By: Dr. Al Sears, MD
You could be 80 years old and feel like a teenager.
Or you could be in your 30's and feel like you have one foot in the grave.
The secret to feeling young is how well your body “talks” to your telomeres.
In doing research for my upcoming book on how to benefit from telomere biology, I’ve discovered an interesting fact. Telomeres have receptors that communicate with your hormones. They talk to each other.
That’s important because your hormones and your telomeres affect aging more than anything else. If they have “good” conversations you feel (and stay) young. If they have “bad” conversations you can age more quickly than your chronological age.
Youthful hormone levels tell telomeres, “We’re still young and strong! Continue to rebuild and revitalize these cells.”
The opposite happens when you have too little of a specific hormone. That signals the telomere that you’re “old.” Repair and maintenance work slows down. The cell takes on older, slower and less active behavior.
One of the most remarkable examples of this is the way the “sleep” hormone melatonin affects aging and telomeres.
Many studies show that melatonin’s antioxidant power prevents telomeres from shortening.(1)
But one group of researchers was looking into using melatonin for eye health. They found that melatonin protected the eyes by increasing telomerase, the enzyme that rebuilds telomeres.(2)
Another study also looked at melatonin’s role in activating telomerase. They divided 37 rats (both young and old) into two groups. For 21 days, one group received melatonin and the control group got nothing.
They tested each group for telomerase activity. In both young and old rats, the ones given melatonin had significant increases in telomerase.(3)
It’s very simple: increasing melatonin helps signal telomeres, through their hormone receptors, to increase telomerase. This helps you build a younger body at any age.
1. To safely get more melatonin, the first thing you want to do is normalize your own melatonin production.
This has a lot to do with getting rid of artificial electromagnetic around you. It can stop your brain from producing enough melatonin. [Note: I’ll be talking to you more about this kind of radiation, how it can affect your body, and how to protect yourself from it in an upcoming issue of my Confidential Cures newsletter. Please click here and subscribe now so you can be the FIRST to get this vital information.]
You should try to make yourself aware of electronic signals in your bedroom.
- Do you listen to the radio while you’re trying to sleep by sending music from your smartphone to a Bluetooth speaker?
- Do you have your phone next to your bed at night?
- Do you have your DVR, laptop, iPad, and phone all in your room at night?
Get rid of them. And unplug your TV at night. These disrupt nighttime melatonin production.
2. Once you’ve stabilized and enhanced your natural melatonin function, then you can look for ways to get more of it for the anti-aging effect.
I’ve called melatonin a “hormone,” and it is. And I know that for some people, that can seem frightening. People have experienced side effects from artificial hormones.
But natural hormones at proper levels are completely safe. Melatonin is amongst the safest. There is no evidence to date to tarnish its perfect safety record.(4)
Even though foods like pineapples, bananas, oranges, oats, sweet corn, rice, tomatoes and barley contain melatonin, getting enough from your diet is very difficult.
Instead, it’s best to find a completely natural and high-quality melatonin supplement.
Many doctors and health experts recommend about 3mg a day for treatment. Around 500 mcg is for prevention. That’s fine for eye health and as a sleep aid. But to increase telomerase expression and help lengthen your telomeres, you need a much larger dose.
At my Center for Health and Wellness, we now recommend patients take 10mg of melatonin daily to kick-start telomerase expression. It’s a much larger dosage than you’ll hear most doctors recommend. But that’s because they haven’t heard of its effect on your telomeres.
One tricky thing about melatonin is the form it comes in. It’s not as effective in a pill because it’ll take longer to enter your bloodstream. And pills that are not well made get destroyed in your gut, and you never get the full effect. Look for melatonin liquids, sprays or anti-aging creams. They’re fast-acting and affordable.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Rastmanesh R. “Potential of melatonin to treat or prevent age-related macular degeneration through stimulation of telomerase activity.” Med Hypotheses. 2011;76(1):79-85.
2. Rastmanesh R. “Potential of melatonin to treat or prevent age-related macular degeneration through stimulation of telomerase activity.” Med Hypotheses. 2011;76(1):79-85.
3. Akbulut K, et. al. “The role of melatonin on gastric mucosal cell proliferation and telomerase activity in ageing.” J Pineal Res. 2009; 308-12.
4. Dean, Ward M.D. “Melatonin: Unique, Potent Life-Extending Nutrient.” Vitamin Research News: Anti-Aging Supplement Review and Update Part 3, August 2004, p 14.