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Daily Freak Out: A Blood Test Can Predict Your Life Length

Telomere length may be associated with life length, but that’s not the only factor when it comes to aging.

| July 26th, 2011
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Daily Freak Out: A Blood Test Can Predict Your Life Length

This morning, the Daily Mail asked us, “Are YOU brave enough to take the test that tells you how long you'll live?”

To which we answered, maybe not!

Said test measures your telomeres, which may sound like the latest must-have PDA, but they're actually found in every cell of your body. Here’s a quick science lesson:

QUIZ: Health Vitality Quiz

Our chromosomes house all of our genetic information, and are constantly replicating themselves as we age. To keep the DNA neatly packaged inside the chromosomes as they copy themselves, we have some ‘glue’ at the end of the chromosomes, called telomeres. These tiny telomeres get even tinier each time they replicate. When they become too short, they can’t protect the DNA like they used to, leaving us vulnerable to mutations or cell death. Sounds like a fancy way to say aging.

From inner aging like chronic inflammation and to outer aging like wrinkles, it appears that telomere length can be a glimpse into our life length.

What can your results look like?

For 42-year-old Vincent Graff, he found out he has the body of a 40-year-old, based on the fact that 21.7 percent of his telomeres were categorized as short. (Apparently, someone in their 40s has about 23 percent of their telomeres shortened, on average.)

Freak out factor: Medium

Telomere shortening is a real thing. You may not know how many of your telomeres are “short,” but you don’t need a number to take action against aging.

You can slow down the telomere shortening through the everyday wellness habits (that we talk about at YouBeauty every day!). Eat a healthy diet high in vegetables and whole grains and low in sugars and saturated fat. Strive to take 10,000 steps per day. Focus on sleeping eight hours each evening. De-stress daily with short meditation sessions.

If that doesn’t excite you enough, it may be possible to lengthen those telomeres, if our blood cells can kickstart an enzyme (telomerase). Researchers are looking to develop such a wonder drug.

In the meantime, sit tight. Or rather, take a nice walk.

Thinkstock
Daily Freak Out: A Blood Test Can Predict Your Life Length

This morning, the Daily Mail asked us, “Are YOU brave enough to take the test that tells you how long you'll live?”

To which we answered, maybe not!

Said test measures your telomeres, which may sound like the latest must-have PDA, but they're actually found in every cell of your body. Here’s a quick science lesson:

QUIZ: Health Vitality Quiz

Our chromosomes house all of our genetic information, and are constantly replicating themselves as we age. To keep the DNA neatly packaged inside the chromosomes as they copy themselves, we have some ‘glue’ at the end of the chromosomes, called telomeres. These tiny telomeres get even tinier each time they replicate. When they become too short, they can’t protect the DNA like they used to, leaving us vulnerable to mutations or cell death. Sounds like a fancy way to say aging.

From inner aging like chronic inflammation and to outer aging like wrinkles, it appears that telomere length can be a glimpse into our life length.

What can your results look like?

For 42-year-old Vincent Graff, he found out he has the body of a 40-year-old, based on the fact that 21.7 percent of his telomeres were categorized as short. (Apparently, someone in their 40s has about 23 percent of their telomeres shortened, on average.)

Freak out factor: Medium

Telomere shortening is a real thing. You may not know how many of your telomeres are “short,” but you don’t need a number to take action against aging.

You can slow down the telomere shortening through the everyday wellness habits (that we talk about at YouBeauty every day!). Eat a healthy diet high in vegetables and whole grains and low in sugars and saturated fat. Strive to take 10,000 steps per day. Focus on sleeping eight hours each evening. De-stress daily with short meditation sessions.

If that doesn’t excite you enough, it may be possible to lengthen those telomeres, if our blood cells can kickstart an enzyme (telomerase). Researchers are looking to develop such a wonder drug.

In the meantime, sit tight. Or rather, take a nice walk.

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