomeres are the small pieces at the ends of all DNA strands that keep them from unraveling. The telomeres shorten a little bit each time the DNA replicates. So you can imagine that over years of DNA replication, telomeres get shorter and shorter.
By taking a blood sample, extracting the DNA and measuring them, you can then compare them to the telomeres of other people in all age categories. This will help you determine if you are slowing down or speeding up your aging process or if you are staying in the range for your age category. It is the most objective and quantifiable test to determine the real age that I am aware of.
So, how did we do? Are our health and lifestyle choices really making a difference? Is our fascination with longevity paying off? Has all this work been worth it?
You bet it is!
My test results came back verifying that my telomeres are the length of someone in their mid to late twenties. Not bad for someone turning fifty this year. I basically cut my age in half! I’m doing a happy dance and drinking a green smoothie to celebrate. And Peter? Well, Peter doesn’t reveal his real age but he is a senior citizen according to the calendar. However, according to his telomeres, he is only 35 years old. WOW!
This is amazing verification that what we are doing is adding years and vitality to our lives. Whether we live another ten or one hundred years, we are happy that we will be living the most vibrant and healthy lives possible. We agree that quality of life is of utmost importance to us. So, if it takes a little extra thought and effort, we feel it is worth it. And it seems our telomeres agree.
How about you?
Are you making the most life-affirming choices possible? Is a vital and vibrant life important to you? Do you enjoy being fully awake and alive? The choice is yours.