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  • Telomere length and specific genes associated with IPF:

    Posted by James Rollins on June 7, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    There is a lot on this subject on PubMed for those interested. Shortened telomere length comes up a lot. So do some specific genes. One study even has some research on natural substances that support telomere length. Dr David Sinclair at Harvard is big on NmN. I’m unsure. Since I’m 79 it might be worth a try as the older you are the shorter they become until certain cells can’t replicate correctly.

    I was doing research on genetic like links and telomeres because my sister and possibly a few relatives have IPF. It was striking that shortened telomeres were associated with IPF in most cases. I’m doing some genetic testing to see if I have any of the genetic markers. That would support a case for familial IPF. Sorry I can’t go too deep as I don’t have the right background

    Larry70 replied 5 months, 2 weeks ago 5 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Stephanie Young

    June 7, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    I’ve had IPF for 23 years. I’m sorry to say I’m not educated on the hereditary gene aspect of it. My IPF was environmental. Something I breathed in caused it. Could I have passed this on to my son. He is 19 now and I was diagnosed 23 years ago. No one has mentioned that that could be a possibility. Even though he started having breathing problems at three weeks. At six years of age he went into cardiac arrest running a track meet. Doctors said he didn’t have a heart issue it was lung related. He has since kinda grew out of his lung issues. But still requires an inhaler once in a while. Thank you for your time.

  • James Rollins

    June 7, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    I really don’t know. I’m very early into this subject. I did notice some genes that were related to lung issues thought to contribute to IPF. But genetic tendencies do not generally cause an illness by themselves. Many of the illnesses involve defects in multiple genes. The only way to tell, in my opinion, is genetic testing.

    This was an interesting comment in one study: “Currently, it is estimated that up to 20% of people with pulmonary fibrosis have familial pulmonary fibrosis (FPF).
    We are still learning about all the possible causes of FPF. It is important to know that there is not simply one gene or one variant that causes FPF. Inherited gene variants in two important pathways are known to be related to FPF.  The more frequent variants are in genes that are related to protecting the telomeres. Telomeres are specialized structures located at the ends of chromosomes that serve to protect our chromosomes throughout our lifetime.
    Variants in several telomere regulatory genes (TERT, TERC, PARN, DKC1, NAF1, RTEL1, ZCCHC8, and TINF2) have been discovered and account for 20-30% of FPF cases.
    Variants in genes of another pathway, the surfactant genes (SFTPA1, SFTPA2, SFTPC, ABCA3 and NKX2-1) are less common and account for 1-3% of familial cases.”

    Please keep in mind that degraded telomers are generally a sign of old age. (like ME!)

    • Ruth Angaran

      October 10, 2023 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks for all your information!

  • Steve Dragoo

    October 13, 2023 at 12:38 am

    If you take a good B vitamin complex, most have B3 which is Nmn. I have followed Sinclair for a while and don’t always find his answers adequate. So on my own I am taking NAD+ and Sirt1 – with my IPF I have seen it help my endurance and strength but it has not improved my O2. I am happy with the results so far and of course, there are many other things I do and lots of different factors/diet/supplements/etc. affect each one of us…

  • James Rollins

    October 17, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    I will add to my last statement. Telomers do shorten with age, generally. But a recent study looked at telomeres length versus age and also broke out older peopled that exercised. They found those seniors that exercised regularly had similar telomer length as the younger groups! That’s significant. Might indicate that if you have the genes indicated, you might benefit from exercise.

  • Larry70

    November 17, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    From what I understand, some scientists are studying to learn more about how shortened Telomere length plays a role in several health problems and how shorter Telomere length may lengthen with fasting, intermittent fasting, and major calorie restrictions (in mice at least). Of course, most of this is just speculation and likely has no bearing on helping someone with IPF, but it seems if you want to lose weight anyway, might be something to think about. Here’s a link to an NIH article that discusses this. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093158/

  • Larry70

    December 10, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    Here is a link to an excellent webinar video about familiar pulmonary fibrosis that discusses telomere length to some degree that you may find of interest. https://youtu.be/yxh3XiOAtM4?si=gAp3ExvUm0wh1Ijf

  • Larry70

    December 10, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    One more – I asked ChatGPT 4

    Could shortened telomere length play a role in interstitial lung disease and IPF?


    Yes, shortened telomere length has been implicated in the pathogenesis of interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that maintain genomic stability. Each time a cell divides, telomeres shorten slightly, and over time, this can lead to cellular aging and senescence.

    In the context of ILDs and IPF, the connection between shortened telomeres and disease development includes:

    1. Genetic Predisposition: Some individuals with familial forms of IPF have mutations in genes responsible for telomere maintenance, such as TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase) or TERC (telomerase RNA component). These mutations lead to prematurely shortened telomeres, contributing to the earlier onset and progression of the disease.

    2. Accelerated Aging Process: IPF is thought to be a disease of accelerated lung aging, and shortened telomeres are a hallmark of aging cells. In the lungs, this can manifest as an impaired ability to repair or regenerate lung tissue, leading to fibrosis.

    3. Reduced Telomerase Activity: In addition to genetic mutations, reduced activity of the enzyme telomerase, which helps maintain telomere length, has been observed in some patients with IPF. This reduction can contribute to shorter telomeres and lung tissue vulnerability.

    4. Cellular Senescence and Fibrosis: Shortened telomeres can lead to cellular senescence, a state where cells no longer divide. Senescent cells in the lungs can promote inflammation and fibrotic processes, key features of IPF.

    5. Prognostic Implications: There is evidence suggesting that patients with IPF and shortened telomeres, whether due to genetic mutations or other factors, may have a more aggressive course of disease and a poorer prognosis.

    6. Broader Implications for ILDs: Shortened telomeres have been studied in other forms of ILDs as well, suggesting a potential common mechanism in lung tissue vulnerability and fibrosis.

    Understanding the role of telomeres in IPF and other ILDs is an area of active research. It holds promise not only for better understanding the disease mechanisms but also for developing targeted therapies that address these underlying genetic and molecular pathways.

  • Larry70

    December 10, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    While the relationship between nutrition, supplements, and telomere length is an area of ongoing research, several nutrients have been studied for their potential to impact telomere length. It’s important to remember that while these nutrients may contribute to overall health, they should not be viewed as a definitive solution for increasing telomere length or as a substitute for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Also, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

    Here are some nutrients and supplements that have been studied in relation to telomere length:

    1. **Omega-3 Fatty Acids**: Found in fish oil and certain plant oils, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and have been associated with longer telomeres in some studies. Typical dosages range from 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day.

    2. **Vitamin D**: Some research suggests a correlation between higher levels of vitamin D and longer telomere length. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) varies depending on age, sex, and other factors, but typically ranges from 600 to 800 IU/day. Some individuals may require higher doses, especially if they are deficient, but this should be determined by a healthcare provider.

    3. **Antioxidants (Vitamins C and E)**: These vitamins can protect cells from oxidative stress, which has been linked to telomere shortening. For vitamin C, the RDA ranges from 75 mg/day for women to 90 mg/day for men. For vitamin E, the RDA is about 15 mg (22.4 IU) of natural alpha-tocopherol for adults.

    4. **B Vitamins**: Particularly folate (vitamin B9), vitamin B12, and niacin (vitamin B3) have been linked to DNA maintenance and methylation processes that can impact telomere length. RDAs vary: for folate, it’s 400 mcg for adults; for B12, it’s 2.4 mcg for adults; and for niacin, it’s 16 mg NE/day for men and 14 mg NE/day for women.

    5. **Polyphenols**: Found in foods like berries, green tea, and dark chocolate, polyphenols may have a positive effect on telomere length due to their antioxidant properties. There’s no established RDA for polyphenols, and intake is typically measured through dietary sources rather than supplements.

    6. **Curcumin**: This active compound in turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Dosages in studies vary widely, often ranging from 500 to 2,000 mg per day, but optimal doses for telomere length are not established.

    7. **Selenium**: An essential mineral with antioxidant properties. The RDA for selenium is 55 mcg for adults.

    8. **Zinc**: Important for immune function and cellular repair. The RDA for zinc is 11 mg/day for men and 8 mg/day for women.

    It’s crucial to approach supplements with caution, as excessive intake can have negative health consequences. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is the best foundation for maintaining telomere length and overall health. Supplements should ideally complement the diet, not replace healthy eating habits.

    Lastly, lifestyle factors such as regular physical activity, stress management, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are also important for maintaining telomere length and overall well-being.

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