Hello! As promised, I’m back from my blogging break. I accomplished a lot, went on a trip with my husband for our 25th wedding anniversary, and did some planning and organizing (my favorite things)!
As a health and wellness enthusiast, I’d like to introduce you to what scientists now recognize as one of the primary biological indicator of health and aging . . . it’s called a telomere.
If you have never heard of telomeres, let me give you a little background. We’ll have to zoom all the way in to the human cell and chromosomes.
If it’s been awhile since you had a biology class, chromosomes are the part of our cells which hold DNA, or genetic information. Telomeres are the protective end-caps on chromosomes, keeping them from fraying away . . . much like shoelace tips. Suffice to say, these protective caps are critically important for our cells to continue functioning properly.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that, as we age, these caps can wear down, which allows chromosomes to be damaged. When that happens, cells don’t work properly and we begin to experience diseases and conditions commonly associated with aging.
Our bodies also produce an enzyme (telomerase) which can build the telomeres back up, but it does not always work very well over an entire lifetime.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn has been studying chromosomes and telomeres for nearly 40 years. In 2009, she and fellow researchers received a Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.
Since that time, telomeres have gained a reputation as one of the greatest predictors of longevity and Dr. Blackburn has been researching the effects diet, exercise, lifestyle habits and other interventions have on telomeres and telomerase production. As she puts it, “That’s the thing that really matters for a lot of people – what’s their health going to be like.”
Dr. Blackburn uses the term “health-span”, which is the time in your life you stay mostly healthy and don’t have a real frailty or disease or some disability that affects your life. Since we all want our health-span to be as close as possible to our life-span, her research focuses on enhancing human health and wellness through telomere protection and restoration.
For the past few years, Dr. Blackburn has been working with Shaklee researchers to learn more about what people can do to live younger longer. You will probably NOT be surprised that, yet again, healthy diet, exercise, and adequate sleep have been shown to slow the aging process! Additionally, her research indicates that stress causes telomere damage, while having a sense of purpose in life helps strengthen them.
Dr. Blackburn’s team also discovered Shaklee supplements significantly improve telomere length. In fact, Dr. Blackburn’s Telomere Study projects that an 80-year-old Shaklee supplement user would have the same telomere length as a 41-year-old non-supplement user. These findings reinforce the 2007 Landmark Study which proved the health of Shaklee supplement users far surpassed that of a general healthy population who were an average of ten years younger.
“The Shaklee population is remarkably healthier than the general population, as shown by two studies, The Landmark Study on long-term nutritional supplement users, and the Telomere Study.” – Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
These studies confirm what I and other Shaklee users already know about the benefits of quality Shaklee supplements for better health.