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The Telomere Effect

The Telomere Effect

A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer


Elizabeth Blackburn, Elissa Epel








The New York Times bestseller by Nobel Prize winner Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, who discovered telomerase and the role of telomeres in aging, and health psychologist Dr. Elissa Epel, who has researched how certain lifestyle and psychological habits can protect telomeres, slow illness and improve lives.

How can it be that some sixty-year-olds look and feel like forty-year-olds and some forty-year-olds look and feel like sixty-year-olds? While many factors contribute to aging and disease, Dr. Blackburn discovered a biological indicator called telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes the telomeres that protect our genetic heritage.

The research by Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel shows that the length and health of telomeres are the biological basis for the long-suspected connection between body and mind. She and other scientists have found that changes we can make to our daily habits can protect our telomeres and increase our health span (the number of years we stay healthy, active, and disease-free).

In The Telomere Effect, Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel reveal the joint findings that the quality of sleep, exercise, certain aspects of diet, and even certain chemicals strongly influence our telomeres and that chronic stress, negative thoughts, strained relationships, and even the wrong neighborhood can eat away at them.

Based on these scientific findings, they publish lists of foods and suggest the frequency and type of physical activity that are healthy for our telomeres. They describe tricks we can use to protect ourselves from stress and provide information on how we can protect our children from developing shorter telomeres from pregnancy to adolescence. And they describe how we can improve our health at the community level — with neighborhoods characterized by green spaces and safe roads.

It is the first book to explain how we age on a cellular level and how we can make simple changes to keep our chromosomes and cells healthy so that we can stay disease-free longer and live more vital and meaningful lives.