top of page

Biological vs. Chronological Age

by Lisa Orwick, DC

If you’ve turned 50, and feel like you’re 70, there may be a reason. How long are your telomeres? Elizabeth Blackburn received the Nobel Prize, October 2009, for her work with telomeres, short caps of DNA on the end of our chromosomes. Each time your cells divide or age, the telomere shortens and when most of the telomere disappears, the cell dies. It has been postulated that telomere length is the new marker of biological aging because it is independent of your chronological age and is a predictor of morbidity and mortality. The longer your telomeres, the longer you live. The shorter your telomeres, the more likely you are to have a shorter life expectancy and suffer from chronic disease. 

In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 2009 they reported that multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D all significantly increased telomere length. The multivitamin users compared to the non-users had 5.1% longer telomere which equals 9.8 years of life. What shortens telomeres? Oxidative stress from free radicals, chronic inflammation, obesity, and lack of physical exercise contribute to the deterioration of telomeres. 

In the Journal of American Medical Association 1/20/10, a 5yr study was done with 608 coronary heart disease patients to determine the effect of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA-DHA) therapy would have on telomere length. They found the more EPA DHA a patient had in their blood, the slower the rate of telomere shortening and conversely the less EPA DHA, the faster the rate of shortening. For baby boomers, living longer is no longer sufficient we want to live healthier as we age and feel more vital. It's difficult to navigate the ever increasing oxidative stress of the world in which we live or to know what its effect is having on our genes. What can you do about it? Find out by calling your health professional.

Dr. Orwick works with sister practitioner Anna Burchard who offers a therapeutic lifestyle

modification program incorporating chiropractic, nutrition, and personal training services. 
Call 740-1718 for a $25 30min consult.

bottom of page