How old are you really?

How old are you really? Welcome to the world of anti-aging medicine and the Telomere test, which serves as a prognostic marker for aging, disease, and premature morbidity. Telomeres are DNA at the end of each chromosome that serve as a cap to one's genetic material.  When a cell replicates, its telomere typically shortens. The shorter a telomere is, the shorter the cell's lifespan.

In addition to being a marker for cellular aging, shorter telomeres are associated with:

  • obesity
  • metabolic abnormalities
  • cancer
  • degenerative processes
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • dementia
  • cardiovascular disease
Chromosome Telomeres
Chromosome Telomeres

A recently published study led by Dr. Dean Ornish revealed that - surprise? - improved diet, increased physical activity, better stress management, and social support changes actually increased telomere length in the treatment group, whereas the control group's telomere length shortened per the typical aging rate.

When consuming an anti-inflammatory, whole-food diet with an emphasis on raw vegetables and fruits, as well as high quality oils and fats such as are found in wild-caught fish and fish oils, coconut oil, and other omega-3 oils, the rate of telomere shortening is curbed (or actually reversed, as this latest study showed).

If you want to literally "grow out" your telomeres, I recommend you study up on and implement the 10 tips, go out for a daily walk, and enjoy a healthy social milieu. To test your telomere length, please visit Spectracell Laboratory's site to familiarize yourself with the testing process and to order a test kit. Alternatively, you may find a clinician in your area to administer and interpret the test.

healthy food ingredients

10 tips on how to live long and not get sick - eating well!

We’ve all heard the famous adage “You are what you eat.” This quote by Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, is OH SO TRUE: Good dietary health is the single most important factor when it comes to having a long and healthy life. However, the biggest problem is the barrage of misinformation funneled our way by the powers that be. The good news is that eating to nourish is really quite simple.

Here are 10 eating tips to last a (long) lifetime:

  1. Eating more vegetables
  2. Eat more fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled foods)
  3. If you must eat grains, eat unprocessed, whole grains
  4. Eat more seafood, less meat
  5. Eat more raw foods
  6. Avoid milk and milk products
  7. Avoid sugar and other sweeteners, esp. artificial sweeteners
  8. Avoid processed, “dead” food (good thing Twinkies are off the shelf! :) )
  9. Drink 2-3 glasses of mineral-rich filtered water 3 times daily, preferably 30-60 minutes before each meal
  10. Be disciplined! Put thought and focus into what you eat, how you eat it, and when you eat it

As to the proportions:

  • 85% of your food should come from fruits and vegetables
  • 10% of your food should come from protein
  • 5% from nuts, legumes, and seeds, and 0% from dairy, grains, and sugar/other sweeteners

Here are a few extra pointers to help optimize the amazing effect that your new eating habits will have on your body:

  1. Ensure bowel regularity. This means 2-3 bowel movements daily, for proper elimination of waste and toxins.
  2. Take time to exercise. Daily correct exercise increases mobility and motility of internal organs and tissues, better fluid dynamics within the body, and stronger, more resilient muscles, bones, and connective tissue. Proper exercise also powers more O2 into your cells.
  3. Take time to sleep. Good sleep = good health. The average adult needs at least 8 solid hours per night.
  4. Relax mentally and physically. This encourages reduced stress, which in turns discourages inflammatory processes in the body.

Have fun and enjoy feeling better and better. And please consider that it takes at least 6 weeks to form new habits, probably more since it involves eating habits, which are some of the toughest to change. Lastly, beware: you may find that as your body shapes up, your medications might need some adjustment...