Is telomere lengthening technology the very first viable anti-aging therapy that can extend life? Is this the treatment we have all been waiting- praying for? Is this pure provable science that can extend human longevity or is it just another opportunistic snake oil salesmen waving in the wind?
Briefly, what is telomere lengthening technology? Telomeres and its enzyme telomerase stand at a junction of critical processes underlying chromosome integrity, cancer, and aging, and their importance was recognized by the 2009 Nobel prize award in physiology and Medicine to Elizabeth Blackburn, Jack Szostak, and Carol Greider. How will this new scientific breakthrough develop? What is the potential for anti-telomerase agents as anti-cancer drugs?
Nearly 30 years after Szostak and Blackburn's pioneering manuscript on" telomere functions”, associate therapeutic products are now emerging in the healthcare marketplace.
Several thousand studies have been published on telomeres and telomerase and this chapter attempts to précis the whole biodynamics of how telomeres work and how they can alter man’s path of longevity. Cellular aging is analogous to a wind up clock. If the clock stays wound, a cell becomes immortal and constantly producing new cells by simple division. If the clock winds down, the cell stops dividing into new cells and dies. Our cells are constantly dividing and with each division the telomere located at the end and holding the chromosome together shortens. At some point (termed the Hayflick limit) the telomeres get so short that they can no longer function in stabilizing the chromosome’s DNA chain and the chromosomes go unstable and the cell either dies or possibly converts to a cancerous state. Telomerase is an enzyme that could stabilize the lengthening of telomeres and by doing so promote the cell’s longevity. Thus telomerase expression (action) can possible also extend the human lifespan and reverse senescence-associated pathologies. Here, we briefly review telomere and telomerase functions and the possibility of altering telomerase activity in humans to lessen the severity and incidence of age-related diseases and increase the human longevity.
In humans telomere length and integrity plays a role in some diseases, disease susceptibility, aging and even in mediating the deleterious effects of long-term psychological stress. Several human genetic diseases are caused by alterations in telomerase function. normal cellular telomerase expression is insufficient to prevent telomere shortening with each cell division and hence, telomeres shorten with aging, eventually causing age-related changes. The process is complex, and different cell types and organs show different rates of telomere shortening, although overall telomeres appear to shorten most rapidly in young growing cell populations.
TA-65, a proven telomerase activator which was discovered and developed by the company the geron Corporation, and licensed to telomerase Activation sciences, inc. (T.A. Sciences), as its marketer, under the brand name “TA65” is a highly concentrated form naturally occurring small molecule from of a the Chinese medicinal plant (root crop) called Astralagus membranaceus. It was developed and produced into convenient capsule format, that currently are highly priced, but are possibly effective in regenerating man’s health and well being. It’s claimed that TA-65 is not a boosting agent (tonic) but rather a “regeneration” agent. Statistically significant results were found in those taking TA-65 across several key parameters of aging, resulting in:
• Improvement in immune system function
• Improvement in vision
• Enhancement of male sexual function
• Improvement in the condition of the skin
• Increased level of energy and sense of overall well being
Currently many science laboratories around the world are concentrating on developing a wide range of telomerase activators. Many of the activators already have a long history in traditional folk medicine as anti-aging, rejuvenating compounds. Thus can we in the very near future anticipate the introduction of a super-telomerase activator which dramatically stabilizes telomeres and thus greatly extends cell and human longevity?
Since the TA-65 activator is based on a naturally occurring compound its extraction and concentration can be...