Telomeres have been likened to the plastic tips on shoelaces because they prevent our chromosomes from 'fraying.' These little stretches of DNA on the ends of our 23 pairs of chromosomes are critical for healthy cell function, allowing our trillions of cells to keep furiously dividing, thereby keeping us alive and well and able to get new skin, blood, bone and other cells when needed. Without telomeres, our genetic data would be lost because our chromosomes - twisted double-stranded molecules of DNA containing our genes that are located inside the nucleus of each of our cells - would scramble or stick together, causing disorder inside the body.
"Telomere length affects every internal organ and every disease - cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and so on," reveals Dr. Andrews, who, in 1997, made a major breakthrough when he discovered an enzyme specifically in humans called telomerase, which acts directly on telomeres to replace DNA cell bases that have been lost to cell replication and maintains telomere length in cells. "When telomeres get short, the chromosomes become rearranged and transmutations occur."