Exercise- The Fountain of Youth? by Dr G.

Certain things in medicine, and life, are self-evident. As we get older, we are going to slow down, get wrinkles, get sick, and eventually die.

Out hair will go grey and/or fall out. Our sons will eventually beat us in marathons.

We accept these unassailable truths, but why do these things occur? We never really question in our journey through life why we age, slow down, get cancer or heart disease, and shuffle off our mortal coil.

One of the secrets to the aging and dying process is our telomeres. Telomeres are the end parts of our chromosomes which prevent fraying of the chromosomes themselves. A bit like the aglets at the end of shoelaces, once these are gone, the shoelace frays, and new laces are required. Unfortunately with chromosomes, one cannot drive to the shop and get new ones. When the chromosome frays, we age, get sick and die.

Much work has been done on telomeres over recent years, regarding cancer and other degenerative diseases. Osteoarthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, atopic diseases and reduced resistance to infections have all been linked to shortened telomeres.

Each cell division causes a slight shortening of telomeres. Certain environmental factors, such as smoking, obesity, inflammatory diseases (also exacerbated by the first two factors) and poor diet exacerbate this shortening.

Other environmental factors, in particular exercise, as well as a diet high in fresh food and low in processed carbohydrates, reduce telomere shortening.

I have noticed over the years that my patients often mistake me, at the ripe old age of 59, as being 10-15 years younger. Is this due to years of distance running, plenty of Vitamin D3, and a diet high in fat but low in processed foods, especially carbohydrates?

When the Covid “pandemic” arrived in 2020, it soon became clear that those most at risk were the elderly, obese, and those with concurrent disease, in particular diabetes. It seemed to me that these were conditions usually associated with shortened telomeres.

I searched medical databases for evidence of link between severe Covid disease and short telomeres. Unsurprisingly, even in the early days of the “pandemic” limited evidence started to appear, suggesting shortened telomeres were linked to worse Covid outcomes.

Given that, in most of the western world, the public health message was “stay home, get drunk, don’t go outside, eat pizza, and watch Netflix”, doesn’t this appear counterintuitive?

Where were the public health officials encouraging lifestyle changes to reduce telomere shortening and improve natural immunity?

Sometimes the answers to complex life and societal questions are the simplest. Regular exercise, don’t smoke, minimise alcohol and processed foods, and plenty of sun, seem a much better option than untested drugs, “vaccines” and lockdowns/ masks. Sadly, the simple approach doesn’t make pharmaceutical companies rich, and the latter approach does.

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