LOOKING AFTER YOUR TELOMERES
As we age everything seems to slow down and becomes harder to do. More creaks, aches and wrinkles appear and what took us 10 minutes now takes 15 minutes and sometimes even longer. So what happens?
The average maximum life span of humans currently stands at 85 years though this can vary depending on where you live in the world. Scientists have discovered that telomeres, which are a sequence of nucleic acids extending from the ends of chromosomes, act to maintain the integrity of these chromosomes. These telomeres are often described as the plastic ends of shoe laces that stop the fraying. So each time a cell divides the telomeres become shorter leading to cellular damage and cellular death associated with ageing.
So what can we do to slow this process down? Firstly reduce stress, as the more stressed you are the shorter your telomeres. Meditation, yoga or just simply walking 20 minutes per day will do this. Find something you look forward to doing rather than something you avoid or dread. Once you start it will slowly become a habit.
There are of course many other contributing factors and a deep peaceful sleep is one of them along with a healthy diet, 1½ litres of water per day and a body that detoxifies continually. Also involved are hormones and the endocrine system.
Let’s start with sleep. A cool, dark room with no laptops or TV is required. If you have these ensure they are unplugged before you go to sleep. Definitely no mobile phones either as these are connected to satellites which in turn send electro magnetic radiation to the hypothalamus. This gland within the brain is responsible for sleep, emotional activity and hormones via the pituitary gland. Eating a large steak at night will also prevent a good night’s sleep as the body needs to break this down instead of resting. You are likely to spend most of the night tossing and turning, particularly between 1 to 3 am. The best sleep is before midnight and awaking at the same time each morning allows a resetting of your circadian rhythm. If you have had a late night it is far better to have a power nap later in the day.
Now to food. Each meal should include nutrient rich fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes. Basically your food needs to be “slow” not “fast”. I see far more health issues with patients on fast food diets than any thing else. And as you wash the outside of your body daily remember the inside needs the same treatment. Ensure it is just water too; no slice of lemon, tea or coffee added. These are always in addition to your daily requirement of 1½ litres water.
HGH (Human Growth Hormone), DHEA, melatonin, progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone all slow down as we grow older. These can be helped with herbal formulations, bio identical hormones (hormones with the exact same structure as the hormones made in your body – hence the name “bio identical”) and medication. If medication is required full bloods tests are undertaken to ensure there are no contraindications and to ascertain the exact dosage your body requires.
The minute a person decides to detoxify they rush off and buy a liver detox pill or potion. Some of these can have unpleasant side effects. The first thing to do is look at your diet. Cut out all the sugars, yeasts, dairy, wheat and alcohol. Increase vegetables, fruit, and have wholesome casseroles and soups. Reduce main meals down to entrée size but ensure they still contain all your nutrients. And of course gentle exercise is required to get the lymphatics pumping. There are a couple of products that may assist with detoxification. The first is Glutathione, a substance found in every cell of the body, and often called the master antioxidant. It also regulates the actions of Vitamin C and E.
Glutathione regulates and regenerates immune cells and is the most valuable detoxifying agent in the body. It is important in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport, detoxification of toxins and carcinogens, and protection from oxidation and enzyme activations. Glutathione also has strong antiviral properties.
Next is the all time favourite Vitamin C. This vitamin is linked to the prevention of degenerative diseases – such as cataracts, certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases. It also promotes healthy cell development, increases calcium absorption and assists with normal tissue growth and repair. Vitamin C assists in the prevention of blood clotting and bruising, and strengthens the walls of capillaries. It is needed for healthy gums, protection and assistance in clearing up infections and is thought to enhance the immune system, help reduce cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and prevent atherosclerosis. Taking a good quality omega supplement is another essential as is Vitamin D. Please be wary of the fillers and heavy metals found in many of the cheaper brands available.
There are many other ways to slow down the ageing process and at the Clinic all these issues can be addressed to assist you with health and wellbeing. Ageing in years does not necessarily mean a decline in health, energy, or looks. I have several elderly patients whose active lifestyles and glowing health speak of the power of positive thinking too. Remember your body is actually your best friend and showering it with brilliant nutrition, plenty of fluid, early nights and messages of love will see it thrive regardless of your age.