Telomere (tel-uh-meer) from the Greek telos (end) and meros (part).
Telomeres are an essential part of human cells that affect how our cells age.
Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces.
Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job.
Short telomeres are connected to premature cellular ageing.
Telomere shortening is involved in all aspects of the aging process on a cellular level. Telomere length represents our biological age as opposed to our chronological age.
Many scientific studies have shown a strong connection between short telomeres and cellular ageing.
For example, the immune system, which normally weakens as we age, is highly sensitive to shortening of telomeres. In addition, a 2007 study found that short telomeres were associated with decreases in bone mineral density in women.