If you take a look around you, it won’t take long for you to notice just how invested our culture is in preserving the fountain of youth. From botox injections to weekly visits to the local oxygen bar, the search for longevity is big business. Unfortunately, when it comes to this quest most are looking for it the wrong direction.
In this recent Health News post, Susan Brady explains a new blood test that measures the length of telomeres, the DNA structure which governs the longevity of dividing cells. Why is this important? The shorter a telomere, the faster a person is aging. Scientists believe that the test will help alert people to the need to better take care of themselves. According to researchers, practices like meditation and relaxation techniques have been shown to increase telomere length.
The men were introduced to their new lifestyle, which lasted for three months, during a three-day residential retreat. They were taught stress reduction techniques, and given instructions on how to follow their strict diet, that involved a 10 percent lower calorie diet from fat, low refined sugars, and a diet filled with fresh fruits, veggies, whole foods, fish oil and supplemental vitamins. They were also taught to incorporate a moderate aerobic activity to their daily regimen and even learned relaxation methods, and breathing techniques.
Telomerase levels for the men were taken at the beginning of the study, and again after the three-month period. Researchers discovered telomerase in the blood increased by 29 percent and bad cholesterol decreased. Telomerase is an enzyme that repairs and lengthens telomeres, a DNA protein complex which affects how fast cells age.
Read more on using meditation and relaxation to increase your lifespan here.