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How’s your health? Check your telomeres

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Science writer Thea Singer (on twitter: @theasinger1) has been poking me for getting it wrong with telomeres. Being relatively new to health science writing, I appreciate her gentle berating because this stuff is complicated.

Telomeres are little caps on your DNA that get smaller each time a cell divides. Their length is an indicator of how fast you (or your cells, at least) are aging and your relative health status. They do not tell us how long we live. And this is what Singer has been poking me about.

If you know what’s going on with your telomeres, the theory goes, you can make adjustments to your lifestyle to be healthier and theoretically slow aging.

And there is a new test that can help you check this. See Singer’s piece on this in the Washington Post.


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