We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Telomeres?

By Ann MacDonald
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The human body is composed, in part, of miniscule structures called chromosomes. The chromosomes contain all of the genetic information — the predetermined traits that are passed from parents to children — in our bodies. The combinations of genes, the carriers of genetic information, determine every person's sex, hair color, eye color, and other characteristics. The end of each chromosome is called a telomere.

The telomere functions as a protector to the end of the chromosome. As we grow older, cells split in order to copy themselves and preserve genetic information. This splitting of cells is called mitosis. The job of the telomere is to ensure that there is not too much genetic information lost each time mitosis occurs and a cell splits. As the cells split, the telomere shortens slightly. Some telomere is lost at each split, but it prevents the cells from replicating if a minimum amount of remaining genetic information is reached. Once cells can no longer reproduce, they die. Telomeres can also prevent chromosomes from connecting to each other. In essence, the telomeres control the process by which each cell ages. In turn, the way cells age affect the deterioration of the whole body.

Some telomere actions are controlled by an enzyme called telomerase. Enzymes are substances — usually proteins or RNA — that cause chemical reactions. Telomerase adds information to chromosomes and promotes growth and division in the cell.

Many scientists believe that the action of telomerase in the telomeres hold the answers to some medical problems. Since there has been a large amount of telomerase detected in quickly growing cancer cells, they believe inhibiting the telomerase could inhibit the growth of cancer. In addition, cell reproduction and the behavior of telomeres in response to the presence of telomerase may be closely tied to the process of aging. Slowing the aging process at a cellular level could reduce the problems associated with growing older. Telomeres may also hold the secret to cell regrowth for treating other medical conditions.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon274619 — On Jun 12, 2012

Very interesting information, but there seems to be a contradiction In the idea that telelomeres might cause cancer. The three scientists who won the Nobel Price in Medicine in 2009 were doing cancer research when they discovered the connection between telomere length and aging, which indicated that as the teleomeres shorten, we age and are then subject to diseases such as cancer.

Right now, scientists and anti-aging people are looking at lengthening teleomeres as an answer to cancer, rather than a cancer cause. I guess the final answer isn't in, but it is of interest.

Also, besides TA-65 and Product B, TS-X is a new player on the scene, having been out since February 2012.

By terrymcafee — On Sep 16, 2011

There are now two commercially available products that appear to affect the way telomeres shorten: TA-65 made by TA Sciences and Product B made by Isagenix. Both show telomerase activation in vitro and a small study of people taking TA-65 showed a decreased proportion of the shortest telomeres in blood samples.

By ivanka — On May 05, 2008

There is some indication that high level of vitamin D in the bloodstream, helps slow down shortening of telomeres, and as a result slow down aging process.

Some foods that are good sources of vitamin D are milk products fortified with D vitamin, fish, and yes egg yolk.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.