Skip to main content

Science Proves: Stress Ages You

As if you didn’t already know, right? Well, now it seems that science has discovered a cellular link to the process of aging. They have discovered that the tips of chromosomes have a cap-like structure that resembles the plastic caps of shoelaces. Called Telomeres, these structures respond to stress, and if you are chronically stressed, they can cut your life span short.

Here’s why; in young cells, these telomeres appear to be very long. In the cells of old people, however, they are nothing more than mere nubs. It seems telomeres do play a part in the aging process because further research indicates that every time cells divide, the duplicate cells have shorter telomeres. This process is repeated until the telomeres become less than nubs, and cell division stops.

What’s worse is that chronic stress can speed up this process by shriveling the tips of the telomere bundles of genes inside cells, thereby shortening their life span and accelerating bodily deterioration. There is hope, though. It comes through the research on an enzyme called telomerase. It appears that telomerase can replenishes and protects parts of the telomere each time the cell divides. Unfortunately, the replenishment only seems to slow down the process of telomere shortening; not stop it.

“The highest chronically stressed people in the study group had significantly less telomerase activity, higher oxidative stress and shorter telomeres than the less chronically stressed group,” states Dr. Kathleen Hall, founder of the Stress Institute near Clarkesville, GA. “The key agent that is damaging in chronic stress is the stress hormone Cortisol. Cortisol is the driving chemical in our bodies that orchestrates the circadian rhythm of our body and regulates the flow of all our systems. When we produce more Cortisol from chronic stress, over time it literally exhausts our body systems.”

Now, before you start “stressing” over this discovery and decide to give up and can dash all hope of ever living a long life, remember this; your DNA is flexible and has plasticity. So, if you are able to control your levels of stress, you can successfully increase your telomerase enzyme production level and diminish the impact Cortisol can have on your telomeres. Lifestyle and behavior immediately affects the aging process of your body.

Although you can wage war on aging by getting plastic surgery, buying face creams, body moisturizers, etc., if you are not shoring up these efforts by combining them with good nutrition, hydration, regular exercise and controlling your stress levels, you may never succeed in decelerating your aging process.

So take heed. Stress can kill in many ways, because it affects the entire body on a cellular level. Make time to de-stress; use meditation, massage, biofeedback, or just take time to breathe. Doing so will not only help you live longer, but look better, too.

As always – Enjoy Your Life,

John Aaron Villarreal

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.


Popular posts from this blog

The Benefits of Regular Massage Sessions

Once people discover the many joys and benefits of massage, a common question arises—“How often should I schedule my massage sessions?”

Of course, there is no set answer, but studies indicate that massage at regular intervals is most beneficial to your overall health.

In a Newsweek article entitled “The Magic of Touch,” the advantages of frequent massage are considered. The following excerpts help to answer the question, “How often?”

“A weekly massage may seem an indulgence, but new research suggests it can have major health benefits...

“Since instituting a program of massage, job-specific exercises and ergonomics in 1990, the Virginia-based company [Wampler Foods] has cut repetitive-stress injuries by 75 percent...

“From assembly lines to corporate headquarters, Americans are discovering the magic of massage. At Boeing and Reebok, headaches, back strain and fatigue have all fallen since the companies started bringing in massage therapists...

Doctors have started prescribing massage …

Should You Take Supplements?

Often I am asked about supplements and their role in a healthy diet. My take is that while vitamins and minerals are essential to life, the human body cannot self sustain this requirement. Therefore, it is imperative that we eat a well-rounded, low fat diet in order to obtain an adequate variety and supply.

Unfortunately, Americans have become infatuated with supplementation. Mega-dosing has become a common practice for both athletes trying to improve their performances and the “average Jane or Joe” trying to compensate for inadequate nutrition.

Research indicates supplementation is ineffective in improving athletic performance in a well-nourished adult. That’s to say if you are eating well, taking additional doses of supplements won’t give you an edge.

In fact, excessive amounts of fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) may prove toxic since they are stored in the body and not easily excreted. Even some water soluble supplements such as vitamin B-12 have been shown to cause toxi…

What To Do When You’re Chronically Stressed

Of all the modern-day ailments that seem to affect us, none is more pervasive than stress. Everywhere you turn, there are factors lurking to redirect you from your peaceful pursuit of happiness and lock you in the clutches of “stress.”

What exactly is stress—and what more insidious effects does it cause? The dictionary defines stress as “great pressure or force; strain.” In today’s world, we think of stress as the result of too much pressure laid upon us by life, causing mental worry or anguish. This, in turn, manifests itself in tight neck and shoulders, headaches, nervous stomach, etc. But these physical and mental conditions are really only the beginning.

Studies show that stressful situations can develop into more threatening health conditions. For instance:

A sudden or unexpected stressor can activate your adrenal glands, which sends adrenaline and other hormones into your bloodstream. This brings about an increase in your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood flow to…