Five extra Years of Life

Tea Lovers Have Longer Telomeres

Five Extra Years Of Life Healthy Living Magazine

Five Extra Years Of Life Healthy Living Magazine

Did you know? Short telomere: early death. Long telomere: maximum life. Telomeres, structures at the end of each gene, shield DNA. They shorten with age; their size predicts mortality. The 2006 British Journal of Nutrition reports on Chinese tea drinkers 65 years and over, observing that three cups or more of tea conferred the longest telomere length and the difference between highest and lower imbibing groups added five years of life.

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One of the cheapest beverages in the world after water—tea supplies smart polyphenols that love DNA

Phenolic Promiscuity

Scientists think they know why tea works. Flav0nols from tea accumulate in the cell nucleus in considerable concentrations. The nature of this phenomenon explains how tea protects telomeres. The interaction between green tea flavonols and theaflavins from black tea with histone proteins, double-stranded DNA and quadruplex DNA, all different genetic structures, impressed scientists. Tea polyphenols, they found, love all kinds of DNA, appear nondiscriminatory, demonstrating a degree of unexpected “molecular promiscuity.”

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Theaflavin from black tea displayed the highest affinity to quadruplex DNA “for any naturally occurring molecule reported so far.” This finding has immediate implications in explaining the strong anticancer effect of tea and role of phenolics as “life span essentials,” they said.

Sometimes, though, telomeres need to be clipped, hit, damaged. That’s when they’re at the end of cancer cells plying immortality evil. The effect of green tea on telomere activity is adaptive. Tea flavonols intuit bodily needs because when they come into contact with cancer cells their effect “strongly and directly inhibits telomerase, an enzyme essential for unlocking the proliferative capacity of cancer cells” by maintaining the tips of their chromosomes. Green tea flavonols applied to human leukemia colon cancer cells led to life span limitations accompanied with telomere shortening, they observed.

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