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Elizabeth Blackburn – The relationship between estrogen and telomere length

Elizabeth Blackburn – The relationship between estrogen and telomere length

anthony-loera anthony-loera
1 minute read

In a telomere study in the month of October, a research group that included Elizabeth Blackburn (last year’s Nobel Laureate for Medicine) investigated the relationship between estrogen and telomere length maintenance (Brain Res, Oct 18 2010). In this study 53 postmenopausal women were treated with estrogen (i.e. hormone therapy) for at least one year and some cases longer and then blood was removed and blood cells measured for telomere length and telomerase activity. The results indicated that there was a direct correlation with the amount of time that the women received the hormone treatment and longer telomeres but yet had lower levels of telomerase activity. This is peculiar result since one would expect higher telomerase activity associated with the longer telomeres. Because of this result, the researchers conclude that the hormone therapy is actually delaying the cellular aging process. Equally important is the fact that this is the first published result linking estrogen, telomerase and telomere length, which may now open the door for future research.

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