Using the Telomere Effect to Protect Your DNA and Stave Off Disease

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A scientist works in the lab at University of California San Francisco October 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. UCSF scientist Elizabeth Blackburn shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for their discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Exercise, sleep and stress reduction are common prescriptions for staving off some of the diseases that can come with old age, but few of us understand exactly how these habits protect and change our bodies. Part of the answer may be that these healthy habits protect our telomeres -- the tiny caps at the end of our chromosomes that keep conditions like diabetes and cancer at bay. That’s according to Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn and psychologist Elissa Epel, authors of “The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer.” In this hour, they join us to discuss their theory on how to slow aging on a cellular level, and they’ll also share some specific practices they claim can help protect your telomeres and potentially extend your lifespan.

More about 'The Telomere Effect' and Information About Testing (mentioned on air)

Guests:

Elizabeth Blackburn, president, Salk Institute; co-author, "The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer"; received the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Elissa Epel, professor, psychiatry, UCSF; co-author, "The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer"

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