Areas where you can take action to improve your health and longevity include:
1. Exercise – A number of studies point to exercise as a powerful way to counteract harmful and telomere shortening effects, such as from stress and trauma. In particular, they point to intensive, interval type exercises, and others that work up a sweat.
2. Diet – While diet theories are always controversial, and there are different approaches that seem to be effective in different studies, it is very clear that diet can have a powerful impact on telomere length and overall healthy aging.
3. Supplements – As any cursory student of dietary science knows, our food supply today (what with processing, soil depletion, etc…) is far from what our ancestors enjoyed. A growing body of research indicates that nutritional supplements can provide us with nutrients that we used to be able to get in our food, as well as new “neutraceutical” combinations shown to have great promise in improving health in a variety of ways. The recommended supplements to take are Vitamin D and Fish Oil
4. Testing – A variety of telomere-specific tests have been underway for decades now, leading to a growing body of data. It generally adds up to “long telomeres good, short telomeres bad” (best repeated in a Frankenstein voice!) But the ultimate truth is not that simple, and here again a variety of opinions abound around the value of measuring average telomere lengths versus one’s shortest telomeres; measuring the Telomerase enzyme in addition to the lengths themselves, and a variety of other related tests that may offer additional value.
5. Meditation, Stress Reduction, & Sleep – The science is clear that too much stress is not good for us. And that includes for our telomeres. Studies also show that meditation, and potentially other methods of stress reduction, can specifically counteract these negative effects.