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The Telomere Effect Summary – August 2022

Author: Elissa Epel, Elizabeth Blackburn

Short Summary
The Telomere Effect (2017) explains how the length of a telomere determines your overall health. People with longer telomeres have lower chances of getting deadly diseases like cancer and cardiac arrest.
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

Let me begin the Telomere Effect summary by explaining to you what telomeres are. A Telomere refers to the region at the end of each chromosome which has a repetitive sequence of DNA. Every time a cell divides, the telomere gets shorter. With the passage of time and the more a cell divides, the telomere becomes shorter. Eventually, it becomes so short that the cell cannot divide further so, the cell dies.

 Well, we certainly do not want our cells to die, so in the telomere summary, we will try to explain to you the factors that can affect the length and longevity of telomeres. Stress, negative self-talk, poor metabolic health, and bad sleep affect the life of telomere so if we can control these factors; we will be successfully adding a few years to our lives. Not just a few years, but years full of serving fresh and young looks as well.

So let us dive in and learn how to live healthier and look younger!

The Telomere Effect Key Points

Aging and Telomeres

Aging is not fun. Let us be real. I am not just talking about wrinkles, cellulite, and dull skin. Aging also comes with decreased energy and several health issues. As we gravitate towards our forties and fifties we are more susceptible to diseases like diabetes, cancer, and cardiac issues. The reason? The declining number of telomeres and the bad condition of the existing telomeres. Our cells are the most basic units that form everything in our body. From skin and organs to hair and nails. If a cell is not healthy, a telomere is not healthy which means that we are not healthy.

 To understand this concept of aging better, Elissa Epel and Elizabeth Blackburn explain the regeneration of cells. Cells need to regenerate but if they get affected they will naturally affect everything around them. A telomere is there to protect our cell from damage at the end of a chromosome. So if we can manage to keep our telomeres happy and healthy we will stay happy and healthy too.

Bad Stress and the Degeneration of Telomeres

Do not worry right away. Being stressed for a day or even for a week will not set to kill off all of your telomeres. But if you are under chronic stress and that too for long periods; it can affect the state of your telomeres. The health of your telomeres has a negative relationship with stress. If you stress a lot they will start to degenerate and affect that particular organ or tissue. This is more likely to happen to people who are in authoritative or caregiving roles for a longer period. If you are a boss or a manager at a firm, you are more likely to feel stress and burden than the rest of the employees. This can cause your cells to degenerate. Similarly, if you are the single breadwinner of a family or a parent there are more chances of your health going down the drain.

So, if you are in these positions remember to take extra care of your stress levels and take care of your health. You cannot control external factors like leaving your job or choosing to not parent your child. What you can do is respond to this stress with positive self-talk. Do not let everything bother you.

Exercise and Take that Day Off

If you want to have healthy telomeres you need to hit the gym. Just remember to not overburden your body. Overburdening will lead to stress and that will decrease the health of telomeres. Work out with consistency but in moderation.

Similarly, take the day off. So many of us are workaholics who enjoy working and weekends too. Even if this work is not stressing you, it can cause the degeneration of your cells. The human body is designed to be kept in balance. Work but find time to give yourself a mental and physical break. Remember this famous Irish proverb next time you prioritize your work on the weekends and after bedtime every day: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”  Keep the stress away and sleep regularly.

When you are asleep, your cells are repairing themselves and the DNA in them.  To let this vital process happen naturally, we need to get enough hours of good sleep every night. A good seven to eight hours of sleep can restore your health and make your telomeres grow longer! And if you remember: the longer the telomeres; the better the health.

The Telomere Effect Quotes

“Telomeres, which shorten with each cell division, help determine how fast your cells age and when they die, depending on how quickly they wear down. –Elizabeth Blackburn

“Genes load the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger.” –Elizabeth Blackburn

The Telomere Effect Review

Every human wonders what he can do to look younger and fresh. Also, nobody among us wants to die. We all would love to add a few more years full of health to our lives and the Telomere effect is our chance at learning how we can do this. Anyone who wants to gain knowledge about the regeneration of cells, aging, and telomeres can learn a lot from this book.

To Whom I Would Recommend the Telomere Effect

  • To the thirty-something old who is seeing the first signs of aging and wants to do something to decrease it.
  • To the teenager who spends a lot of time every day belittling himself.
  • And to everyone who wants to live a long healthy life.
The Telomere Effect Summary - August 2022

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