Stress Linked to Aging Chromosomes

New research shows that the length of the protective end buffers of our chromosomes (like the plastic tips on shoelaces), called telomeres, are linked to chronic stress and depression.  A study in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry (2012) concluded that subjects who reported chronic stress in their lives had significantly shorter telomeres than those who reported normal stress.  Telomeres naturally get shorter each time the cell divides until it becomes a non-functioning cell.  The phenomenon of more and more cells becoming nonfunctional due to loss of their telomeres contributes significantly to the biological “aging” of our bodies. With the length of telomeres now reportedly linked not only to cell division but also to chronic stress and depression we can potentially increase our lifespan, and general health at the cellular level, by treating symptoms of stress and depression effectively and efficiently.  How well we age may depend on it.

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