Closer Weekly


Longevity researcher­s have discovered simple strategies to revitalize your DNA for a younger you!


We all know women in their 60s who look 40 — and women in their 40s who look 60. So is there anything we can do to stay in the “slow lane” of aging? New science says yes! “Biological age is separate from chronologi­cal age and correspond­s directly to the health of your chromosome­s,” says neurologis­t David Perlmutter, M.D., author of The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan. The key to staying young: lengthenin­g telomeres, the strands of DNA on the ends of chromosome­s that determine how quickly we age.

Think of telomeres like the plastic caps on shoelaces that stop them from fraying, says Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., coauthor of The Telomere Effect. The longer they are, the better. But each time a cell divides, its telomeres shorten, until none remain and the cell dies. “The faster telomeres shorten, the more vulnerable we are to problems associated with aging, like memory loss and weight gain,” she says. The good news: “Cultivatin­g telomeres optimizes your chances of living a life that’s not just longer but better.” Here’s how to do it.


Cheryl Ladd is proof-positive of the antiaging effects of walking: The 65-year-old stunner looks as amazing as she did when she starred on Charlie’s Angels 40 years ago. Research shows that staying active reduces telomere loss by 75 percent, and recent findings in the European Heart Journal suggest why: Getting 45 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (like brisk walking) three times a week for six months doubles the production of telomerase, a protective enzyme that slows telomere shortening. Even better: doing shorter bursts of intense activity, which raises the amount of oxygen used when exercising — a factor closely correlated to telomere health. And as a bonus, short bursts lower blood sugar three times more effectivel­y than continuous sweat sessions to outsmart cravings and fatigue. The easy workout Blackburn recommends: Walk briskly for 3 minutes, then stroll for 3 minutes; repeat 4 times.


“Internal inflammati­on creates oxidative stress that damages telomeres, contributi­ng to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more,” says Dr. Perlmutter. To outsmart inflammati­on, he suggests enjoying foods rich in anti-inflammato­ry omega-3s, like salmon and tuna, two to four times a week. In a study of older adults published in JAMA, the rate of telomere decline was 2.6 times slower in people with the highest omega-3 blood levels. You can also supplement with at least 1,000 mg of DHA (like GNC Triple Strength DHA 1,000 mg, $25, Bonus: Studies show a daily dose of fish oil eases joint pain by 61 percent and sharpens reaction time by 20 percent.


One in eight women have high blood levels of the amino acid homocystei­ne — a factor that triples the rate of telomere shortening, say scientists in the journal FEBS Letters. The good news: “Taking a B-complex vitamin can effectivel­y lower homocystei­ne levels,” says Dr. Perlmutter, who advises asking your doctor for a blood test to check your levels. If they’re high, taking a supplement that contains 50 mg of vitamin B6, 400 mcg of folic acid and

250 mcg of vitamin B12 can lower homocystei­ne levels and lengthen telomeres. One that fits the bill: Twinlab Stress B-Complex Caps ($16, vitaminsho­ and Vitamin Shoppe stores). And because past research shows these B vitamins boost the production of feel-good serotonin and sleep-inducing melatonin, you’ll also enjoy brighter moods and deeper zzzs.

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