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More on Telomeres Telomerase Supplements and Cancer

I have written a ton on these topics before and I refer you to here for more background.

Briefly:

Telomeres are small segments of DNA at the end of every chromosome. They function like biologic time clocks determining when a cell will die. They are very sensitive to life style, toxins, stress, diet, supplements and nutrition, sleep deprivation and sedentary behavior.

Of the half dozen or so supplements that make claims to influence your telomere length, only TA-65 has any human data that suggests efficacy..

There is also an ongoing debate about the role of telomeres and telomerase in cancer which spills over needlessly into the supplement discussion.

Here that is in a nutshell:

Some scientists believe that telomere shortening and cell death is “anti-cancer” because a cell with short telomeres is more likely to have genetic mistakes encoded in its DNA.

Other scientists believe that restoration of telomere length may foster repair of the genome in much the same way that fixing “cancerous mitochondria” may revert the cell back to health. I am one of those and I base my feelings on the work of Maria Blasco who showed that increasing telomerase levels extended lifespan in mice without any increases in cancer incidence. I also postulate that all other areas of cellular aging had to improve such as mitochondrial function, intracellular junk clearing and epigentic marks or the animals could not have lived longer.  Sadly the study was not powered to “prove “ that but I sincerely doubt you could have an animal live longer without at least arresting those problems if not reversing them.

Almost all human cancers have short telomeres on average.  More importantly it may not take an average drop in telomere length to cause or facilitate cancer. More likely a few critically short telomeres on the “wrong” chromosome are enough.

The reason we do not yet have an answer is because the technology that is used in many studies to assay telomere length is not capable of giving us that data. As more and more people use the Life Length assay we will get more data.  At some point I hope the scientific community will universally switch over the way many anti-aging docs like me have.

Approximately 85% of human cancers deal with short telomeres by massive increases in the enzyme telomerase.  I have to say it: that means that 15% do not and they use a non-telomerase based mechanism to extend their telomeres.

This has led some people to worry about increasing telomerase with supplements.  Won’t this increase the risk of cancer or worsen a cancer if you have it?

Not likely to both statements.  Cancerous transformation is not and never has been dependent on telomerase. Once you have cancer the cancer will hijack telomerase for its own purposes to a degree that makes adding a telomerase activator inconsequential.  Indeed several clinicians have added things like TA-65 to their cancer patients’ routines to try and preserve the health of the immune system which universally takes a pounding from both cancer and cancer treatments.

This approach remains unstudied.

Here is another related observation.  First cancers beget second cancers. There is now growing evidence and interest in this linkage.  It appears that the shorter your telomeres are when you get your first cancer, the more likely you are to get a recurrence.  The problem is the timing of the studies has usually been after treatment so no one knows if the short telomeres were the result of “bad luck” as in you were born with shorter telomeres, or whether they were the result of the chemo and radiation these people got during treatment.

So we are left with a very basic notion you have heard before: Take care of your Telomeres!!!!

I offer a few options for you here:

TA-65

Telomere Edge Packs

Ultra 85 Fish Oil

I am one of those who feels very strongly about these associations and I am not willing to let a chance go by to influence them.

You must decide for yourself.

Best,

Dr Dave

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The Ketogenic Diet Part 2 Some Whats and Whys

Ok today I am going to get into more detail and real experiences for you. I feel compelled to tell you that many other people including some famous and not so famous doctors have endorsed the Ketogenic Diet in its various forms.

The Calorie Restricted Ketogenic Diet is very specific in its application.  It is meant to be utilized as adjunct therapy for cancer.  The cancer preventative aspects of it are very sound scientifically and I will get into them again (I mentioned them in Part 1).  Above and beyond everything else I say here I need you to read and re read this at least 10X:

The words “cancer preventative” have not been tested or proven in human beings.  There is no evidence to suggest that this diet works as advertised and proving or disproving it would be virtually impossible since you would need lifelong studies of people living in a totally controlled environment with some doing the diet and others eating differently.

This is very much the same thing I say when people ask me, “Does TA-65 prolong life” or the corollary, “Does telomerase activation and telomere lengthening prolong life.”

The answer for ALL the same reasons is, “We are not likely to ever know for sure because the study that would PROVE it to everyone is impossible to do!”

So now that I told you that the “cancer preventative diet” is more or less an educated crap shot you might want to know why I tried it.

Refer back to Part 1 for some of the motivations but here is the nutshell:

It is 7 days of my life 2x a year.  If it works that is a small price to pay.  If it doesn’t well then I learned a ton and it didn’t kill me to skip eating for a week!

OK here is the “why it should work” part again.

Cancer cells are different than regular cells in several ways.  The most erudite voices of these hallmarks are Drs. Weinberg and Hanahan who note 6 major differences.  They also recently added metabolic defects after the fact in a tip of the hat to Dr Seyfried.

One of the ways that cancer cells are different is how they process energy. All cancers have this difference although the degree to which they exhibit it varies from tumor to tumor. The simplest way to explain it is cancer does not use oxygen or fuel sources the way regular cells do.

In particular cancer cells seem unable to metabolize fat well and instead prefer glucose (sugar).  This is the real reason sugar feeds cancer!* Of course there is a continuum and some cancers do use fats and not sugars but generally speaking the more “cancer like” cells behave and the nastier cancer behaviors they exhibit the more they are likely to prefer glucose and be slowed, stopped or even killed by glucose starvation.

The Calorie Restricted Ketogenic Diet (CRKD) is designed to do 2 things: It lowers blood sugar depriving cancer cells of their fuel and it feeds regular cells ketone bodies which allow them to thrive while the cancer cells are starved out. So it selectively targets cancer cells and preserves regular cells in a way that no chemo or radiation currently can! That is its sole purpose.

Now a word on other Ketogenic Diets.  It is not necessary to severely restrict calories to treat epilepsy or other conditions.  It is not necessary to severely restrict calories to induce ketogenesis/ketosis although I sincerely doubt the highly touted fat burning that supposedly occurs during these diets happens if you don’t reduce calories.

I am convinced that the “HCG” diet that is/was so popular works because of ketogenesis and severe calorie restriction, and has nothing to do with appetite suppression from HCG.

With any kind of SEVERE calorie restriction you can induce ketogenesis/ketosis even if you eat nothing but carbs. But you will not create the necessary low blood sugars you need to theoretically starve cancer cells. Your blood sugars will remain normal. Ketone bodies will appear in your blood anytime you go way below your needed calorie requirements. This is your body burning fat to supply the extra calories.

But before you go off and try this by eating nothing but a couple hundred calories in fruit and candy bars know this: The preferential use of ketones by your body depends not just on calories but the amount of glucose that is available from you food and other sources ( liver glycogen, gluconeogenesis etc).  Your body will make ketones and use some of them but as long as there is sugar there it will use that first.

If you really want to get the full benefits of this diet you should have BOTH ketosis and hypoglycemia.

Now hypoglycemia is an evil word.  It makes us tired light headed hungry irritable or worse it can kill some people right?!!!

Well maybe but the most interesting thing about the CRKD is that ketosis suppresses almost all of the effects of hypoglycemia including and especially the hunger.  This is personal experience talking. For most of the entire 7 day period I was NOT HUNGRY and if I got a little bit hungry at all simply filling my belly with a big glass of lemon water put a stop to it.

This complete lack of hunger is the big secret shocker I alluded to at the end of Part 1.  I expected to be miserably hungry.  I was totally wrong about that.

Ok now I want tell you how I actually did things.  At this point I have to admit failure at least to a degree. Dr Seyfried’s book talks about a 7 day water only fast in addition to other versions of the Ketogenic Diet.  It was my intention to do this because frankly it was the simplest thing to do.  You just don’t eat anything and drink water.  You don’t have to count calories because water has none. You don’t have to count carbs because water has none.  So Simple!

Well that proved impossible for me to do even for one of the 7 days. It was not the hunger so much as the need for a flavor or a texture other than plain water in my mouth. I will tell you that I don’t think I could do water only unless I were truly starving and had nothing else around me. That said I think my diet was a success because of the numbers I generated and of course all the things I learned.

And that will be where we pick up the next blog my friend!

Doc

Please note do not try this diet without medical supervision. If you are a Type 1 diabetic do not try this diet ever.  If you are Type 2 make sure you have strict medical supervision on a daily basis to do this and follow your blood sugars very carefully.

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TTAGGG You’re It! Stress, Disease and Telomere Length

The repeating sequence of the Telomere-TTAGGG has proven to be a gold mine for determining biologic age ( how old your body is acting!) and disease prognosis ( how bad you are likely to get something) as well as the effects of stress.

A recent study on the effects of racism on the telomere length of black men was the latest to show how social stress can affect longevity.  I have concerns about how the study was done but I think it makes sense to say that this kind of stress is detrimental to anyone’s health no matter what race or color.

This study builds on previous studies done in orphans who grew up with universally shorter telomeres than non orphans,  and the effects of stress on caregivers responsible for sick children.  All of these situations lead to more rapid aging and faster decline.  You can bet being sick in general can shorten your telomeres and your life.

This was shown by another study involving men between 50 and 75 who were admitted with ACS, acute coronary syndrome. Basically they were on their way to having a heart attack and no doubt some of them did.  The ones with the shortest telomeres did worse.

This study echoes the now famous Farezeneh Far, Blackburn study that showed that Omega 3 (fish oil) levels were protective of telomeres in heart disease.

So it seems everyone is linking just about everything bad that can happen to you to short telomeres and everything good to long telomeres.

It would be a good time for me to mention that other diseases of aging like Cancer and Alzheimer Disease ( yes they dropped the ‘s!) are also linked to telomere length in terms of incidence and severity.

Now there is still a lot of disagreement among researching scientists as to whether telomere loss is actually all that important in aging.  This pretty much depends on what their pet project is and where their grant money comes from.

I have a simple ( my PhD colleagues would say simplistic!) way of explaining this. My friend Maria Blasco did a study recently that showed that turning on telomerase extends life span in adult and old adult mice.  That was the end point of the study.  There are many other people out there looking at things like intracellular junk (lipofuscin) mitochondrial function, calorie restriction, sirtuin proteins and mTOR inhibitors.  None of these strategies have been shown by themselves to lengthen life although some of them seem to improve health.

I am certain that ALL of these things were improved by telomerase activation or the mice would not have lived longer.  You can’t live longer with declining mitochondria, abnormal proteins and increasing intracellular junk.  It’s simply not possible.  But because these things were not specifically measured common sense takes a back seat to scientific skepticism.

Here’s the thing: They would rather remain skeptical than investigate these questions probably because their grand money does not include answering these questions.  It does involve protecting their source of income for their pet project however.

Here’s another thing: as I said above Telomerase Activation seems to be the only current feasible way to extend life in mammals.  The folks spending time on all that other stuff have been unable to demonstrate increased longevity AND healthspan.

Want it to be even more simple?

I will quote that bastion of American Health who brought us the great Dr Oz.

Yes, I am talking about Oprah who said “I want long telomeres!” She should be on TA-65!

You probably should too!

I am entering year 5 with nothing but positive improvements in both telomere length and % of short telomeres. Both are going the right way for decreasing biologic age.

What is youth worth to you?

Doc

PS what I have said here is especially important if YOU are under constant or severe stress, get sick a lot or have a family history of one of those nasty diseases above!

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New Cancer Pathway Involves Telomeres

Drum roll and trumpets please!  A new cancer causing pathway has been found. It involves telomeres of course.

I bring it to your attention though, not for what it has shown us, but for how it its marketed. You see even scientists know they stand a better chance of getting recognition if they blow the trumpets and role the drums.  That means press releases and social media nonsense that is written by non scientists.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I give them the same “get out of jail pass” I often claim: “I didn’t make this world, I just live in it!”

Still as your source of the truth about all things telomere related, especially when it comes to your health and your understanding, I consider it my calling in life to make sure you are not blown all over the map by media hype and internet nonsense.

So let’s go over a few facts:

1)      Fact one: Telomerase does NOT CAUSE CANCER. Every time I write this I hope it is my last but that is never the case it seems.  85% of human cancers turn on telomerase somewhere in the process of becoming cancer. In the one or two cases we are clear on its actually one of the last steps ( villous adenoma to colon cancer) but cancer genetics are a diverse thing and no one knows the exact sequence that mutations happen in all cancers. There is a growing contingent of people out there who feel that contrary to 65 years of research, cancer may not even be a genetic disease. When telomerase is expressed in cancer it can be a) mutated, b) amplified c) transposed d) any other genetic abnormality that can lead to over expression! The key is to understand that things happen to cause cancer long before telomerase expression shows up to immortalize the cells, and that those things lead to the loss of normal control of many genes and their end products. Telomerase over expression does not seem to cause cancer by itself in the absence of other major changes.

2)      Telomerase is required for ultra long longevity and gene integrity in cells. Two of the best examples are germ cells (the things that become sperm and eggs) where there is a large amount of telomerase expression and stem cells where there is less. The later fact is probably one of the main reasons stem cells age albeit at a slower rate than the rest of our cells.

3)      There are normal “cell cycle check point” mechanisms that have been known for some time now that need to be bypassed in order for cancer to take hold.

4)      Longer telomeres are associated with a cleaner genome (fewer mutations) cleaner mitochondrial cell powerhouses (fewer mutations better function and better ability to make new mitochondria) and a lower and less sever incidence of cancer.

5)      While most cancers turn on telomerase there is another way for cancer cells to lengthen their telomeres and survive that does not involve telomerase.  This generally is reserved for the badest of the bad in terms of genetic instability (actually if I am being scientifically correct its “genomic instability” but you know what I mean!). This mechanism is called ALT.

6)      The ability to divide endlessly either using telomerase or ALT is one of the hallmarks of human cancer.

That brings me to the “latest findings”.

One Dr Jan Karlseder of the Salk institute discovered one of the mechanisms behind the ALT method of lengthening telomeres. Dr Karlseder found a protein called ASF-1 that drops down to zero and triggers cells in culture to use the ALT mechanism to lengthen their telomeres.

All well and good but here are my gripes.

Cancers in real life have measurable levels of that protein. It does not drop to zero in ALT driven cancers.

The super irritating insinuation that I see in all such articles “This will help us develop drugs to fight cancer”  is present here. Cancer drugs are expensive, Cancer drugs are deadly, Cancer drugs divert research away from, gasp, cancer prevention which no scientists is willing to admit they believe in. And there is no money in prevention. If you think this is a joke mark my words a cancer preventative treatment that is not a patentable drug will not be released until a drug company owns it. At least not over their dead bodies. That said most of the quacks who claim to have cured cancer and have been jailed for such statements actually do belong there!

Next, the press release is entitled “Cancer Causing Pathway Explained”.

Now I bet this was the sole concoction of the press release company. I do not think that such smart scientists would allow their discovery to be called named this way. The ALT pathway does not cause cancer, it is probably one of the last or later pieces in the puzzle.  By naming it this way they are propogating the myth that telomeres are responsible for cancer.

Next there is the usual talk of “balancing cell aging with risk of cancer” . This implies that we get old and die to prevent cancer from killing us. After I am done with the LOL ing I want to remind everyone that old cells, senescent cells seem to excrete inflammatory and yes cancer causing signals. For this reason it seems nonsensical to propose that getting old protects us from cancer. Especially when cancer is a disease of aging in 95% of all cases!

Summing it up, I would say it this way: We are barking up the wrong tree. Telomerase and telomere lengthening are cancer protective under normal circumstances. Guys you have to keep looking for the chicken that is laying the egg not examining the ingredients in the omelet!   This is also the reason I am intrigued if not convinced of the metabolic cause/component of cancer.  The genetic stuff leads nowhere but to an ever increasingly large ‘room full of pathways’ that has no end. Great for researchers and crappy for people who have or want to prevent getting cancer.

In 12+ years of research I can tell you two things with surety. Walk around with “high” omega 3 levels and keep your telomeres long anyway you can.

There are quite a number of famous scientists who are doing just that even though they will not say it in front of their peers for fear of ridicule. Me? I don’t care who ridicules me. I refuse to sit on my ass and get old when there are real answers to slowing and eventually stopping the process.

I will make this prediction. Classic science just like classic medicine will not make major breakthroughs in aging and health span. They will trumpet their findings just like the article above but the real breakthroughs will come from people who are actively seeking the answers and doing something about it every day .

That is you and me my friend!

Best, Dr Dave

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2013 The Year in Review

First let me wish the Happiest of New Years and a phenomenal 2014. I can tell you that if 2013 is any indication, 2014 will be spectacular.

And speaking of 2013 I want to give you a brief perspective on this passing year from Dr Dave’s Best point of view both in terms of accomplishments and some personal stuff as well.

As always I like to start with a broad associative allegory about something I have learned and something I have sought.

Several hundred years ago there was a brilliant French essayist named Montaigne. He wrote about many things in such a succinct fashion that I have often sought his counsel through his work during my adult life time.

One characteristic he wrote about struck a chord with me in recent years: Equanimity. I made it a point in my New Year’s resolutions to seek it out and I can tell you that after 2 years of “asking” I think I found it in recent months and will only build on it.

My version of Equanimity is being balanced and centered in the knowledge of who I am and what I am to do here on this earth. Because of it the ups and down, the ebbs and flows and the fractal nature of life and time are more easy to walk through on an even plane.

Sound complicated? Just think balanced no matter what comes your way and you’ll have it. Trust me it’s a good place to be.

It is also the thing that allows me to tell you with 100% certainty that you are going to enjoy this next year with me if you chose to do so because massive break throughs are coming.

But let’s not forget 2013, so here we go.

In the earliest part of the year and leading in from December 2012 we introduced RG Stem Cell Activating Serum.  At the same time we also introduced the newly revised and redesigned Telomere Edge Packs. Each represented a never before created achievement and brought the promise of telomere preservation and stem cell activation within the reach of everyone on the list.

In March I reintroduced a product I had been sitting on for over 2 years, Ultra 85 fish oil. The ‘world debut’ of the product happened 7 weeks later at David Wolfe’s Longevity Now Conference. The great ironies of this were two: first this is where the product was originally introduced 2 years prior but because of the production costs we could not yet sustain its manufacture, next UPS lost our entire shipment.  You might have guessed that we were able to figure out how to make the product affordable both to us and the public. You might not have guessed that even in its absence, we sold out of the entire batch that would have arrived and filled those orders from our warehouse stock a few days later.

Immediately upon my return I introduced our contest which you can still participate in.  I can recall having an epiphany when I asked, “How do I get people excited about this contest and wanting to participate?”  You see back in the day when I first started rewards and free stuff was all the enticement one needed. Now 13 years later people are jaded and over marketed on the internet and I bet if I promised a million dollar reward no one would even read it! So I decided to tell everyone who joins the contest the main reason I wake up every morning.  To do research on products that will improve your life.

That seemed to be enough to get people moving because they understood they would directly benefit from the effort.

Two months later I was in Canada coaching my sister on her first Canadian Death Race and by the end of the month I was in the company of one Laurel Sander OMD getting healed big time at a full-fledged cleansing retreat. You can see some pics from my most recent trip there a few weeks ago. Suffice it to say the healing took and after 3 years of lower than desired physical activity I am back to my old self again. Now understand this is the culmination of a lot of things I do.  If you have followed me for any length of time you know I ask a lot of my mind and body and I am happy to say it’s delivering again.

During this time I also had my telomeres measured several times in both peripheral white blood cells and in my stem cells.  The later results are part of one of the studies I am currently doing so I cannot divulge that info but my peripheral cells gained over 600 base pairs using 2 separate assays and my immune profile has improved dramatically as well- all from taking TA-65 and the Telomere Edge Packs.  Depending on what you want to use as a starting point I have reversed the aging process in this most important cellular compartment by anywhere from 6 to 10 years.  The remarkable thing is I see it and feel it in my mind, my body and my performance. I am getting YOUNGER!!!

Now the skeptics among the world have said, “OK big shot you talk a good game now let’s see the numbers!  Why won’t you show us the numbers?”  So in a rare bow to peer pressure I have decided that I will reveal all the numbers on their official report sheets so all the naysayers can shut up ( hint that will never happen no matter what proof I offer LOL). But I do ask one favor in return after I do this.  People seem to love to call me on my credentials which are in fact a matter of public record if certain skeptics would get off their lazy asses and do a minimal amount of research. Again it’s much easier and more authoritative to simply fire it off as a command and hope I jump when you say how high than it is to type in “google”. But I will do the work just this once but in return I ask the following: There are a lot of big named people out there that you trust just based on their web popularity. So ASK THEM TO PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS AND SHOW YOU THEIR TELOMERE LENGTHS.   I can tell you that more than one of them has done the test and been angry and shocked that their results sucked! Ask them and you’ll get a bunch of BS excuses about how the test is not accurate. The test is deadly accurate but the way they live their lives and their own information is faulty in terms of your health and longevity.

There I said it. Now you figure out who I am talking about and demand the same accountability from them. And while you are busy waiting for what will never come I will remain totally transparent because your life and your decisions depend on it.

That brings us to the late summer early fall when the next RG products arrived from the lab: The Booster, The Cleanser and the Blemish Cream. If you have not seen the videos on these products they can be found here on YouTube.

Also available there is the complete teleseminar on omega 3’s. If you have ever been confused about everything you hear about fish oil this is a great way to get the real truth. The difference between this and the marketing hype is I show you the actual biochem texts, articles and the results of over 150 Omega 6/3 ratio tests I have done.  I have honestly never seen anyone else try to back up what they say this way. Pretty sure the reason is they can’t but you be the judge!

And while you are on YouTube you can see me getting my telomeres tested on several different occasions, testing Omega 6/3 ratios and reviewing the honest data on krill, triglyceride fish oil and generally debunking myths left and right!

From September through December the work you did during the contest paid off. I was able to do additional research on telomere length and stem cells which has never been done. It will be at least another 6 months before the results are in but I will be once again in Mexico treating myself in a few weeks. By being the guinea pig here I am doing the kind of research you should be demanding of any internet doc who claims he is pioneering and cutting edge.

The same stem cell team I employ for the research just gave me the preliminary findings on RG cell serum and booster and showed that we are increasing youthful collagen production in skin fibroblasts. I will have the final report out to you in January 2014.

I will also continue to test these products for stem cell activation.

Speaking of products I have at least 2 new ones slated for release in the next 60 days so stay tuned!

Now a little personal info.  I have continued to meet speak with and learn from the best and brightest on the planet and that continues to be reflected in my newsletters and blogs.

And that is a lucky thing for you and me!

Happy New Year!!!!

Doc

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Are You Immune to Aging

Telomeres are the end segments of every chromosome that function as a biologic time clock. Their overall length and health determines how long your cells will live.

Over the past few years it has become more and more common to measure telomere length in blood cells, specifically white blood cells that represent your immune system. Lately with the advent of the HT Q FISH technology from Life Length this type of measurement has become accurate enough for doctors and individuals who are simply interested in their health to use for monitoring purposes.

But in all this there was very fortunate accident. The cells chosen in blood were picked for 3 main reasons.

1)      They were easy to get.  A simple blood draw and you have everything you need without having to biopsy some major tissue.

2)      Unlike Red Blood Cells, the white blood cells have a nucleus and that means they have DNA. That also means they have telomeres at the end of the segments of DNA in those white blood cells that can be measured.

3)      White blood cells are turned over rapidly and are constantly being produced. To help with this process they have an enzyme that is active pretty much only in rapidly dividing cells. This enzyme is called telomerase.  Telomerase turns out to also be a major key to longevity and health span as well.

So the bottom line is the measurement of Your telomeres in the blood shows the status of your immune health in many ways. Positive changes in immune health have been associated in 3 different types of studies using the telomerase activator TA-65.

Specifically human cell culture studies, animal studies and human studies have shown a positive response in the form of strengthening the immune system.  Independent questionnaires I have done and others have done have shown this as well: immune strengthening means far less coughs and colds!

A study recently released from the University of Utah showed this correlation as well. Longer telomeres= stronger immune system= less sickness!

So now we have a couple of interesting points by way of review.

1)      You can measure your telomere length in an effective accurate way using Life Length HT-QFISH technology.

2)      You can equate this telomere length to a bunch of different things including how long you might actually be able to live* and especially how strong your immune system is**.

3)      You can potentially strengthen your immune system with TA-65.

By now you might be wondering OK but what is really the big deal about the immune system other than coughs and colds?

The answer lies in the predictive value of your immune system health in terms of your overall health and quite possibly your longevity.

Let’s take the average American. One thing we can say for sure is that the average citizen of this country is way too low in Omega 3 fats and thus is walking around in an inflamed state. We can also equate this inflammation to America’s number one killer- heart disease, and a whole host of other “age related” diseases.  I put that in quotes because some of you may know I think that aging IS THE DISEASE and telomere lengths is kinda like the cholesterol test of aging.

The average American being inflamed has an immune system problem. His or her own body is targeting itself. The immune system is slowly damaging areas where it should not and less able to work where it is needed. That is not a healthy Immune System.  Now that does indeed show up in telomere length tests when you look at people with heart disease. Perhaps even more ironic is the significant effect of TA-65 on cholesterol. ***

What is the next hit our immune systems take? Answer: chronic and acute viral infections.  You may not have or even know what things like EBV, CMV or HIV are, but as chronic viruses that overwork the immune system or in some cases poison it they represent a major risk to health.

But to a lesser degree so do things like the flu and other seasonal viruses. If you are an adult your immune system should be able to fight off even new strains of flu and not make you sick. Instead we have to rely on flu shots and other methods of defense.  When we get the flu we are often sick for a lot longer than the infection should last. That represents your immune system trying to recover from the insult. If it’s weak you can very well wind up with bacterial pneumonia or some other infection following the flu.  One in three people who are reading this blog know exactly what I am talking about because they have been sick for months following a flu infection.

OK that is infectious illness, age related disease, and aging overall.

Then there is the special case of cancer which strikes through “immune holes”.  The Immune Surveillance theory of cancer is widely accepted now. It says that if your body has a healthy immune system cancer will not take root. It is only when there is a hole that it can get past that it can grow. Recently a drug for prostate cancer was approved that “programs your immune system to fight the cancer”. If this is not an acknowledgement of the Immune Surveillance Theory I don’t know what is!

So what should we really take from telomere measurements? Ideally we should understand they reflect the health of our Immune System and even if it’s just lucky that we can easily get these cells, it is a very important thing to know based on everything I just told you.

Simply put in many cases the Immune System is a primary driver in how well you age and how long you live.

Skeptical?  Watch the mortality rates from cancer and infection climb over the next 2 decades and then tell me what you think!

How can you protect your immune system and help it do its job?

Answer: Take care of Your Telomeres!

Dr Dave

Note: TA-65 is not a drug it’s a supplement. It is not FDA approved for anything and these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and probably never will be unless Big Pharma comes out with a Telomerase Activating Drug. That will not happen until the pioneers in the field do all the work for them first.

*and ** These statements are best supported by serial telomere measurements. You need more than one measurement at more than one point in time because what you are really looking for is the CHANGE in the length of your telomeres, not the absolute length. In addition the HT-QFISH technology is the only one that gives % short telomeres, another critical factor in see where YOU really stand.

*** This study is available on Pub Med released Oct 2013

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The latest TA-65 Human Study results

Science is like Molasses… it flows slowly.

Ever since the 2010 human study on TA-65 was published I have been telling you about the “other half” of the data. I had access to it so I shared it with you but naturally the naysayers and skeptics said, “I’ll believe it when I see it!”

So here it is 3 years later! But before I repeat what I have been telling you let me tell you this:

I did not have to make any changes in what I said because the published study tells you exactly the same thing I have been telling you.  Nothing was “wrong” and nothing has changed!

As it has in the past the fact that I have been privy to information that has not been publically available is bound to upset people. This was best pointed out when one of my colleagues commented on our book, “The Immortality Edge” by saying, “Well you are Right Now but You were wrong when you wrote it!”

Once again he was commenting on the fact that I knew things that he and others did not. SORRY!

I have made it my business to be at the front of this field as many other people are at the front of their fields. Many of the same doctors that criticized me for publishing facts that were based on unpublished studies have inside information in their areas of expertise. This just happens to be mine!

Next I want to tell you there is a movement to equate cycloastraganol with TA-65. This is true and that is exactly what TA-65 is but it is not that simple. There is a difference between the format TA-65 is provided in. The “MD” is a micro dispersed format that makes it bioavailable. There are no studies that equate simple powdered Cycloastragenol that is available for $68,000 a kilo in the one market with the MD format. As a matter of fact no one has done Pharmacokinetic studies on any form of Cyclo except TA-65. I also have not seen any purity studies on these powdered products looking for toxins and contaminants so frequently found in imported raw materials!

As a matter of fact no one has done ANY human studies on ANY telomerase activators other than specifically TA-65 with the exception of Geron Scientist Calvin Harley who continues to develop other telomerase activators.

To say that Cycloastragenol in any form can be equated to the human results obtained with TA-65 is deliberately misleading and not accurate. Do the studies in people! Then you can make claims. And if you are claiming equivalency then do the head to head studies using TA-65 versus your product.

There is a reason people selling telomerase activation products are not doing human studies.  I do know of studies that were attempted and failed miserably of products that are now being offered as such. All I will say is the parent companies have backed off their rhetoric.

Ok in case you missed the last 3 years of my newsletters and blogs here is what the October 2013 published human study which was part 2 of the original human study said about TA-65 and the protocol that accompanied it:

Statistically significant:

  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Increased Bone Density
  • Decreased inflammatory marker: Homocystiene
  • Decreased blood sugar
  • Decreased Insulin secretion
  • Impressively reduced cholesterol!

Along with the previously documented changes in the immune system and the reduction in short telomeres. I have been following my own telomere length and short telomere percentages now for the 4 years I have been on TA-65 and both have improved significantly.

More importantly I continue to feel and look younger!

The choices is yours but if you want the proof, you have only one choice: TA-65.

Doc

  • Please note the human studies above refer to a protocol that included a multivitamin. None of the ingredients in the multi have been shown to activate telomerase or lengthen telomeres but this remains the major criticism of the study. TA Sciences in now conducting a study using ONLY TA-65. While we have no reason to believe that the multi + TA-65 changed the properties of TA to Make it a telomerase activator when it was not one, and we have specific evidence that TA-65 does turn on telomerase and the other ingredients in the multi do not, it still remains a bone of contention for some scientists.

The randomized double blinded study now going on should shut those people up but it will take a year to complete and 1 to 2 years to go to publication.  Like I said, real science moves slowly which is why some people do chemical studies like chromatorgraphy and use them to influence your thinking. They are cheap fast but of little value in human biology!

Reference: Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Oct;16(5):386-95. doi: 10.1089/rej.2013.1430.

A natural product telomerase activator as part of a health maintenance program: metabolic and cardiovascular response.

Harley CB, Liu W, Flom PL, Raffaele JM.

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Unhealthy Telomeres greatly increase the Risk of Cancer

Even though I recently released a blog that looks specifically at prostate cancer and the effect of telomere length on prognosis, I mentioned breast cancer in that blog as another form of hormonally driven cancer that shares many features behaviorally with prostate cancer.

The ink on that blog had barely dried when yet another study came out that reinforces the same basic message: short telomeres are an increased risk for cancer.

So let’s get to a few basics and then look at the “new” information.

1)      Telomeres are found at the end of the chromosome. They are relatively short segments of repetitive DNA. They have a protein complex attached to them that shelters them from damage and controls access to them. This is called “Shelterin”

2)      Telomeres function as a cellular time clock keeping track of how many times a cell has divided making new cells and how many divisions it has left. When the time runs out that cell is removed and either dies or goes into “park” for a while and dies a bit later.

3)      Both of the events in #2 involve inflammation and can cause damage to the surrounding cells. This process occurs more frequently as we age giving rise to the statement “aging is an inflammatory event!” Some researchers have called these dying cells “Zombie Cells” because they are dead and dying but also kill other healthy cells in their area.

4)      Telomerase is the enzyme that lengthens telomeres. As far as we know activating telomerase is the only feasible way to extend life span in complex mammals. Immortal non cancerous human cell lines have been created by turning on telomerase.

5)      Cancer hijacks telomerase and massively over expresses it to keep cancer cells alive and “immortal” at least until the host (hopefully not YOU!) dies.

6)      In most cases of cancer the induction of huge increases in telomerase is thought to be the “last step” in the transformation of cancer into a malignant immortal cell. This means that there are several other mutations or missteps that have to happen first. It also raises questions about the real effects of blocking telomerase as an anti-cancer therapy since all of the other steps are not blocked in this therapy and could give rise to other cancer cells that are immortal using other methods of telomere lengthening (ALT).

OK now onto the “new” information and I put it in quotes because there have been at least half a dozen scientific articles that have said this before. But that is the way science is and in most cases should be. It requires a lot of repetition and validation from the community before it is accepted.

One of the things that you may already know about breast cancer is that there is a hereditary component. The BRAC1 and BRAC2 genes have gotten a lot of press lately as more than one famous actress has had bilateral mastectomies and other operations to protect from the high risk of breast cancer associated with these genes.

But you should also know that hereditary breast cancer accounts for only 10% of breast cancers and the famous BRAC genes account for a little over half of this total. That means that 90% of breast cancers are not hereditary but more likely the result of “acquired” genomic instabilities that happen during life as a result of toxins, stresses both physical and mental and of course bad luck in the form of mistakes in DNA replication.

The one thing that hereditary breast cancers and non hereditary breast cancers have in common is an unstable genome the hall mark of which is an unnaturally short telomere. This may actually the difference between getting cancer (remember between 15 and 45% of BRAC positive women do not ever get breast cancer) and not; no one is 100% sure.

But it is a very suggestive association since non hereditary breast cancers also have short telomeres as a risk factor.

As a matter of fact nearly every major form of cancer that has been studied has an association with critically shortened telomeres and the genomic instability that comes with that condition. Numerous other conditions associated with “normal aging” including Alzheimer disease, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis are also associated with short telomeres.

Clinical trials to treat these illnesses with telomerase activation are going on or being planned as we speak.

In the meantime know that the only safe human tested telomerase activator is TA-65. I have been able to document over 3% reduction in my critically short telomere values and over 4 years a 600 base pair lengthening of my average telomere length using the “gold standard” Life Length assay, using this product in conjunction with high dose Omega 3’s (which I have used for over 10 years so it’s not likely they started working all of a sudden!) and the life style modifications detailed in our book, “The Immortality Edge”.

Because neither the government nor Big Pharma has any vested interest in anti-aging therapy the typical types of studies we have been inundated with for drugs like statins and blood pressure medicines are slow to come. Private funding is being put to work, some of it is mine, but it is not the hundreds of millions of dollars that large corporations have.  Now that Google is on board we’ll see if they can jump start the campaign.

In the meantime you may want to take a close look at my other blogs and sign up for my newsletters because I have been talking about this stuff for a long time now.  And during that time I have managed to grow younger!

Best,

Dr Dave

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Telomeres and Cancer- More than just Length

Telomeres are our cellular biologic time clocks. They are found at the end of every healthy chromosome. It they are short that chromosome and the cell it lives in are headed for disaster. By disaster I mean,

1) Removal from the functional cell pool leaving you with fewer healthy cells to do their job.

2) Auto suicide where the cell blows up from the inside out also known as apoptosis- same result fewer healthy cells to do the job.

3) Cancer-that’s right cancer. An article in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association showed that short telomeres are equated to increased cancer incidence and increased cancer severity.

Bottom line message: short telomeres are bad for you

Ok let’s look at some more studies that reinforce the message.

In the October issue of Cancer Discovery a large group of men with known prostate cancer that was initially confined to the prostate gland were evaluated for telomere length in their tumors. Their findings confirm the importance of telomere length in both initial cancer treatment and its follow up.

They found that a variable telomere length or a wide distribution of telomere length when combined with short telomeres in the surrounding non cancerous tissue led to a higher likelihood of the prostate cancer metastasizing (spreading).

Men with this combination of telomere pathology had a 14X higher chance of dying in less than 10 years than men who did not.

Dr Dave comments:

First remember that prostate cancer is a very variable disease. The current recommendations for screen are far less aggressive than even 2 years ago because recent data indicates there is enough low grade disease out there that will not significantly shorten the life span of the men that have it that finding all the prostate cancers we can and diagnosing them and/or treating them is MORE likely to kill the patient or cause significant harm than letting men live out their lives with the disease.

If you look at the recommendations for things like mammograms chest X rays Pap smears and all manner of “routine screening” tests these have ALL changed in the past few years because we realize we did more harm than good by being super aggressive about looking for these diseases in low risk populations.

That said having a good indicator of the people we SHOULD watch closely when we do diagnose a disease is incredibly valuable for the use of our health care dollars and resources. Using telomere measurements of this kind could help us select the people who needed much closer and more aggressive follow up where the risk of things like biopsies or the expense of PSA blood testing is justified. It’s like using telomeres to tailor make the treatment and follow up plan.

As far as the “wide distribution” of telomere lengths be aware that this is common in many different cancers. In some cases it means that telomere length goes from ultra short to short. In other cases it means telomere length varies from short to actually being longer than normal. Much of the “lengthening” of telomeres is actually false or misleading in a sense because it occurs from telomere end to end recombinations or the so called ALT method. This ALT method is almost always a very bad sign because it takes massive chromosomal instability to allow this to happen. This means the chromosome is super damaged and the genome is very unstable, both hall marks of bad cancers.

The fact that the surrounding tissues had short telomeres suggests again genomic instability and weakened sick cells that are “acting weak and old” or senescent. This would mean tumor invasion would be almost invited into the surrounding tissue.

It also reinforces something I have written about many times before when discussing the various methods for measuring telomeres. I prefer the Life Length assay over all others because it measures the percentage of short telomeres. No other test can do this accurately for the individual. Short telomeres are the hallmark of sick dysfunctional old cells that are more likely to cause cancer and disease!

You should also know similar studies in breast and many other cancers as well as heart disease also link telomere length to prognosis. The day is coming when telomere length will be a routine part of staging most cancers.

But here is the most important thing: Staging a cancer is not a great thing. Not getting one in the first place is much better.

Many of us in the telomere field myself included believe that since short telomeres are an increased risk for cancer, longer healthier ones are potentially protective. We know that people and animals with longer telomeres tend to have longer life spans and longer health spans (the amount of their lives spent in a health state) than those with shorter ones.

This is why I am so aggressive about telomerase activators like TA-65 and telomere preservers like Fish oil.

I would rather hear I do not have cancer than be told what stage it is in!

Think about it and do more research and you will feel the same way too!

Dr Dave

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Telomere Length and Life Stress – It all counts

Have you seen the recent articles that link childhood stress to shorter telomere length in adults? Actually this information is not new. Last year a study of Rumanian orphans came out showing the same thing: children in difficulty in early life lost telomere length and had shorter telomeres as adult.

Remember this will statistically equate to shorter life span overall.

Then a few months ago cold susceptibility was linked to shorter telomeres in the typically measured immune cells we use to determine telomere length.  Not really surprising if you understand the role between immunosenescence and disease vulnerability. Basically short telomeres equate to a weaker immune system and a weaker immune system means more infections. But it also means more aging in general. Now would be a good time for me to remind you that TA-65 has, in all of its study forms, cell culture, animal, and human, strengthened the immune system.

Some of you will get the flu shot in hopes of doing this. Ever get the shot and get sick anyway? Ever wonder why? Sorry I will have to leave you to connect the dots on that one, but TA-65 appears to work year round as long as you are taking it.

Back to the studies.  Now we have a study that shows that childhood stress and adult cold susceptibility are related. Since I am asking you to connect the dots what do you think the common link is?

If you said telomeres you get a double helix popsicle for Christmas!

Studies done at the University of Utah and others have made this connection along with the tie in to longevity.

Here’s how it works.

There are 2 ways to shorten telomeres that are normally active in you and I. Cellular replication or cells dividing into other cells usually to repair and replace dead or dying cells, and damage from oxidative stress.  In each case the meter on your life span is ultimately running and that meter is the telomere.

The more damage from either situation, the faster the meter runs out.

Fortunately there are many things you can do to slow down and ever reverse this process. Telomerase the enzyme that repairs and in some cases lengthens the telomere is normally turned off.

TA-65 has been proven to turn it back on again.  Fish oil has been equated to longer telomeres.  Staying healthy and not getting sick helps a lot as well.

Our book The Immortality Edge has chapter upon chapter of information about other things to use and do as well including stress reduction techniques.

It can be done and if you value your life and your health I urge you to do something NOW.

The only thing you can be sure of otherwise is you are aging.

Doc