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Chromosomes and Aging

~~Chromosomes and Aging~~ In each of our cells, we have 46 strands of DNA coiled into chromosomes. At the tip of each chromosome, there's a tiny cap called a telomere, which keeps our DNA from unraveling and fraying (kinda like the tips of shoelaces). But every time our cells divide, a bit of that cap is lost. And when that telomere is completely gone, our cells can die. . We can think of telomeres as our life "fuse": they start shortening as soon as we're born, and when they’re gone, we're gone. In fact, forensic scientists can take DNA from a bloodstain and roughly estimate how old the person was based on how long their telomeres were (😱) . So is there anything we can avoid to prevent these telomere caps from burning away? Well, staying away from smoking!... smoking cigarettes is associated with triple the rate of telomere loss. 😷❌😷 And what can we do to keep them long? That answer lies in our diet: the consumption of fruits 🍇, veggies🌱, and other antioxidant-rich foods... These have all been associated with longer protective telomeres. Crazy how far lifestyle changes alone can take us...even at a subcellular level 💪 . 📝 Huzen et al., Telomere length loss due to smoking and metabolic traits. J Intern Med. 2014; 275(2):155-63.

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