What Blocks Your Anti-Aging Enzyme?

Some of you are familiar with the claim that telomeres - the DNA at the end of each chromosome - are a key determinant ofaging.

There are telomeres in every cell of your body. The shorter they get, the older you look and feel. But when telomeres are prevented from becoming shorter or are lengthened, the body is programmed to create younger cells. Telomerase is an enzyme that is critical in the process of rebuilding telomeres and rejuvenating cells (ref. 1).

Unfortunately, telomerase can be easily ‘blocked’ or ‘deactivated’. This blog looks at what causes the blockage, and how you can prevent it.

What Causes Telomerase to Become Blocked?

The key cause is an excess of cytokines.

Cytokines are inflammatory molecules. Studies show how they shorten telomere length and may lead to degenerative disorders such as frailty, loss of muscle mass, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease (ref. 2-3)

People with short telomeres were seen to have high levels of three cytokines: interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), and interferon type 1 (IFN-a).

The evidence also suggests that cytokines not only shorten telomeres through inflammation but also directly block telomerase production. (ref. 4)

Even worse, cytokines appear to create free radicals which literally kick telomerase out of the cell! (ref. 5)

It’s like a triple hit to your body. First, your tissues become inflamed. Then your telomeres get shorter, making your cells older and weaker. And in the process, free radicals ‘export’ telomerase out of the cell.

So what can you do to prevent, or even control cytokines, so they don’t cause so much degenerative damage?

How to Reduce the Degenerative Effects of Cytokines

Based on the above, you will not be surprised to hear that the key to reducing the degenerative effects of cytokines is to address systematic chronic inflammation. We have described how to do this here (ref 6)

In essence, the chronic inflammatory process is heavily influenced by a combination of factors such as toxins, oxidative stress, free radicals, injury, infections, lack of exercise, heredity and, especially, diet.

Indeed, a poor diet can increase and prolong inflammation while a good diet can reduce it. There are two nutrients which are especially powerful in fighting the degenerative effects of cytokines:

Perhaps the most widely studied, and acknowledged anti-cytokine nutrient is Omega-3 fatty acid.

1. Diet and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Studies show how people who get more DHA and EPA, the two main omega-3s, produce fewer cytokines (ref. 7). One of the best foods containing omega-3s is cold water fish. Researchers followed over 3,000 Greek men and women. Those who ate 10 ounces of fish per week had up to 33% fewer cytokines than those who didn’t eat fish.

Try to eat the smaller oily fish like sardines or herring. Sardines are at the bottom of the ocean’s food chain. They only feed on plankton, so they don’t accumulate heavy metals and other contaminants in their flesh like many larger fish do.

Whether or not you are a fish-eater, supplementation is your next option. Our pure and potent Omega 3 fish oil formulas (ref. 8) not only have a very high DHA content. But also, according to lab tests, they contain greater inflammation-fighting properties than highly concentrated Omega 3 fish oil.

A less well-known, but powerful way to stop the telomerase-blocking action of cytokines, is with Beta-Carotene.

2. Diet and Beta Carotene

Beta-carotene is a red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits, especially carrots and colourful vegetables. The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol).

Research shows that people who eat the most vegetables have significantly longer telomeres… and that vegetables with the most beta carotene help to optimise telomere health. (ref. 9)

Also, do you remember I told you earlier that cytokines ‘kick’ telomerase out of the cell? Well, one of the ways antioxidants like beta-carotene benefit telomerase is that they block this effect. (ref 5)

Xtendlife’s Total Balance products all include high-quality natural Beta-Carotene.

Perhaps now you have a glimmer of The Fountain of Youth?!


1. For a simple explanation of the relationship between aging and telomeres please see www.lifelength.com/pdf/Aging_and_the_Telomere_Connection-Dr.Jerry_Shay-A4M-Orlando-April_2013.pdf

2. This study shows how chronic inflammation can shorten telomere length.  www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0019687

3.The effects of  inflammatory cytokines on aging and age-related diseases are shown in this study www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23792036

4. This research shows how the cytokine, tumour  necrosis factor alpha, inhibits telomerase production


5.Free radicals appear to ‘export’ telomerase out of the cell as seen in this study www.docphin.com/research/article-detail/243909/PubMedID-14963003/Antioxidants-inhibit-nuclear-export-of-telomerase-reverse-transcriptase-and-delay-replicative-senescence-of-endothelial-cells  

6. To read our blog describing the facts about chronic inflammation please see www.xtend-life.com/Blog/11-01-20/Are_You_Inflamed.aspx

7. These studies show how people who get more EPA and DHA, produce fewer cytokines

  • www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2783477
  • www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15992645

8. To find out more about our Omega 3 fish supplements please see www.xtend-life.com/product/Omega_3_Fish_Oil_Supplements.aspx

9.  This research shows the beneficial effects of vegetables, antioxidants and beta-carotene on telomere health www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21857007

4 Responses

What about skin Cancer ?  Age spots , Dry flaky Skin patches..  Got any thing that Helps that ???

Cathi September 02 2014

Thanks for your questions Cathi.  

As you are probably aware the condition of your skin reflects your inner health. So while it would be easy for me to recommend several of our regenerative skin products, you also need to address the systematic imbalances which are causing skin issues. You need a holistic, not a scatter gun approach.  

So I suggest I two pronged approach Cathi:

1. Review our anti-aging skin care range at http://www.xtend-life.com/skincare/womens-skincare and follow the recommendation there.

2. To help address core systematic imbalances and to boost general health and well being, our Core Wellness Activator products would be an excellent place to start: http://www.xtend-life.com/supplements/core-wellness-activator  

Then to help you tailor which of these products may be most suitable for you, please contact our Customer services team on our toll free phone numbers: USA and Canada 1888 487 9304, UK 0 800 520 0311, Australia 1 800 983635, New Zealand 0508 983635. The rest of the world is 0064 03 384 5574.  Alternatively, email them at customer.service@xtend-life.com.  

I hope this helps.

Kindly, Caramia

Xtend-Life Expert September 04 2014

Hi Marie,  

Thank you for contacting us.  

For you I would like to recommend our Womens Age Defense Active Body Lotion, Omega 3/ DHA Fish Oil Premium and our Zupafood for SKIN.  

Our Women’s Age Defense Active Body Lotion contains a combination of fantastic natural ingredients such as Xtend-TK, Nano-Lipobelle H-EQ10, Manuka Honey and Shea Butter which may help smooth, strengthen, thicken and moisturize your skin.  It may also repair layers to discourage aging.   

We recommend using this product both morning and then again in the evening for optimum results.  It can be used all over the body including your neck area.  

Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil Premium contains exceptionally pure and fresh fish oil high in DHA, which is essential for addressing skin health internally.  This product also contains two additional ingredients; Lycopene and Astaxathin, that may also help repair layers of your skin from the inside out.  We recommend taking two soft gels per day, with or without food at any time of the day.  

Our Zupafood for SKIN is also another fantastic product that you might find helpful in combination with our Womens Body Lotion and Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil Premium.  This is a new product to our line and we have already had a lot of great feedback! Zupafood for SKIN is designed specifically to youth-ify your skin with so many important nutrients your body needs.  

I hope this information is helpful to you Maria.  We would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have or provide assistance with placing an order.  Our hours of operation are New Zealand time, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm.   

Our toll-free phone number is 1-888 487 9304 or you can email us at customer.service@xtend-life.com.  

Kind regards,

Customer Relations Representative

Customer Relations September 29 2014

 I’m 63, on bio-identical hormone therapy and have recently lost 15 pounds.  My body skin, for the first time, is getting saggy and not retracting like it used to.  It seems dry, wrinkly, and has a lack of tightness and elasticity. My face is okay, but my neck is starting to sag as well.  Any suggestions for supplements or skin products? 

Marie September 21 2014

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