What are telomeres?
Telomeres are the protective end-caps of chromosomes which prevent deterioration of the cell and allow for proper replication. You might think of them as the plastic sheaths on the end of shoelaces - stopping the laces from fraying.
Why is telomere length important?
Telomere length provides a good approximation of cell age, This in turn gives an excellent approximation of your true physiological age.
Eventually Telomeres get so short that they are no longer able to protect your cells during the cell division process.
At this point the cell dies. To continue the analogy of the shoe laces at this point the laces fray.
Both age and lifestyle affect Telomere length.
Telomeres become shorter with age and poor lifestyle choices like smoking and high sugary food intake. Telomeres eventually become so short they are unable to protect the cells as they replicate. When this happens, the cell no longer properly divides, leading to cell death, and accelerated aging.
Interpreting the results of your Telomere Test
Whilst the Graph to the right gives an approximation of telomere length versus age the real value of Telomeres is through repeat testing to measure the effect life style changes made over, for example a 6 month period, are having on your age.