The relationship of “live nutrition” with telomeres and telomerase

In 1962, the American scientist L. Hayflick revolutionized the field of cell biology by creating the concept of telomeres, known as the Hayflick limit. According to Hayflick, the maximum (potentially) duration of human life is one hundred and twenty years – this is the age when too many cells are no longer capable of dividing, and the organism dies. 

The mechanism by which nutrients affect telomere length is through food affecting telomerase, the enzyme that adds telomeric repeats to the ends of DNA. 

Thousands of studies have been devoted to telomerase. They are known for maintaining genomic stability, preventing unwanted activation of DNA damage pathways, and regulating cell aging. 

In 1984, Elizabeth Blackburn, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco, discovered that the enzyme telomerase was able to lengthen telomeres by synthesizing DNA from an RNA primer. In 2009, Blackburn, Carol Greider, and Jack Szostak received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering how telomeres and the enzyme telomerase protect chromosomes. 

It is possible that knowledge of telomeres will give us the opportunity to significantly increase life expectancy. Naturally, researchers are developing pharmaceuticals of this kind, but there is ample evidence that a simple lifestyle and proper nutrition are also effective. 

This is good, because short telomeres are a risk factor – they lead not only to death, but also to numerous diseases. 

So, shortening of telomeres is associated with diseases, the list of which is given below. Animal studies have shown that many diseases can be eliminated by restoring telomerase function. This is a reduced resistance of the immune system to infections, and type XNUMX diabetes, and atherosclerotic damage, as well as neurodegenerative diseases, testicular, splenic, intestinal atrophy.

A growing body of research shows that certain nutrients play a significant role in protecting telomere length and have a significant impact on longevity, including iron, omega-3 fats, and vitamins E and C, vitamin D3, zinc, vitamin B12. 

Below is a description of some of these nutrients.


Astaxanthin has an excellent anti-inflammatory effect and effectively protects DNA. Studies have shown that it is able to protect DNA from damage caused by gamma radiation. Astaxanthin has many unique traits that make it an outstanding compound. 

For example, it is the most powerful oxidizing carotenoid capable of “washing out” free radicals: astaxanthin is 65 times more effective than vitamin C, 54 times more effective than beta-carotene, and 14 times more effective than vitamin E. It is 550 times more effective than vitamin E, and 11 times more effective than beta-carotene in neutralizing singlet oxygen. 

Astaxanthin crosses both the blood-brain and blood-retinal barrier (beta-carotene and the carotenoid lycopene are not capable of this), so that the brain, eyes and central nervous system receive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection. 

Another property that distinguishes astaxanthin from other carotenoids is that it cannot act as a prooxidant. Many antioxidants act as pro-oxidants (i.e., they begin to oxidize instead of counteracting oxidation). However, astaxanthin, even in large amounts, does not act as an oxidizing agent. 

Finally, one of the most important properties of astaxanthin is its unique ability to protect the entire cell from destruction: both its water-soluble and fat-soluble parts. Other antioxidants affect only one or the other part. Astaxanthin’s unique physical characteristics allow it to reside in the cell membrane, protecting the interior of the cell as well. 

An excellent source of astaxanthin is the microscopic alga Haematococcus pluvialis, which grows in the Swedish archipelago. In addition, astaxanthin contains good old blueberries. 


Ubiquinol is a reduced form of ubiquinone. In fact, ubiquinol is ubiquinone that has attached a hydrogen molecule to itself. Found in broccoli, parsley and oranges.

Fermented Foods/Probiotics 

It is clear that a diet consisting mainly of processed foods shortens life expectancy. Researchers believe that in future generations, multiple genetic mutations and functional disorders leading to diseases are possible – for the reason that the current generation actively consumes artificial and processed foods. 

Part of the problem is that processed foods, loaded with sugar and chemicals, are effective at destroying gut microflora. The microflora affects the immune system, which is the body’s natural defense system. Antibiotics, stress, artificial sweeteners, chlorinated water, and many other things also reduce the amount of probiotics in the gut, which predisposes the body to disease and premature aging. Ideally, the diet should include traditionally cultivated and fermented foods. 

Vitamin K2

This vitamin could very well be “another vitamin D” as research shows the vitamin’s many health benefits. Most people get adequate amounts of vitamin K2 (because it is synthesized by the body in the small intestine) to keep the blood coagulating at an adequate level, but this amount is not enough to protect the body from serious health problems. For example, studies in recent years show that vitamin K2 may protect the body against prostate cancer. Vitamin K2 is also beneficial for heart health. Contained in milk, soy (in large quantities – in natto). 


Magnesium plays an important role in the reproduction of DNA, its restoration and the synthesis of ribonucleic acid. Long-term magnesium deficiency results in shortened telomeres in rat bodies and in cell culture. The lack of magnesium ions negatively affects the health of the genes. Lack of magnesium reduces the body’s ability to repair damaged DNA and causes abnormalities in the chromosomes. In general, magnesium affects telomere length, as it is associated with DNA health and its ability to repair itself, and increases the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and inflammation. Found in spinach, asparagus, wheat bran, nuts and seeds, beans, green apples and lettuce, and sweet peppers.


Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that can slow down the process.

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