Madrilene Interview #5: A hot story – telomeres / telomerase…
M. – Lately there is a lot of talk about the involvement of telomeres / telomerase within our daily lives. However the majority of people consider this problem as belonging rather to the science fiction realm. Immediately after my arrival in US you have recommended me to take part in an individual program to activate telomerase, which I did as instructed. My question is, how relevant can it be, here and now, this telomeres / telomerase story for all of our readers, equally men and women?
F. – The actual relevance of telomerase activation is extraordinary and it does not exclusively concern the Hollywood stars or government executives. All individuals characterized by a proactive attitude have to ask themselves about their personal status of telomeres. After my arrival in US (1997) I have bestowed a special attention to the connection between stress (emotions), the state / length of telomeres and the so-called apoptosis process; my interest was seriously amplified by the lecture of a very accessible article (authors: Epel E.S. et al, titled: Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress – Proc. Natl Acad Sci USA 2004, Dec 07, 101 (49):17312-5). As a joke I must mention that the term “et al” seen above also includes Elizabeth Blackburn – a remarkable researcher that last year she was distinguished with a Nobel Prize along with two other telomerist colleagues – Carol Greider and Jack Szostak. The subject being vast I wish to limit myself to a couple of ideas / points that, in my opinion, just open the gate (if there is interest we will return with a new Madrilene Interview entirely dedicated to the structure and dynamics of telomeres and the activation of telomerase).
- In contrast with the already well-known researchers in this field that limit themselves into considering only oxidative stress, I promote a broader approach thinking that the non-oxidative stress is just as important (see Copper Overload – the Western Metabolic Bomb, on this blog).
- The length of telomeres (that can reach 15,000 of pairs of bases) influences not only the life duration but equally its quality, for instance there are studies demonstrating the correlation between telomeres shortness and colon cancer.
- The deactivation state of telomerase is mainly determined by the excess of cortisol in the system, in other words by the adrenal glands status.
- The telomerase enzyme (actually a transferase) is constituted by two subsystems: a protein and a RNA subunit.
- The interest toward the control of the relationship between telomeres / telomerase is doubled: the activation targets the cellular / organismic immortality while deactivation / removal from the system target the eradication of all types of cancer.
- A study from England has established that poor people have shorter telomeres with about 10 years than the rich ones. The explanation would be a different stress perception as much as the available anti-stress defenses.
- The ones that wish to immediately take over the initiative in the (re)activation process of telomerase can do the following steps:
- To be… happy, to exclude any sources of negative emotional tensions such as envy, revenge desire, etc. having as an outcome massive cortisol increase; evidently this entails to become more flexible, more forgiving (hard isn’t it?); I emphasize that this apparently naïve message does not come from either religion or moral / ethics, but truly from the core of contemporary science; please note that caffeine / coffee significantly contributes to cortisol raising.
- To be physically active (gym, running, games without stakes) and psychically active: urgently and sincerely attach yourself to a human partner, even temporary (isn’t all like this?), to a cat / dog or even a plant.
- To use as a supplement the relaxant L-theanine (a capsule of 100mg a day) in the morning with the exception of week-ends as well as 5 grams of ribose daily, to energize (since almost all Westerners 35-40 years old have big problems with the enzymes producing this special glucid), to note that ribose appears in the telomerase structure at RNA level.
Conclusion: The results (different but significant) appear after about 4 weeks.