Shoulder blues depression and aging

Telomeres may shorten with depression but there are things you can do to protect them.

Telomere Depression and Aging

CrossFit WOD with social support to protect against depression and telomere shortening

Social support matters. Maybe this kid is protecting his father from depression and telomere shortening.

If you read the news you may have noticed articles on depression and telomere length.  There is no reason to think you are screwed and get more depressed. Or get depressed if you weren’t already. Improving your diet seems to increase telomere length.  So does exercise and stress management.

Telomeres protect DNA by capping the ends of chromosomes and preventing them from unraveling or tangling with one another. Telomeres shorten with each cell division. They shorten until they become too short to serve their protective function. At this point the cell will cease to divide and it becomes senescent. Telomere length is a marker of biological age. Shortened telomeres are also associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. Many diseases and maladies of advancing age are associated with short telomeres. Shortened telomeres have been noted in cancers, cardiovascular disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Telomere depression: Does depression shorten telomeres?

Most recently, telomere shortening has been found in people suffering from depression. This may be one of the reasons why people who suffer from depression have poorer health and do not live as long as people who have not.  There is a lot of interesting research coming out on the biochemistry of depression. Click here for articles on folate deficiency and depression, mthfr variants and depression, and exercise and telomere length.

This is depressing.  Is there anything I can do to?

 

American Mona Lisa shirt with kettleblls

You might be able to protect your telomeres with the right shirt. Mona Lisa and her Kettlebells at the WODMasters shop packs a powerful punch.

So far research indicates that a healthy diet may protect telomeres. People who follow a Mediteranean Diet with lots of vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, legumes and fruit have longer telomeres than people who follow a diet high in saturated fat, refined grains, sugar, junk food, fried food etc. (Paleo diet followers: there is no research yet on how the paleo diet might protect telomeres. Best guess is that if you include lots of vegetables and use olive oil you will be better off than most.)

Exercise also seems to protect telomeres. Studies show that Masters Athletes have longer telomeres than their sedentary peers. This is good news for Masters Athletes.  A study of men with prostate cancer who underwent a lifestyle intervention program to increase fitness, diet, stress management and social support experienced an increase in telomere length five years later. The control group that did not receive lifestyle intervention showed decreased telomere length. Good news if you eat well and take care of yourself.  Bad news if you don’t.

Social support may protect telomeres and protect against depression and biological aging

Social support may protect telomeres and protect against depression and biological aging

Teleomere takeaway.

Depression is bad for your life. It is a serious disorder with potentially serious repercussions. Get it treated. Eat well, exercise and care for your social relationships. It may protect you from depression and protect your telomeres too.

Sometimes the right shirt will put you in a great mood.  WODMASTERS shirts are available on our website.  Support us with a purchase.
Phillips AC, Robertson T, Carroll D, Der G, Shiels PG, McGlynn L, & Benzeval M (2013). Do symptoms of depression predict telomere length? Evidence from the west of Scotland twenty-07 study. Psychosomatic medicine, 75 (3), 288-96 PMID: 23513237

Boccardi V, Esposito A, Rizzo MR, Marfella R, Barbieri M, & Paolisso G (2013). Mediterranean diet, telomere maintenance and health status among elderly. PloS one, 8 (4) PMID: 23646142

Ornish D, Lin J, Chan JM, Epel E, Kemp C, Weidner G, Marlin R, Frenda SJ, Magbanua MJ, Daubenmier J, Estay I, Hills NK, Chainani-Wu N, Carroll PR, & Blackburn EH (2013). Effect of comprehensive lifestyle changes on telomerase activity and telomere length in men with biopsy-proven low-risk prostate cancer: 5-year follow-up of a descriptive pilot study. The lancet oncology, 14 (11), 1112-20 PMID: 24051140

Kim JH, Ko JH, Lee DC, Lim I, & Bang H (2012). Habitual physical exercise has beneficial effects on telomere length in postmenopausal women. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 19 (10), 1109-15 PMID: 22668817

Bisphenol A.CrossFit and Women's Health. Exercise reduces risk of breast cancer

Hormones: Exercise changes estrogens and reduces risk of breast cancer

Hormones and Research for Women’s Health. Hormones are powerful molecules. They are chemical messengers. And they exert powerful effects in many different ways. Changes in hormones effect athletic ability. They also effect flexibility and endurance. But exercise seems to changes hormones as well. There is some interesting news on exercise and estrogen. Estrogens are female sex hormones. If you are a woman, someone who cares about or works with women, you should know why sex hormones like estrogen matter.

The basics of why hormones and exercise matter for breast cancer.

There is a lot of interesting stuff coming out about estrogen. Especially about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for masters women. We will follow up with additional articles.  There is a lot to cover.  For now, sex hormones (estrogen in this case) matter for maintaining muscle, skin, connective tissue, and brain function.  The way hormones are metabolized may matter for cancer.

Fit women are less likely to get breast cancer.  Among other things.  We have long known that exercise is good for people.  But we generally know little about why. Estrogen breaks down as part of normal metabolism.  An estrogen molecule that is metabolized is transformed into different molecules.  These estrogen metabolites have actions of their own.  Who knew?  One of the estrogen metabolites decreases a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Exercise, Hormones and Breast Cancer.

A new paper (Kurzer et al. 2013) compared the breakdown of estrogen in women who exercise with those who were sedentary.    Women who exercise moderately to vigorously for about 30 minutes a day, produced more of the metabolite that decreases risk of breast cancer.  While this study does not prove these changes reduce the risk of breast cancer it is very interesting. The study opens doors for new studies.  This study was done with young women.  And they were walking, using an elipitical machine, or a stairmaster.   Would the change in estrogen handling be seen in CrossFit Women?  In High Intensity Interval Training (HIT)? With weights?  Would the same results be seen with older women?  With women on estrogen replacement therapy?  Hopefully we will soon be seeing more work done on hormones, exercise and cancer risk.   In the meanwhile, keep working out.  And keep encouraging the people you care about.  Details of the study are available in the link below.

Smith AJ, Phipps WR, Thomas W, Schmitz KH, & Kurzer MS (2013). The effects of aerobic exercise on estrogen metabolism in healthy premenopausal women. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 22 (5), 756-64 PMID: 23652373

 

Coconut oil and athletic performance

Telomeres and aging and exercise

Telomeres and Aging

Teleomeres are little caps on the ends of DNA that protect DNA from damage during cell division.  They get a little shorter with each cell division.  Telomeres are shorter in older people than in younger people. Telomere length has been reported to be longer in older endurance athletes than in older couch potatoes  Telomeres are thought to be important in aging.  You can find the abstract and access the full text through: http://www.pubmed.gov/.   This is hopefully good news for older endurance athletes and an encouragement to others to get moving.   (It is also possible that people with more resistant telomeres are the ones able to continue intense exercise into middle age and that the exercise did not change the nature of the telomeres.)  But interesting . . . Take a look at table 1.  There are a number of other variables aside from telomere length that you’d think would have been statistically significant but weren’t.  More research?

Congratulations to authors Larocca, Seals and Pierce.  And thank you for publishing this, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development (journal).

Do it yourself CrossFit workout with sandbag

Human Health and Environmental Factors

Mens Eye Pood Kettlebell Shirt

Mens Eye Pood Kettlebell Shirt

There are a lot of things that influence health beyond diet and exercise, and many ways in which our health may be influenced by the world we create.

  • Exposure to light:
  • Temperature control
  • Psychological stress (traffic, kids, job etc.)
  • Quality of friendships and community
  • Exposure to environmental agents
  • Drugs
  • Air Quality
  • Water Quality

and etc.  It is important to keep in mind that all of these things can impact your physical health, and that they can all influence each other.   We’ll do our best to discuss these things and try to make sense of them as new research comes to our attention.  Subscribe to hear the latest on human health research.  We’ll be looking at peer-reviewed scientific studies and writing about them.  Hopefully we’ll learn something and be able to share it.

About us:

Articles and commentary on fitness, aches, pains, research, and adventure.  The WODMasters started as a small group of masters crossfit athletes. We wanted high quality shirts that fit well and looked good. We wanted crossfit shirts that went beyond telling everyone we had great snatches, could squat, beat up other children’s parents and/or were covered with death skulls. We wanted crossfit shirts that were about us. So we made our own. That was about five years ago, in 2009. We now design and produce unique, high-quality athletic shirts. They are ideal crossfit shirts in that they are crossfit themed and made by people who do crossfit. They are also ideal apparel all those who are stiff, inflexible and off-beat. We are not affiliated with CrossFit the brand. Or with Reebok CrossFit. We are our own thing. We also write and talk about nutrition, health, fitness, aches and pains, and adventure expeditions and how to stay tough and have fun. WODMasters creates and provides original content. If you would like to use it please reference our site and provide a link.

Our WODMASTERS Stiff Competition Designs:

If you are looking for an original, off-beat, high quality athletic shirt check out our designs.  Our shirts are perfect crossfit gifts (we started out with CrossFit, but are open to all kinds of interesting pursuits).  They are also perfect gifts for the Masters Athlete, and anyone else who is stiff, inflexible and off-beat.