Article by Ceri Wheeldon
According to scientists , a 120 year life span is feasible, not for our generation, but for people being born today. But if we live longer, what can we do to ensure our later years are healthy and productive? This is the second in a three part series where I asked Yuri Medzinovsky, Director General of Longevity & Beauty Residence GLMED, and some of his medical colleagues about the prospects for extending lifespan to 120 years (and staying active and healthy as well) There is a lot of information which is why I have split the answers into three separate posts to make it a little easier to digest.
This post covers the role of telomeres and peptides in longevity
Part 1 talks specifically about lifestyle and how our individual lifestyles can impact the ageing process and Part 3 covers the difference between our biological age and our chronological age, and the things that we can do to reduce our biological age.
Q:What is the role of telomeres when it comes to ageing? Can we do anything to change the length of our own telomeres?
An: Genomic instability and telomere dysfunction are of critical importance for ageing both at a cellular level and beyond. There is an abundance of studies demonstrating that failure in telomere maintenance is strongly associated with premature ageing phenotypes and age-related diseases like inflammation, cardiac disease, cancer and neurodegeneration. Additionally, research has been published showing that telomere length can be used to stratify risk in cardiovascular diseases as well as provide prognostic information on mortality risk in type 2 diabetes and many types of cancers. This is not only important for diagnostic and prognostic reasons, but also for the continuous monitoring of an individual’s progress after the initiation of anti-ageing interventions. It is important to mention that in order to attain a more comprehensive understanding of one’s telomere status, a greater variety of data is required (such as the number and percentage of critically short telomeres and histograms of telomere length distribution). That is why in our GLMED Residence we use only modern and scientifically approved technology for telomere measuring.
Anti-ageing interventions impact on the telomere lengths
- Caloric restriction.
In two studies that took place in 2014 and 2016, the telomere lengths of 74 and 42 obese adults respectively were measured before and after weight loss interventions. In both studies, it was observed that the telomere lengths of the participants were longer after the interventions.
- Physical activity.
A study taking into account leucocyte telomere length in a population of 6,503 individuals showed that movement-based behaviours are associated with reduced odds of being in the lowest 30%. Moreover, in two other studies, running-specific physical activity as well as ultra-endurance aerobic exercise were shown to be linked to longer telomere lengths, further emphasising the significance of exercise in longevity.
- Alcohol consumption.
Even minor alcohol consumption in midlife has been found to be associated to shorter telomere lengths in old age
There is aggregated evidence that smoking is linked to telomere length and greater shortening is observed in smokers compared to individuals who do not smoke.
Stress and depression are harmful to telomeres and someditation is a very good addition to one’s routine for protecting telomeres(20). This can probably be explained by the fact that meditation and other stress avoidance techniques help is avoid the experiences of negative emotions.
- Interventions through diet, nutrition and supplements.
There is compelling evidence on various antioxidant solutions that have clearly demonstrated their telo-protective effects. These include carotenoids, vitamins A, E,C, folic acid, green tea and coffee beans due to their antioxidant potential. It is worth mentioning that various minerals like magnesium and potassium can also bring significant health benefits in terms of telomere protection. In a longitudinal study conducted within a 5 year period of, the rate of telomere attrition was significantly lower in those patients with baseline blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids, suggesting their beneficial role in telomere maintenance.
The role of Peptides
Q: Peptide production – what is the role of peptides and what are peptide bioregulators? How do they work? What are the benefits?
An:Peptide bioregulators are considered as a new class of geroprotectors, because several long-term studies proved that the administration of peptide bioregulators enables effective prevention of premature ageing and therapy of age-related diseases.
Relying on the concept of peptide bioregulation, it was possible to formulate a theory of endogenous peptide bioregulators’ involvement in the maintenance of structural and functional homeostasis of cell populations, containing and producing these factors. These endogenous peptides became commonly known as “Cytomedins”.
Cytomedins control gene expression and protein synthesis, thus preventing age-related accumulation of quantitative structural and functional alterations, which are the markers of the transition of a biological system from the norm to the pathology. Disordered peptide bioregulation reduces organism resistance to external and internal destabilising factors, serving a cause of premature ageing.
Part One: Lifestyle Tips to live longer
Part Three: Biological v Chronological Age