Biological aging is determined by the telomeres. Telomere length varies based on age, to genetics (influence of 20%) and our life habits (influence of 80%). Telomeres do not "live" forever. In fact, when a person dies “of old age”, they die as a result of the disappearance of telomeres.
Habits such as smoking, obesity or psychological stress increase the speed of their shortening. Additionally, other factors, such as certain nutritional supplements, exercise, and sleep are also thought to play a role in biological aging.
Telomeres are repeated sequences located at the ends of chromosomes. its function it is to protect the genetic material that is structured in the form of chromosomes (prevents the fusion between the extremes and the degradation of the DNA).
Every appearance of a new cell requires DNA replication, that is, the duplication of the genetic code. Due to how our replication machinery is designed and due to the structure that our DNA has (a linear chain with a beginning and an end), in each replication the last part of the chain is lost. Thanks to the existence of telomeres, our body avoids the loss of genetic information in each replication, losing only "letters" of telomeres.
We could say that the loss of these “little letters” is not important, since it does not contain information about the organism. But this is not entirely true. The loss of these "little letters" (telomere shortening) is reflected over the years since its disappearance is a biomarker of aging.
There are scientific studies that associate genetic variants to the length of telomeres. However, the most accurate way to know the length of your telomeres is by measuring their shortening speed. This consists of measuring the number of "letters" of your telomeres at two different points in time, knowing the shortening speed based on the lifestyle you have led during that time. But remember! You genetics also play a important role on the length.
In ADNTRO We analyze the genetic variants (genetic component) associated with populations with short telomeres and long telomeres, providing knowledge about the length of your telomeres based on your genetics. What are you waiting for find out!