Human cells cease division when the telomeres shorten to a critical length. The number of possible cell divisions is usually between 40 and 60 in humans (This is called the Hayflick limit).

There is evidence to suggest that telomere shortening rate is tied to nutritional status in human studies, which may suggest that nutrition has a positive impact on telomere length.

The Hayflick limit, or Hayflick phenomenon, is the number of times a normal human cell population will divide before cell division stops.

Definition of Hayflick limit

So I am wondering...

Is there any way to increase telomere length or the Hayflick limit in humans?

1 Answer 1


Nutrition and physical activity directly influence the telomerase activity. Telomerase is the enzyme responsible for telomere synthesis by attaching nucleotides to the chromosome ends.

Healthy diet consisting dietary fiber and unsaturated lipids promote telomere length, whereas refined sugars and saturated lipids causes telomere weakening. Diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory food is linked to longer telomeres.

Physical activity increases telomerase activity by reducing oxidative stress and by TERRA (TElomeric Repeat-containing RNA) renewal in skeletal muscle.

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