What you need to know about Telomeres

Joseph Radich: I wanted to also talk a little bit about something that’s now becoming more and more popular and mainstream, and a lot of people are starting to understand about. It’s this concept called the telomere. Essentially what a telomere is, is at the end of our genetic material, our DNA, we have these caps and these caps are called the telomeres. What happens over time as our bodies age and those cells reproduce is those telomere caps get shorter and shorter and shorter. When that cap reaches a certain critical length, the cell essentially stops dividing and it causes cell death, and it ultimately causes organ dysfunction and mitochondrial dysfunction, disease, etc. It’s kind of like the best analogy I think of and use with our patients is like a shoelace.

Traci Scaleta: Yeah. Yeah.

Joseph Radich: Those little plastic caps on the shoelaces that eventually start to wear down over time, that’s basically what our telomeres are. A lot of people don’t really understand or appreciate what a telomere does, but it essentially affects every part of our body.

Joseph Radich: We have our good friend and college, Traci Scaleta, a registered dietitian, who is going to talk a little bit about telomeres and certain things that people don’t know actually affect our telomeres.

Traci Scaleta: Sure. Thanks, Joe.

Traci Scaleta: Telomere is kind of like a new buzzword, if you will. Back maybe six, seven years ago, it was like, “Telomeres, why do I want to test my telomere? I don’t want to see how I’m aging,” because we didn’t realize that we can actually impact those telomeres and we can lay down new base pairs. We really can actually rewind the aging progression.

Traci Scaleta: But more importantly, it’s really important to identify your telomere length as early as you possible can, because now we’re seeing early shortening of telomeres and it causing an increased risk in cardiovascular disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s. So, if we can identify that early on, stop that frame to early progression, then we can essentially eliminate all of those conditions-

 Traci Scaleta: That are so life threatening at some time. But it’s important to look at lifestyle changes.

Traci Scaleta: Our telomeres shorten for two reasons, lifestyle and genetics. Genetics are basically expressed through our lifestyle.


Traci Scaleta: We’re always going to look at what is causing those telomeres to shorten. We look at micronutrient deficiencies inside the cell. Are you taking the right supplements to support that telomere length?

Joseph Radich: Right.

Traci Scaleta: Inflammation, right?

Joseph Radich: Huge.

Traci Scaleta: We all suffer with inflammation. A lot of times, imbalances of our omega fatty acids. We have our great anti-inflammatory omega-3s-
Joseph Radich: Yeah.

Traci Scaleta: Our pro-inflammatory omega-6s. Unfortunately, Americans are very high in those omega-6s, and it is directly impacting those telomeres and causing those telomeres to shorten more rapidly.

Joseph Radich: Yeah.

Traci Scaleta: So, identifying the breakdown of those 3s and 6s and having a healthy balance, and identifying their deficiencies, correcting them for what their cells need, lifestyle changes, balancing hormones, correcting sleep, managing stress will all help slow that progression of those telomeres shortening too rapidly.

Joseph Radich: Yeah. Obviously, all the things that we can do lifestyle-wise, the things that we can control-

Traci Scaleta: Correct, yeah.

Joseph Radich: Right? To kind of offset our genetic-

Traci Scaleta: Yes.

Joseph Radich: Predisposition to affect our telomeres.

Traci Scaleta: Yeah.

Joseph Radich: A lot of people don’t realize that telomeres literally do affect every aspect of our health.

Traci Scaleta: Sure.

Joseph Radich: Everything from gut to digestion to hormones to inflammation, they’re really critical. It’s becoming a buzzword nowadays-

Traci Scaleta: Sure.

Joseph Radich: But we’ve known about telomeres for 10 years. Not only can we identify where people are at, but we can also, like you said, kind of reverse the biological clock on almost in a lot of people-

Traci Scaleta: Sure.

Joseph Radich: But it takes that first step to get yourself tested, get yourself identified, see in fact how your telomeres have started to age, and then put together a wellness program, like you talked about. Micronutrients, hormones, all the things that we can do to help our bodies slow down that progression, it’s super critical.

Traci Scaleta: It is.

Joseph Radich: Super critical.

Traci Scaleta: Yes, yeah. It’s important to identify as young as you possibly can.

Joseph Radich: That’s the goal.

Joseph Radich: That is one of the things that we definitely specialize here in at RenewU Medical, so feel free to reach out, that way we can get you in the best shape possible. Thanks so much.

Traci Scaleta: You’re welcome.


Written by Joseph Radich Joseph is a provider and founder of R3 Health™