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Book Review: The Telomere Effect

Book Review: The Telomere Effect

Look younger. Feel better. Live longer and without disease.

These are all big promises, but they are promises that are achievable—and it all starts with your telomeres. Telomeres are the caps on our DNA that keep it intact and whole. There are longer telomeres, which are good, and shorter telomeres, which are bad. Shorter telomeres can lead to a host of issues like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia, aging, reduced lifespan, and other chronic illnesses. If you want to live longer, live healthier, and live happier, you want longer telomeres. But, how can we affect the caps of our DNA? Enter The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer.

The Telomere Effect is written by a molecular biologist and Nobel Prize winner (for the discovery of telomeres) by the name of Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn. The co-author, Dr. Elissa Epel, is a health psychologist who has long focused on stress, aging, and obesity. Together, they unlock the doors to longer health, longer life, and less disease in this groundbreaking new book.

In The Telomere Effect, they talk about “healthspan” and “diseasespan”. “Healthspan” is the amount of time in your life that you feel well, vibrant, and healthy. On the flip side, “diseasespan” is the time spent feeling ill, compromised, or with a health condition that limits your healthy life. The goal is to spend more time in the “healthspan” period and less time in the “diseasespan”, and lengthening telomeres is one way to achieve this as they keep our cells healthy, intact, and working well. When telomeres are shorter or not intact, our cells can start to unravel, age quickly, and release inflammation to the body.

How do we get short telomeres? They can be genetically inherited, or they can be a result of chronic stress in the body—which leads to chronic inflammation. But the good news is that even if this is the case for us, we can do lots of things to lengthen our telomeres and ensure we stay in the “healthspan” for longer.

The Telomere Effect outlines the changes we can make to our daily habits that can help protect our telomeres and therefore our health. Stress, diet, sleep, nutrition, activity levels, hormones—all of these things are within our control and help to improve the length of our telomeres. This book helps to answer the question of how aging stress and a poor diet can shorten telomeres and your healthspan. It explains how chronic stress can affect you and gives practical ways to change a “threat” mentality into a “challenge” mentality to help cope with stress and therefore, improve the length of telomeres and your health. Stress isn’t so much about how much we have, but how we deal with it and react to it that counts. The Telomere Effect will give some practical tips on how to change your reaction and attitude toward stress.

No matter where you are in your health journey or if you feel healthy or have some health obstacles, this book is for you. As Janet Jacks says, “Young or old, those who want to understand the cumulative effects of the way we live, and the practical steps to extend our healthspan will enjoy this book.” It even addresses the protection of telomere length in the womb. And it gives practical ways you can start improving your telomere health today: deep breathing; learning to see our stress from a different angle or with a different attitude; seeing the real evidence for sleep and nutrition; tweaking a few lifestyle habits; and so much more.

Every so often, a book comes around that changes the way we look at health—and The Telomere Effect is one of those books. It shows that everything you do, every decision you make about health, makes a difference. It has an impact on the cellular level. And you don’t have to do everything to make a difference… each good decision adds to the sum of benefits. Where will you start?

Visit any Goodness Me! location today to pick up your copy of The Telomere Effect, or check it out here on our online store.

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