Broker Check

Part I - A Review of The Telomere Effect

| July 27, 2018
A Review of The Telomere Effect, by Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD and Elissa Epel, PhD, Grand Central Publishing, 2017.
I finished reading The Telomere Effect, by Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD. and Elissa Epel, PhD. on April 25, 2017. I recommended it on my personal Facebook page the same day. I also wrote about it briefly in the July edition of our print newsletter Flourishing. I'm afraid I haven't done justice to the book and its authors, and consequently, I've shortchanged my readers. Intermittently, over the next few weeks, I hope to remedy both of those failings.
In 2009, Dr. Blackburn, her research assistant Carol Greider, and Harvard biologist Jack Szostak were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. Dr. Blackburn's discoveries came about as a result of her research with single-celled Tetrahymena (pond scum). Yes, truth is stranger than fiction. Stranger still, is how the knowledge gained from studying Tetrahymena could affect human health span and longevity.
Elissa Epel grew up in the idyllic and sophisticated community of Carmel, California. She earned a bachelor's degree at nearby Stanford, before migrating to the east coast to earn a PhD in psychology at Yale.
So, I think it's safe to conclude that Blackburn and Epel are two very intelligent women, and not prone to jumping to unwarranted conclusions. Yet, the thesis of their book is that we can improve our health and extend our longevity by using our thoughts to affect our bodies at the cellular level. Specifically, our thoughts and behaviors, and even the neighborhoods we choose to live in, can affect the health of our telomeres and our bodies' production of telomerase. I believe this is an important book, so I'll have more detail for you in coming weeks. Until then,
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.