Telomeres are DNA sequences that keep repeating themselves over and over. These telomeres are regulated and produced by an enzyme called telomerase, making it essential for this enzyme to stay activated.
With age, however, the action of this enzyme and the length of the telomeres starts becoming shorter, leading to several diseases and conditions associated with the process of aging.
There are certain natural compounds and substances that can end up activating the telomerase enzyme, which can then have several positive consequences on one’s health and lifespan.
To learn more about these natural telomerase activators and how they can help, you can go through the following sections.
What Are Natural Telomerase Activators?
Natural telomerase activators are naturally occurring compounds or molecules that can activate the telomerase enzyme and allow the telomeres to keep lengthening for as long as they can.
These activators can help prevent the loss of the last bits of the chromosomes that otherwise usually suffer each time the telomeres divide and multiply, making this situation reach a point where the telomeres can no longer lengthen because the chromosomes are too short.
This is what makes the cells in our bodies start aging and weakening, thus leading to the process of aging and the various diseases and chronic conditions that come with it.
Of course, while it is not possible to prevent natural aging, it can be possible to prevent or slow down premature aging that mainly takes place due to external and environmental factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, too much stress, pollution and others.
As long as telomerase remains active, it can be possible to ensure that the cells remain healthy and work towards performing their functions in the body and ensuring that they are strong enough to fight against harmful cells and substances while also being able to absorb proper nutrients.
Plenty of research is being, and has been conducted about ways in which one can increase the activity of telomerase in the body. Based on some of this research, certain naturally occurring activators can help activate telomerase and alter or undo the telomere trimming that tends to take place.
For instance, it has been found that the following compounds can offer varying degrees of potency and impact when it comes to activating telomerase:
- Extract of Centella asiatica, a herbaceous plant used for cooking and in traditional Indian and Chinese medicinal practices
- Extract of Astragalus plant species, also used in traditional Chinese medicine
- Oleanolic acid (OA)
- Maslinic acid (MA)
According to the findings of a study that tested the impact of these substances on telomerase, the extract of Centella asiatica was the most potent and effective, followed by OA.
In fact, the potent extract managed to increase the enzyme’s activity in cells by around 8.8 times as compared to cells on which these substances were not applied.
In certain kinds of diseases such as cancer, there can be several telomerase mutations that end up causing the cancerous cells to keep expanding, which is why it is essential to develop disease-specific treatment options using these natural activators.
It is also important for the research to be developed further to ensure that they can actually end up having the desired effects on medicine and treatment and can become applicable modes of treatment in the first place.
What Effect Do They Have?
There are various kinds of potential effects that natural telomerase activators can have on the body once they manage to activate the enzyme and improve telomere division and chromosome retention.
You can go through some of these effects below.
It is possible for these natural activators, especially Centella asiatica, to improve cognition in the form of memory, attention and processing and slow down the cognitive decline that takes place due to aging.
Based on a study conducted on old and young mice, there was a marked improvement in learning and memory of aged mice with young mice also seeing a bit of improvement, implying a change in the gene expression.
Cancer is another condition whose treatment can benefit using telomerase-based applications. However, the process here is different as compared to other treatment options.
Telomerase is found in cancer cells, leading to rapid multiplication and spread throughout the body, which is why it is necessary to inhibit this growth and remove the telomerase activity from the impacted cells so that the cancerous cells can reduce as well.
Even if the cancer cells have spread too much, this kind of treatment can potentially help reverse the spread, leading to several advancements in cancer and tumor treatments.
One’s skin condition can improve considerably through the telomerase-activating oleanolic acid (OA). This is because this acid can prevent or reduce the occurrence of wrinkles due to anti-inflammatory properties in addition to the production of collagen.
When this acid is obtained in combination with ursolic acid from the extracts of the fruit of the Ligustrum lucidum plant, the results can be even more effective.
This can indicate potential advancements in skincare and cosmetic products in the future.
Activators like Centella asiatica can also make it easier to heal various kinds of wounds, including burn and incision wounds.
In a study, rats with different wounds were given applications of different substances while one group was left untreated. After a week, it was found that the wound healing properties were most remarked and effective in the group that was given the acid application of the Centella asiatica plant.
This can help improve the wound healing process, although further research and human trials are essential to start applying it.
Natural Telomerase Activators: The Bottom Line
It is clear that there are certain natural telomerase activators that can slow down or delay the conditions and diseases that usually come with the onset of aging. While natural aging might still take place, it can be possible to prevent premature aging through these substances, although it is essential for further research and development to take place before this can be applied.