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The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer Paperback – Illustrated, January 2, 2018
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Have you wondered why some sixty-year-olds look and feel like forty-year-olds and why some forty-year-olds look and feel like sixty-year-olds? While many factors contribute to aging and illness, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn discovered a biological indicator called telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, which protect our genetic heritage. Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel's research shows that the length and health of one's telomeres are a biological underpinning of the long-hypothesized mind-body connection. They and other scientists have found that changes we can make to our daily habits can protect our telomeres and increase our health spans (the number of years we remain healthy, active, and disease-free).
The Telemere Effect reveals how Blackburn and Epel's findings, together with research from colleagues around the world, cumulatively show that sleep quality, exercise, aspects of diet, and even certain chemicals profoundly affect our telomeres, and that chronic stress, negative thoughts, strained relationships, and even the wrong neighborhoods can eat away at them.
Drawing from this scientific body of knowledge, they share lists of foods and suggest amounts and types of exercise that are healthy for our telomeres, mind tricks you can use to protect yourself from stress, and information about how to protect your children against developing shorter telomeres, from pregnancy through adolescence. And they describe how we can improve our health spans at the community level, with neighborhoods characterized by trust, green spaces, and safe streets.
The Telemere Effect will make you reassess how you live your life on a day-to-day basis. It is the first book to explain how we age at a cellular level and how we can make simple changes to keep our chromosomes and cells healthy, allowing us to stay disease-free longer and live more vital and meaningful lives.
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"A classic. One of the most exciting health books to emerge in the last decade. It explains how we can slow the way we age at a fundamental level."―Eric Kandel, Nobel laureate and author of In Search of Memory
"THE TELOMERE EFFECT explains the often-invisible things that affect all of our lives, helping us make better choices individually and socially for greater health and longevity. It will change the way we think of aging and disease."―David Kessler, MD, JD, former FDA commissioner and New York Times bestselling author of The End of Overeating
"A revolutionary set of findings-with a wealth of science-based suggestions-that can transform the way we live our lives, shaping the very health of our cells by how we use our minds."―Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Brainstorm
"This book is revolutionary, transforming the way our world thinks about health and living well, disease, and death. It reveals a stunning picture of healthy aging-it's not simply about individuals, it's about how we are connected to each other, today and through future generations. It is hard to overstate this book's importance."―Dean Ornish, MD, founder and president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, and New York Times bestselling author of The Spectrum
"Grounded in cutting-edge science, this is the best book on how to have long-term health that I have read in a very long time. Written with clarity, verve, and heart, it is chock-full of practical suggestions based on fascinating research on our own DNA. Tremendous."
―Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
"An extraordinary, illuminating synthesis of biological and psychosocial factors that enhance healthful longevity by their effects on telomeres. These new advances in knowledge enable people to attain longer, healthier lives."―Albert Bandura, professor emeritus, Stanford University, United States National Medal of Science awardee
"THE TELOMERE EFFECT gives us, in high relief and with exactly the practical level of detail we need, the long and the short of a new science revealing that how we live our lives, both inwardly and outwardly, individually and collectively, impinges significantly on our health, our well-being, and even our longevity. Mindfulness is a key ingredient, and importantly, issues of poverty and social justice are shown to clearly come into play as well. This book is an invaluable, rigorously authentic, and at its core, exceedingly compassionate and wise contribution to our understanding of health and well-being."―Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living
"From basic science to practical life style advice, THE TELOMERE EFFECT is an extraordinary compendium of wisdom from a remarkable collaboration between a molecular biologist and a health psychologist. It is the supreme user-friendly guide to scientific research on telomeres and why knowing about them is important for your everyday life. This book is a must read for anyone who wishes to live with optimal health."―Richard J. Davidson, New York Times bestselling author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain and co-author of Altered Traits
About the Author
Elissa Epel, PhD, is a leading health psychologist who studies stress, aging, and obesity. She is the director of UCSF's Aging, Metabolism, and Emotion Center and is associate director of the Center for Health and Community. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and serves on scientific advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health, and the Mind and Life Institute. She has received awards from Stanford University, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the American Psychological Association.
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (January 2, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1455587982
- ISBN-13 : 978-1455587988
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.88 x 1.13 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #529,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #752 in Anatomy (Books)
- #1,098 in Anxiety Disorders (Books)
- #1,635 in Stress Management Self-Help
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2021
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In the book, we nearly only are going in details by looking on the many research results which mostly tells us what from the outside react on either longer or shorter telomeres, or more or less telomerase. And as the outside here meant, if we either are living as rich or poor, have a good or bad childhood, and what we are eating, stress and so on.
To me, mostly the book is doing a mission by showing how important a healthy and happy childhood will be by, as thereby determining how long our telomeres will be, and there for how long we are going to live.
I must say that I more like the book written by Elaine Chin, MD.: “Lifeline. Unlock the Secrets of Your Telomeres for a Longer, Healthier Life”, as we there are getting more drawings, and on many of these drawing comparing persons’ technical age and actual age. This done by in the coordinate system respectively on the y-axle putting in the length of the telomeres, and then on the x-axle putting in the age.
Then we have the statistically standard graph line for the length of the telomeres opposite to the age, and then over the year, age, for the actual person putting in a point for the top of his, or hears, telomere. And thereby easily comparing the person’s actual life and technical life. And for some person we then are seeing differences on more than 10 ears, either in increase or decrease between the actual and the technical life.
And then under the graph in small boxes showing the scores for: food, alcohol, sleep, smoking, and exercise, and besides the total lifetime score. So, in this book nearly all of the same content as in the book written by Blackburn & Epel, are put together on drawings/graphs.
And as I wrote, in the book that I’m missing more science about telomeres, as for example parallel to where we in the book written by Theodore C. Goldsmith: “The Evolution of Aging” among other read about how different animals telomeres, lifespan, actually are, and speculating about why. As for example a small bird whose telomeres newer are gets shorter; one has been found to be 52 years old. Or reading about a variant of the rats, living on East Africa, having an average lifespan on 28 years! Or the octopus, which have a lifespan with no connection to the telomere.
Actually, in the animal would we are having many strange variants in how long or shortly animals are living; one I have read about, still living, and being around 1,500 years. Or Darwin’s tortoise which first died at the age of 176.
The book is good. Worth the read! 5 stars. 1 star to the hassle.
Remember that your chromosomes are a linear array of genes half from your father and half from your mother. And that your eggs or sperm contain half of your chromosomes including a mix of what you received from each of your parents. All your chromosomes are present in all your cells because just before your cells divide the chromosomes duplicate to give one of each to each of the resulting daughter cells. The duplication is managed in part by the ends of the chromosomes called telomeres. These ends vary in length and they shorten with each duplication. The shorter they are, the more likely there will be errors in duplication leading to deficient or dead daughter cells. Until recently telomere shortening was thought to be a simple measure of the aging process. Using the latest findings and applying them to the study of various animals and especially humans, Blackburn and Epel have elucidated the complexity of telomere shortening including individual variations and factors that affect the rates of shortening. What is most remarkable, they have found ways to maintain telomere length and even ways to lengthen telomeres.
Since chromosomes are passed from parents to offspring it shouldn’t be surprising that parents with shorter telomers pass shorter telomers to their children and so confer the hazards or advantages of telomer length between generations. Hardships like abusive parenting, neglect, and trauma in childhood are highly correlated with telomer shortening, disease, and reduced longevity. To a lesser extent among adults, abuse, trauma, loneliness, violence, and prolonged stress shorten telomeres.
OK so far. Now we have an index of longevity, but there is no precise lock between experience and telomere length. It is a long range and individually variable measure. Temperaments vary as do our sensitivities to experience. What is mind-blowing about these findings is that diet, exercise, meditation, relaxation, breathing, even the safety of the neighborhood you live in all contribute to the maintenance of telomere length, as do compassion, charity, sociality, and helping others. The book is a confirmation of what modern health studies are recommending. So, all the more reason to avoid sugar, do yoga or other exercise regularly, spend time in green parks, on lakes, and in forests, maintain reasonable body weight but do not yoyo your weight with periodic dieting. If you are curious about telomers or need incentives for clean living, you might want to read this amazing book.
Top reviews from other countries
This book gives an account of how DNA works and the role played by the telomere. It tells us how stress (even from childhood) can affect the length and quality of our telomeres. The authors subscribe to the view that our emotional health plays a part, as do physical well-being. That includes the right diet, plenty of exercise, and sufficient sleep.
Things and food that cause inflammation in our bodies are no good for telomeres. Smoking and sugar are bad (nothing new here) but random tests have shown (the authors say) that four cups of coffee a day for a month can lengthen telomeres and lower oxidative stress in the body.
The chapters on pregnancy and raising children seem a little like chapters from a pregnancy and parenting book, but the authors explain their relationship and importance to the well-being of our telomere. Before the reader runs out for a commercial telomere test lab to measure the length and health of his telomeres, the authors duly warn that the commercial labs running such tests are largely unregulated.
The reason I bought this book was because I watched Elizabeth Blackburn on Ted talks and wanted to find out more and funnily enough she and her colleague had written this book together.
I would fully recommend it.
My only gripe about the book was at parts a little to repetitive on certain subjects, so much so that I skimmed over parts to get to the next section in some instances.
None the less a very interesting read for those of you out there who have interest in science & the effects/causes of ageing.