Demystifying Medicine Video

Our aging process is not well understood. We often ask ourselves why we age and whether we can prolong life. This video explores telomeres as a possible explanation as to why we age. Telomeres are protective caps at the ends of DNA strands that shorten over time. Many factors and environmental stressors can accelerate this process. Lifestyle choices including diet and exercise can slow the aging process down and potentially prolong life.

[Please complete our feedback form]

  • Boccardi, V. Paolisso, G., and Mecocci, P. (2016). Nutrition and lifestyle in healthy aging: the telomerase challenge. Aging, 8(1), 12-15.
  • Chan, S.R.W.L., and Blackburn, E.H. (2003). Telomeres and telomerase. Phil Trans R Soc Lond, 359, 109-121.
  • Crous-Bou, M., Fung, T.T., Prescott, J., Julin, B., Du, M., Sun, Q., Rexrode, K.M., Hu, F.B., and De Vivo, I. (2014). Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’'Health Study: population based cohort study. BMJ, 348.
  • Epel, E. Daubenmier, J., Moskowitz, J.T. Folkman, S., and Blackburn, E. (2009). Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1172, 34-53.
  • Farzaneh-Far, R., Lin, J., Epel., E.S., Harris, W.S., Blackburn, E.H., and Whooley, M.A. (2010). Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA, 303(30), 250-257.
  • Kalmbach, K.H., Antunes, D.M.F., Dracxler, R.C., Knier, T.W., Seth-Smith, M.L., Wang, F., Liu, L., and Keefe, L. (2013). Telomeres and human reproduction. Fertil Steril, 99(1).
  • Khan, S. (2012). Telomeres and atherosclerosis. Cardiovasc J Afr, 23(10), 563-571.
  • Martin, A.A., Dionne, I., Wellinger, R.J., and Holm, C. (2000). The Function of DNA Polymerase α at Telomeric G Tails Is Important for Telomere Homeostasis. Mol Cell Bio, 20(3), 786-796.
  • Mundstock, E., Zatti, H. Louzada, F.M., Oliveira, S.G., Guma, F.T.C.R., Paris, M.M., Rueda, A.B., Machado, D.G., Stein, R.T., Jones, M.H., Sarria, E.E., Barbé-Tuana, F.M., and Mattiello, R. (2015). Effects of physical activity in telomere length: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing Research Reviews, 22, 72-80.
  • Shay, J.W., and Wright, W.E. (2000). Hayflick, his limit, and cellular ageing. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol, 1(1), 72-76.