It's no secret that environmental factors and lifestyle choices – such as smoking, drinking and regular exposure to toxins – can accelerate the aging process and even take years off your life. That's precisely why the anti-aging doctors at Longevity Centres of America offer IV Chelation treatments and other detox services to flush out your system. However, these exterior elements only tell half of the story. The rest comes down to your genes.

Telomeres, which are the small sections of DNA at the end of your chromosomes that actually protect them from deterioration, have long been linked to the aging longevity. However, generally speaking, medical professionals and researchers have believed that these segments gradually shorten as a result of the aging process. But, according to a recent study, shorter telomeres may actually be the cause of this overall decline.

Newsmax Health reports that researchers from the Kaiser Permanente research program on genes, environment and health in California have discovered that the length of an individual's telomeres can predict how long they live. Scientists gathered medical records and saliva samples from more than 100,000 people with an average of of 63 years, all of whom were asked to conduct behavioral surveys two years in advance.

Ultimately, the researchers discovered that participants with shorter telomeres were more likely to die within a three-year period, the source states. Since other factors like disease, smoking and alcohol consumption have been linked to shorter telomeres, the scientists also took steps to take these variables into account, but still found that the genetic material itself affected aging longevity independently.

Though this is the largest study to establish a link between telomere length and the aging process, anti-aging doctors have been aware of the connection for years. To rejuvenate your cells and potentially add years to your life, talk to one of our anti-aging doctors about lengthening your telomeres through telomerase activation.