Meet the Telomeres: Everything You Need to Know

As we grow older, we understand that our bodies undergo a series of transitions. But a question arises on the genuine causes of aging with time. Theories reveal that some important components contribute to this, regarded as telomeres. Is that all there is to telomeres?

What are Telomeres?

Telomeres are chromosome ends that contain repetitive sequences of a type of DNA known as non-coding DNA. This DNA provides protection for the chromosome from being damaged. For every cell division in the body, the telomeres shorten, but it reaches a point where they get shorter and cannot undergo cell division as it advances.

Functions of Telomeres

Ordinarily, telomeres serve three significant purposes in our body. There may be other derived benefits from scientific applications or manipulations, but these three functions are the core functions of telomeres.

  1. Telomeres are responsible for the organization of every chromosome in the 46 chromosomes in the powerhouse of our cells, the nucleus.
  2. Telomeres form a cap at the ends of chromosomes to prevent them from mixing and sticking together. You can liken this to having plastic tips on your shoelaces.
  3. Telomeres are responsible for the successful replication of the chromosome in the case of cell division.

Over time, the telomeres protect important DNA from being lost after every DNA replication. This is because there is a shortage of chromosomes after every replication, and telomeres are the ones that get lost as parts of the chromosome while the DNA remains unscratched.

Does Exercise Lengthen Telomeres?

Some individuals conducted observational studies and revealed that a population that engages in high physical activity levels tend to have telomere with long length. Likewise, athletes appear to have longer telomeres than non-athletes in this regard.

How Can I Increase Telomeres?

When you consider the kind of nutrition or supplements to increase your telomeres, prioritize fruits and vegetables. That’s because they contain a high level of antioxidants. They have a high level of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and selenium. As a result, foods obtained from plants are highly recommended.