Austrian scientists created artificial conditions in the lab for 25 hamsters. Offering only eight hours of light per day, researchers were made winter conditions to trigger a hibernation response.
During a long cold winter some animals, including hamsters, hibernate, which helps them to survive the winter and to maintain a decent body weight. When hamsters hibernate their body temperature and metabolism drop, reducing the amount of energy they need.
For 180 days, half of them housed in a pleasant environment 20°C, while the rest rodents situated in colder climates around 9°C. Both groups had an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Researchers measured the loss of body mass in the animals over winter hibernation as an index of hibernation. To compare the changes in the length of telomeres, researchers measured the telomere length at the start and the end of the hibernation season.
Telomeres sit like tiny caps on the ends of chromosomes, guarding the strands of genetic code. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres shrink a little bit until the loss reaches a critical level, at which cell becomes old and dies. This process is known as cellular “senescence”.
“Those hamsters that lost more mass also hibernated less and their telomere shortening was faster,” researchers noted.
They suspect that hibernation reduces telomere shortening and aging because the metabolic rate and cellular processes are slowed down. In other words, the energy-saving process during hibernation had an impact on telomeres and thus on aging. This theory explains the slowing of aging at the cellular level.
Telomere dynamics have been proposed as an index of rates of biological aging. Therefore the new findings support the hypothesis that hibernation is associated with physiological changes that increase somatic maintenance and slow the aging process.
This finding is probably applicable to all animals that use hibernation. Unfortunately, advantages of hibernating do not include humans. Hibernation is different from sleeping, which does not lower human body temperature, nor is there a comparable slowdown in metabolic rate.
However, we have the possibility of telomerase activation. Telomerase is an enzyme which promises the real possibility of significantly maintaining telomere length. The enzyme’s job is to partially rebuild telomeres.
Telomere shortening means the cell’s lifespan is shortening, and thus our lives. If telomerase is activated, telomere will be protected from degradation and cell will continue to grow and divide.
One scientifically proven way of activating telomerase is the peptide Epitalon.
Epitalon increases telomere length and health. It also stimulates the Pineal Gland to balance melatonin and cortisol production, normalizing circadian rhythms for deep, refreshing sleep. It’s one of the best investments for GOOD HEALTH and LONGEVITY.
Goncharova, N.D., Khavinson, B.K. & Lapin, B.A. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine (2001) 131: 394. doi:10.1023/A:1017928925177