Telomeres and Your Health


By: Elyse Averdick, MSN, FNP

We all want to feel young and healthy. You may be a person who eats well, exercises, takes supplements and has a generally healthy lifestyle. But we all know that is still not eno¬ugh. We often see the healthiest people deteriorate as they age.
Scientific research has discovered that a primary cause of aging is shortening telomeres – the protective end-caps of DNA at both ends of every chromosome.  We have only recently begun to understand the critical importance of shortened telomeres.  Research has shown that people over sixty who have long telomeres experience greater heart and immune system health than their age-matched counterparts with shorter telomeres.  Thus, it is becoming well understood that maintaining telomere length may prevent age-related decline. We can fight telomere shortening with diet and exercise, but only up to a point. But now, we can actually change the course of events with telomerase activation.
Are you living a lifestyle that promotes healthy telomeres and longer cell life? Do you know how long your telomeres are?  Did you know there is now a blood test that can actually measure your telomere length? There is a product called TA-65 that has been shown through scientific studies to lengthen short telomeres, thereby preventing our cells from going into crisis or even death (senescence).
Telomerase is an enzyme that can add DNA to chromosomes and actually grow back telomere length. And now, you can activate your body’s own natural telomerase with the world’s first proven telomerase activator.  TA-65 is a natural molecule derived from the Astragalus plant, a Chinese herb used since ancient times.
Benefits people have reported:
• Improved energy and feelings of vitality
• Improved appearance as related to skin, hair, nails
• Improved sexual performance
• Improved memory and mental ability
• Improved vision, including the need to change to weaker eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions
In clinical trials there have been a number of statistically significant changes including:
• Improvement in T-cell count and           immune system function
• Increase in bone density
I actually met the scientist that developed TA-65.  He is a brilliant man who runs 100-mile races every month and does most of his training running through Death Valley.  He was 58 years old when I met him.  He laughed that he was running faster than ever while his competitors were progressively slowing down. 
He believes we were designed to live at least 120 years.  He talked to me about the fundamental principle of biology that every time a cell divides, it loses telomere length.  Anything that accelerates the need for cell division will accelerate the shortening of our telomeres.  This could include alcohol, stress, lack of sleep, infectious diseases and the like.  In order to maintain the status quo of balanced functioning, parts of our body are going to have to divide to repair the damage and this is going to shorten our telomeres.  In a sense we can think of it as burning the candle with a blow torch instead of a match.
I encourage you to read more about this fascinating topic.  It’s another tool in our toolbox with which we can extend our well being as well as our lives.

Elise Averdick is a Nurse Practitioner who specializes in hormone replacement and other anti-aging therapies.  She has offices in both Asheville and Atlanta. Please see for more information.

Following are several ciations of recent studies if you are interested in learning more.

  1. Telomerase induction in T cells: A cure for aging and disease?  Rita B. Effros, Experimental Gerontology, Volume 42, Issue 5, 416-420.
  2. Cell aging in relation to stress arousal and cardiovascular disease risk factors.  Epel ES, Lin J, Wilhelm FH, Wolkowitz OM, Cawthon R, Adler NE, Dolbier C, Mendes WB, Blackburn EH. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2006 Apr;31(3):277-87.
  3. L’OREAL-UNESCO Awards Honor UCSF Biologist for Pioneering Research in DNA Synthesis. Researcher who Discovered Telomerase’s Role in Aging and Cell Mutation among Five Women Scientists Awarded in Paris.
  4. Telomerase-based approaches to enhance immunity to viruses during ageing.  Rita Effros Presentation Summary for SENS (Aubrey de Grey) Conference 6 Sept 2007
  5. R.B. Effros David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1732, USA

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