A decade ago, scientists won the nobel prize for connecting the dots between telomeres and aging. Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of the strands of DNA called chromosomes. Telomeres shorten every time a cell divides. When they become very short, they trigger cell crisis and cell death.
Since this discovery was made, researchers have found new insights into telomeres and their connection to wrinkled skin, as well as how their length might be extended.
Scientists have uncovered new information on telomeres that could help combat the effects of inflammation and aging. Researchers from the University of Pittsburg recently discovered how oxidative stress plays a critical in the link between telomeres and cancer. I dont want to blind you with science (telomeres are a complex area), but every breakthrough into telomeres will ultimately equal a breakthrough in understanding how we age and how we can keep cells including our skin cells healthy.
Telomeres are composed of repeated sequences of DNA. The results from this study suggest that the mechanism by which oxidative stress accelerates telomere shortening is by damaging the DNA precursor molecules, not the telomere itself. This will have a big impact on appreciating how to manage oxidative stress to prevent aging and diseases such as cancer.
At Stanford University School of Medicine, scientists claim they can now lengthen teleomeres. Skin cells with telomeres lengthened by the procedure were able to divide up to 40 more times than untreated cells (source).
However, longer teleomeres is not necessarily associated with a longer life (source). Indeed, those naysayers say that good diet and an exercise regimen will do that. Yet, it does seem that preventing further shortening of the telomeres could be beneficial, especially for aging skin. Telomeres are likened to the tips of shoelaces that stop them unraveling and so you really want to be thinking about how to stabilize your telomeres. Happily, advances in skin care can help you out. There are three approaches to consider: special ingredients that target telomeres, ingredients that prevent oxidative damage (known, of course, as antioxidants) and stem cells.
Target your telomeres
One very interesting ingredient is called astragalus, and although it is rare, we do have a couple of Truth In Aging finds with it. But first, what is it and how does it work? In 2008, a UCLA AIDS Institute study found that a chemical they called TAT2 from the astragalus root, which is frequently used in Chinese herbal therapy, can prevent or slow the progressive shortening of telomeres. It can be found in Prana Reishi Mushroom Shield ($42 in the shop) and ExPrtise Effective Anti-Aging Face Serum ($120 in the shop).
Another ingredient to look for is treprenone, also marketed under the name of Renovage. Its promise is to stabilize telomeres, so at the very least they won't shorten. Maintaining telomere length extends the Hayflick Limit (the rate at which cells turn over before conking out completely) by one third. Youll find treprenone (Renovage) in Your Best Face Correct ($150 in the shop) Your Best Face Boost ($65 in the shop.
Amp up with antioxidants
The research is clear: Preventing oxidative damage is the job of an antioxidant. Free radicals are charged chemical particles of oxygen that enter into destructive chemical bonds with organic substances such as proteins, as explained by Gerald Imber, MD. Antioxidants limit the production of free radicals and therefore help prevent oxidative stress. There are many sources in plants, and vitamins are also antioxidants.
There are 33 antioxidants in Skin 2 Skin Aging Intervention Cream ($73 in the shop), including the universal antioxidant alpha lipoic acid. The powerful antioxidants in Your Best Face Rescue ($145 in the shop) include spin trap, an advanced form of vitamin C and EGCG. Bee venom has some 18 active compounds include antioxidants, peptides with powerful anti-inflammatory actions, and enzymes. It is the key ingredient in LaCrme Beaut Luxurious Bee Venom Rich Face Treatment Cream ($202 in the shop).
Look for plant stem cells
Plant stem cells never age. British scientists found that plant stem cells were much more sensitive to DNA damage than other cells. Once they sense damage, they trigger death of these cells before it spreads and causes more. In addition, they have the ability to stimulate cell renewal and replace specific cells in need of repair.
Ao Skincare Raw Nourish AM Treatment ($65 in the shop) has the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin and plant stem cells.
Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith