You may or may not recognize the words “telomere” or “telomerase” now, but you will no doubt hear more about them in the context of an emerging body of nutritional science that is commanding a great deal of attention in the area of anti-aging. These two words will help you understand how a supplement can improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve verbal memory and attention, improve bone density, and increase energy and stamina.
What is Telomeres and Telomerase?
In 1961 Leonard Hayflick discovered that most human cells (excluding skin, gut and stem cells) can only divide about 50 times in a person’s life under ideal conditions.
Telomeres are DNA sequences at the end of all chromosomes that protect their integrity. If they are damaged, they can no longer protect the gene-carrying portion of the chromosomes. Telomeres were discovered in 1978. Then in 1985 it was discovered that by adding an enzyme, telomerase, to cells allows them to divide beyond their pre-programmed limit.
What does Telomeres and Telomerase have to do with anti-aging?
Each time a cell replicates and divides, the telomere loses some of its length. Eventually the telomere runs out, and the cell can no longer divide and rejuvenate, triggering a poor state of cell health called the senescent state. It either dies or becomes senescent.
These very old senescent cells, no longer perform their intended function and pour many inflammatory substances into tissues and the bloodstream. These substances can affect our immune systems causing cardiovascular disease, cancer, sagging skin and thinning hair. Tissues cells in senescence have a lower ability to repair and regenerate and they also crowd out valuable space of healthy cells.
What does this have to do with a supplement?
Hayflick’s research found that a human cell could live 120 years with good genes, zero tragedy or stress, absolute gratification, perfect eating, no infections, ideal sleep, and no vices. Stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity and sleep deprivation all cause oxidative stress which increases cell turnover. Can we undo the damage done to these cells?
TA-65 is a small molecule derived from the Chinese Herb astragalus. In laboratory studies using human cell lines, TA-65 unequivocally lengthened telomeres. Only telomerase can add back lost base pairs to rescue cells from senescence. TA-65 is the only product on the market proven to activate telomerase.
Some benefits of supplementation with TA-65 include improvements in total and LDL-cholesterol, decreased homocysteine, lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure, functional improvements in cognitive behavior (verbal memory and attention), improvements in bone density, and increased energy and stamina.