What are telomeres?
Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes somewhat like the plastic tips on shoelaces. They protect the ends of the chromosomes. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. When telomeres get too short, the cell no longer can divide and becomes “senescent” (inactive) or dies. Cells normally can divide only about 50 to 70 times before they become senescent, die, or sustain genetic damage that can cause cancer.
Telomere shortening has been closely linked to the aging process. It is involved in a variety of chronic diseases and conditions associated with aging. Statistically, people with longer telomeres in their blood cells have an increased number of healthy years beyond the age of 60. Those over 60 with the shortest telomeres have higher rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Can we slow telomere shortening?
Yes! Studies confirm that healthy a lifestyle slows telomere shortening. Maintaining a healthy body composition, a good diet, calorie restriction, exercise, antioxidants, vitamin D, fish oil, avoidance of smoking and other toxic exposures, and even multivitamins, have all been shown to slow the rate at which telomeres shorten.
How did we learn about telomeres?
Elizabeth Blackburn and her colleagues won a Nobel Prize for discovering that telomeres protect the ends of the chromosomes and for the discovery of the enzyme telomerase that lengthens the telomeres. Bill Andrews later discovered the gene that could turn on telomerase. He and his team also discovered that by adding telomerase to normal cells, they could continue to divide, if necessary, as often as needed without limit.
What are Telomere supplements?
The best Telomere supplements are the only substances outside of the research lab that has been shown to increase telomere length. It does this by activating telomerase. The supplements provide a highly purified, single small molecule derived from the Chinese herb astragalus. It appears to lengthen the shortest telomeres and protect the ends of the chromosomes from damage and allows them to divide beyond their normal limit.
What are some documented benefits of Telomere supplements according to the developers?
- Improvements in the immune system.
- Improvements in total and LDL cholesterol
- Significant decreases in fasting glucose and fasting insulin levels
- Decreased plasma homocysteine levels
- A drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
- Functional improvements in cognitive behavior – verbal memory and shifting attention
- Statistically significant improvements in Bone Mineral Density in males and a trend towards the same in females.
According to researchers and our experience, anecdotal benefits reported by people taking Telomere supplements include:
- More energy
- More stamina
- More sex drive
- Improved skin
- Better vision
What are the side effects?
According to the scientists, “not a single adverse reaction reported by our licensed physicians.” Researchers go on to state that “there has not been a single diagnosis of new cancer”, and “not a single report of increased cancer load for clients who already had cancer.”
Will Telomere treatment interfere with anything I’m taking?
According to the literature, there are no known interactions.
What about cancer?
Some worry that turning on telomerase may cause cancer. This concern is due to the fact that some cancer cells appear to have telomerase turned on all the time making them “immortal.” It is true that telomerase may be turned on in those cells. However, it is not what made them cancerous. Mutations or chromosomal damage cause cells to become cancerous, not the simple fact that they are able to continue to divide past the normal number of times (which occurs with telomerase activation). Longer telomeres protect the ends of the chromosomes from damage. In other words, telomerase does not do anything to make a cell cancerous, but when turned on permanently, does allow cancerous cells to continue to divide indefinitely. In most cancerous cells, this has already occurred. The use of Telomere supplements have shown no risk, and it is stated there is “no effect on preexisting undiagnosed or diagnosed cancers.”
Tests done by Geron in vitro have shown that adding a telomerase activator to normal cells does not cause the loss of normal cell growth control, or cause them to go on and become cancerous.
According to a study in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) in 2010, “there was a statistically significant inverse relationship between telomere length and both cancer incidence and mortality.” In other words, shorter telomeres mean more cancer and more cancer deaths.
Can I measure my telomeres?
Yes. In conjunction with Life Length® Laboratories, Cenegenics offers Telomere Analysis Testing® which can determine the percentage of short telomeres that you have. This requires a blood test which is performed by our phlebotomy services who can meet you at your convenience, and the sample is then processed at the Life Length® Laboratories in Spain. Test results are reported in 6-8 weeks, and the information is used to determine the TA-65 treatment recommendations. Retesting after 6 to 12 months can also be used to show the effects of treatment- the goal is to see a reduction in the percentage of short “at risk” telomeres, and to adjust the dosing as needed.
Testing is not required in order to take the Telomere supplement, but if you want to learn your telomere “health” before treatment, and at yearly intervals when using therapy, testing is the only way to obtain data for evaluation and decision making.
The statistics showing the efficacy of treatment for short telomeres was demonstrated in the ground breaking scientific paper published Sept. 8, 2010 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Rejuvenation Research. We now have evidence to offer different dosing options based on Telomere Test results.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Let us know if you would like to add Telomere Testing and Treatment to your personal Cenegenics Elite Health program. You don’t have to be a Cenegenics patient to order the testing, or to receive the Telomere Therapy. Call us to learn more!