Consider the Following Fact:
Every day, the cells in your body are replicating. The same process that develops a single egg into a human being is occurring constantly to renew your skin, hair, blood cells, and some internal organs.
Our Bodies Always Have On-going cell replication
If you think back to biology class, a cell replicates in two phases. During its first step, interphase, the cell gathers nutrients and begins to duplicate the DNA inside its nucleus. Then the cell splits into two, the mitosis phase. This very process is how you grow as a child. Even when were fully developed, cells continue to split. However, by the time were adults, our cells begin to show some wear and tear. Its sort of like using a copy machine. Your first copy of the original is sharp and clear. But if you continue to copy what comes out of the machine, the original image begins to deteriorate. The same principle applies to the DNA in our cells.
What are the Role of Telomeres?
The ends of DNA strands are called “telomeres.” These telomeres are like protective caps on our genes, containing the essential chromosome information inside. Each time a cell replicates, a portion of the telomere wears away. This shortened telomere is duplicated during the next cell division, and becomes shorter again. Once a telomere has effectively worn away, the cell has reached “old age” and loses its ability to divide.
As you see in the pictureTelomeres could be described as looking like a kite tail. Telomeres prevent chromosomes from becoming frayed, fusing into rings, or binding with other DNA strands. (One way to think of Telomeres is they are like the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces that keeps them from unraveling.)
We mentioned earlier that Telomeres are our bodies age clock. What we mean by this is as we age our telomeres get shorter until when they reach a certain length our body dies. If we can keep our telemeres from getting shorter we can slow down the aging process and thus live longer. The Nobel Prize was awarded in 2009 for this science. What scientists discovered was there is an enzyme called telomerase that help prevent telomeres from becoming shorter.
Nutritional scientists have made breakthrough results in slowing this aging process. By enriching the cells with potent vitamins and minerals, cells are able to replicate in a healthier state and help maintain telomere length. And when telomeres are slower to deteriorate, this in turn delays the very aging process of cells.. Prolonging the lifespan of telomeres helps delay the aging process.