telomeres and tea

Science has feverishly studied the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecule to find the “cure” for aging.  Aging is a right and not a burden, so I find a few concerns with the language of Anti-Aging medicine.  However, there have been great discoveries with regards to foods and their benefits to the longevity of human life.  One of those many discoveries has been the plant, Camellia sinensis (tea).  The key components to the tea plant are the epigallocatechins (EGCG) and their profound affects on the human cell.

Before we dive into the science of tea, lets discuss telomeres. Telomeres are the end-caps of a chromosome in the body.  A chromosome is made up of nucleic acids and proteins and it carries your genetic information.  When telomeres are shortened or damaged, then this chromosome is more susceptible to damage and disease.  Increasing the length of a telomere can not only slow-down disease progression, but it can also prevent disease and illness.

What damages a telomere?  Your telomeres will naturally shorten with age, however chronic inflammation can also encourage shortening.  Poor dietary choices, over exposure to toxins, presence of a current disease and/or the possibility of cancer cells.  With all of these factors being more common in today’s world, the goal would be to work diligently to support our telomere health.  That is where tea comes in, more specifically, green tea.

Green tea (2-3 cups daily) has been found to lengthen these telomeres and encourage healthy chromosomes.  As if you needed another reason, green tea would be a great drink of choice.