Telomere Toxins and How to Protect Against Them
Telomeres are the protective endings of chromosomes, offering defense against cellular damage that may harm the human body. But for better or for worse, telomeres are largely affected by a number of factors, including self-imposed and environmental toxins. From consuming too much sugar to being exposed by pesticides, learn what may disturb telomeres and how protect them.
The link between a high-sugar diet and health are well-known, including the risks of weight gain, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. But not only can over consuming sugary products increase the risk of obesity and other health conditions, but may shorten telomere length. While swapping from regular to diet soda seems to be a healthier alternative, and the warrant is still out regarding the affects on telomeres, pouring evidence suggests diet soda may be harming to both physical and mental health.
Alcohol and Cigarettes
Although red wine does show to have positive outcomes towards longevity, too much alcohol may impede on health, including negotiated telomeres. While cigarettes are undeniably harmful to health, and even beyond the rising risk of lung disease and cancer, individuals who smoke may be shortening their telomeres and taking precious years off life that much quicker. Airborne chemicals and heavy metals found in cigarette smoke, including cadmium and polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAHs), may also compromise telomere health.
In such a busy world and juggling all of life's responsibilities, feeling stressed is inevitable. And while "sweating the small stuff" may not considerably disturb health, ongoing stress can shorten telomeres, subsequently creating a sluggish immune system and increasing vulnerability to colds and other illnesses.
According to the Telomere Effect, seven pesticides have been linked to significantly shorter telomeres, including metolachlor; trifluralin; 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (also known as 2,4-D); permethrin; toxaphene; and DDT. Their exposure is related to their initiation of oxidative stress, as when the stress accumulates, telomeres are shown to shorten. Additional environmental exposures include arsenic common to drinking water and some foods, BPA (Bisphenol-A) found in water bottles, and dioxins and furans released from industrial processes.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Telomeres
Although more research is validated to better understand the relationship between telomere toxins and cell damage, the following measures can lessen and prevent such risk:
• Evaluate Your Diet
First off, men and women should limit added sugar intake to no more than 36 grams (nine teaspoons) and 25 grams (six teaspoons) per day, respectively. Ultimately, reduce highly processed foods and create a telomere-friendly diet by incorporating colorful produce, fatty fish, whole grains, legumes, and coffee and green tea.
• Moderate Alcohol and Stop Smoking
It is vital to stick to the concept of moderation if you do choose to drink. Men are encouraged to consume no more than two alcoholic drink servings per day while women are limited to one. Additionally, the importance of smoking cessation cannot be stressed enough.
• Practice Stress-Relieving Techniques
As mentioned chronic stress can be extremely harmful to health. But rather than feeding emotions with food, pouring out alcohol, or other harmful practices, practice healthy stress-relieving techniques. The practices of yoga, meditation, mindfulness can naturally reduce stress, along with embracing a total lifestyle change filled with a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep.
• Purchase Natural Products
Like the recommendation of consuming whole, natural foods, individuals are encouraged to implement the notion when purchasing household cleaners and makeups. Click here to find your ultimate guide to homemade all-natural cleaning recipes.
• Reduce Environmental Exposures
Environmental exposures may just be one of the hardest to manage. Although coming into contact with external toxins may not always be avoidable, there are ways to reduce exposure. If living in a city, try planting trees and basking in greenery, as correlations suggest doing so may be protective. Additionally, The Telomere Effect advises to avoid living near major roadways and passive smoke if possible.