Our DNA says a lot about us. In fact, we are composed of our DNA and everything is written on it.
But the most important fact that our DNA can reveal us is the time of death.
This sounds strange, but its true. More specifically, a region on the DNA sequence-called telomere- can indicate life expectancy!
A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromatid, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighbouring chromosomes. For vertebrates, the sequence of nucleotides in telomeres is TTAGGG. During cell division, enzymes that duplicate the chromosome and its DNA cannot continue their duplication all the way to the end of the chromosome.If cells divided without telomeres, they would lose the ends of their chromosomes, and the necessary information they contain.
Telomeres protect a cell’s chromosomes from fusing with each other or rearranging—abnormalities which can lead to cancer—and so cells are normally destroyed when their telomeres are consumed.
But the most important function a telomere can have is being the most powerful biological clock,,revealing us a lifespan prediction. The telomeres are disposable buffers blocking the ends of the chromosomes and are consumed during cell division and replenished by an enzyme, the telomerase reverse transcriptase.The telomere shortening mechanism normally limits cells to a fixed number of divisions, and animal studies suggest that this is responsible for aging on the cellular level and sets a limit on lifespans.
So, When we are born, our telomeres are longer. As you get older, they shorten and this is progressive in time.
When the telomeres run out, the cell becomes inactive or dies, which leads to disease and later to death.. Some scientists have figured out ways to lengthen telomeres, but this isn’t the perfect solution becouse telomeres that keep their length can lead to other complications like cancer.Scientists are still working on this, which seems to be the key of the eternal life, but its still too soon to have results.
Althought, there is a good news in all this history. Telomere Length can be influenced by nutrition.
Food that contain vitamin D3, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C and E can influence telomere length. The mechanism by which nutrients appear to affect telomere length is by influencing the activity of Telomerase,the enzyme that adds the telomeric repeats to the ends of our DNA.
Very important on affecting the telomere lenghth seems to be also: walking 30 minutes per day; stress management(Yoga,stretching or meditation);eating healthy( a diet with vegetables and fruits).
Eventhought we can’t control the clocks that surrenders us, it seems to be possible to control our biological clocks,with a good life,a balanced diet and giving up from bad habits ,such as smoking or drinking.

This article was adapted from ifl science

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