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What are telomeres?

Like plastic aglets on the end of a shoelace, telomeres are tiny caps found on the end of DNA to protect if from damage during cell division and replication. Telomeres function to protect the ends of chromosomes from sticking to each other. They also protect genetic information during cell division because a short piece of each chromosome is lost every time DNA is replicated. Cells use a special enzyme called telomerase to keep dividing, which lengthens their telomeres.

Why do cells have telomeres?

Cells have them to prevent the loss of genes as chromosome ends wear down, the tips of eukaryotic chromosomes have specialized DNA “caps” called telomeres. Telomeres need to be protected from a cell’s DNA repair systems because they have single-stranded overhangs, which “look like” damaged DNA.

Dating the cells age is interesting business because sometimes it’s chronological age and biological age simply do not match. A cell could be young, in terms of the length of its existence, however, function slowly or inconsistently; as if it were elderly.

As we age our cells age and telomeres fray and shorten.  All of this can be sped up through smoking, obesity, diabetes, insomnia, and other lifestyle choices.  Studies have shown that exercise may slow the breakdown of telomeres.  Data was gathered by researchers from people ranging from 20 – 84, and then categorized into 4 groups, based on how they responded to 4 questions pertaining to exercise. Telomere length in the participants white blood cells was collected through blood tests.

The questions that were asked were related to how much time during the last month they engaged in weight training and moderate exercises; like walking, more vigorous like running, or have walked or ridden a bike to school or work.  If the response was a yes, then, he or she earned a point for each one, for a maximum of 4 points.  Those tallies were then compared to each person’s telomere length and found there were direct associations. The risks of having short telomeres declined a great deal, for every point gained from any type of exercise!

If someone exercised more, that risk declined.  People between the ages of 40 and 65 had shown the strongest telomeres when associated with exercise. This suggests that middle age may be one  of the most important times to begin, or continue, an exercise program if you want to keep telomeres from shrinking and acting old.

What types of foods are related to longer telomeres?

Eat plenty of organic produce, try to include at various times: citrus, berries, apples, plums, carrots, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes. There are also antioxidants in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and green tea.

 How you can lengthen and protect your telomeres?

  1. Meditate 
  2. Get active
  3. Maintain a healthy weight
  4. Load up on healthy fats and veggies

Ultimately the best piece of advice to keep your telomeres happy and healthy is to get up, get out and do some physical activity to keep your cells young and functioning at an optimal level.  Want more great tips on health and fitness, follow us on social media @VYKONSUPPS.

Lisa Square
Vykon Supplements founded by Lisa Pitel-Killah, Hair Mineral Analysis Expert & Educator, Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Functional Diagnostic Practitioner, and multi-time Kettlebell Sport World Champion.  Her animal study includes Holistic Carnivore and Equine Nutritionist and advanced Animal HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis). Lisa is the host of the Human Optimization podcast and the co-host of the annual HTMA Virtual Summit, bringing mineral education to the masses.  The science of HTMA can identify exactly what your body, or your animal’s body, needs to thrive.  Customize, simplify, and revitalize life with Vykon.


Sue’s background includes being a two sport athlete in University and a member of Ontario Field Hockey team. She completed her CIS eligibility in College for photojournalism following 25 years as a photojournalist. Supporting two daughters through competitive hockey, Sue discovered her passion for Holistic Nutrition and returned to study at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, graduating with her Certified Nutrition Practitioner designation. She has a strong passion for supporting people through chronic stress. Sue enjoys time on the water, has her Level 1 SUP certification and recently started racing.


Kailan spent her youth on her family farm; from a young age she developed an interest in how the mental and physical wellness of animals can impact their bonding and performance. After improving the health of her equine companions, she has had some pivotal moments resulting in multiple national championship titles. Her inherent passion for health coupled with her degree in engineering has led her on this journey to help humans and animals alike realize the benefits of optimized health.  

Kailan’s goal is to enlighten others to the resources available, aid in resolving root cause of barriers and breakdown misconceptions surrounding poor behavioural patterns.


Yielding over a decade of professionalism in design and entrepreneurship, Grace is in charge of the many multimedia projects at Vykon. With an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design, her artistic eye and a flair for creativity brings a unique touch to every project she undertakes. When she’s not working, Grace enjoys trying new recipes, watching movies and spending an afternoon in an art gallery.