September 27, 2009 Leave a comment
Human cells have biological clocks called telomeres which cap the ends of chromosomes. The telomeres shorten in length everytime a cell divides and replicates. Eventually, the telomeres become too short for cell division and the cell dies. Shorter telomeres accelerate a cell’s biological clock and are considered markers of aging.
Telomeres, Biological Clocks & Heart Disease
The American Heart Association discovered a link between shorter telomeres in white blood cells (immune cells called leukocytes) and the development of heart disease. Researchers sought to determine the relationship between telomere length and the risk of high blood pressure in men and women between the ages of 30 to 80 years.
The telomere length was measured in 388 people with high blood pressure and 379 healthy people. What they found was that older people and people with high blood pressure had the shortest telomeres.
It makes sense. High blood pressure causes physical damage to the white blood cells circulating in the bloodstream. Damaged cells need to regenerate by initiating cycles of cellular division. The more a cell divides, the faster the telomeres shorten. The end result is an accelerated biological clock and aged immune cells.
Aged and dysfunctional immune cells can have devastating consequences. For instance, systemic inflammation increases and damages the arteries feeding the heart. Complications include higher blood pressure and an increased risk for stroke and heart disease.
Participants with shorter telomeres were found to be more than three times as likely to develop heart disease compared with those who had longer telomeres. Researches also found that if the healthy subjects developed high blood pressure over the course of follow-up they too had shorter telomeres.
Analysis of the data confirmed that both short telomeres and high blood pressure were independent risk factors for developing heart disease. To prevent heart disease you need to maintain healthy blood pressure and slow-down the biological clock by keeping telomeres long.
Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure
The trinity of nutrients can help you maintain healthy blood pressure. Supplementing your diet with these three powerful nutrients is simple, safe, and effective. Remember to check with your doctor before starting any supplement, especially if you’re taking blood pressure medications.
1. Grapeseed Extract
Supplementing with 150mg/day of a high quality grapeseed extract was shown in several studies to reduce and stabilize pressure.
2. Milk Peptides
Spliting milk protein in half creates a small protein fragment (peptides) called CVH-15. The protein fragment inhibits certain blood proteins that increase pressure. Take 1500mg/day of milk peptides.
3. Pomegranate Extract
A true superfood, pomegranate has been proven to work without side effects. Eating pomegranate is good, but you still need to supplement with 100mg/day.
Keeping Telomeres Long
HIV researchers from the National Institutes of Health have been exploring methods for lengthening the telomeres in white blood cells. White blood cells with long telomeres live longer and could strengthen the immune system in HIV patients. They successfully identify one herb that significantly lengthens the telomeres in white blood cells.
Astragalus is an herb cultivated in Asia and has been used for centuries to strengthen the immune system and treat winter viruses. The researchers concluded that 500mg/day of Astragalus can significantly lengthen the telomeres in white blood cells.
The Life Extension Foundation has tons of information on how to prevent heart disease. Visit the web site today at http://www.lef.org and use the search terms “heart disease.” You will learn about innovative strategies for maintaining a healthy heart.