Fish Oil: The Secret to Long Life

Remember the last pair of frayed shoelaces you had? The little plastic thingies at the ends of the laces – known as aglets – gradually flaked away, leaving you with a clump of unruly fibers that made it hard to thread the laces through the eyelets of your Chucks. If you have ever had that experience, you’re on the cusp of gaining an understanding of how chromosomes age and deteriorate.

Here’s why: At the end of each chromosomal arm or “lace” is a specialized structure known as a telomere 12 that’s composed of a specific sequence of nucleotides and associated proteins. In effect, it’s one of the chromosome’s “aglets,” and every time a cell divides, this mock aglet gets shorter.

If they get too short, they can start to unfold. It’s the biological equivalent of that frayed end of a shoelace, only instead of causing you to trip and fall into a canal, they wreak havoc on your health. Read more…

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