Is Aging Unstoppable

Arguments continue among the best and brightest scientists concerning the question: Is aging unstoppable?

If you think about it..

That question has already been answered in a functional way. There are several mammalian cell lines that have been made “immortal” simply by turning on telomerase and expressing it at a higher level than normal.  Most surprising is the absence of increased cancer in many of these experiments.

We also now know that stem cell proliferation and maintenance is highly linked to telomere length, specifically the short telomeres.

If you look closely at the scientific literature the question of whether telomerase causes cancer has already been answered many, many times over with a fairly resounding “No  -telomerase does not cause cancer!” It has been almost 8 years since a scientific paper has raised that question. Understand this is different than commentary, different than blogging, different than social media and all the other places where people get their “information” these days.

Just like there are still people who are dedicated to the notion that telomerase might cause cancer there are also people dedicated to the “Anti-Anti-Aging” agenda. This group ranges from the “We should all die to make room for the youth” to the well we might live forever but telomerase is NOT the answer” crowd.

I have made my peace

With the fact that there are people who feel it is “right and just” to oppose people living longer and healthier.

To the first group I say, “Put your name on a list and we’ll make sure you don’t get anything that would prolong your health span and life span- then you can die happy in the fact that you’ve made room for someone else”.

To the second group I say “well then show me what the answer is and please show me anything else that has immortalized cell lines or added life and health span to mammals.” Clearly it’s not mitochondria, calorie restriction or anti-oxidants.

 The recent issues surrounding the failure of calorie restriction to deliver the former should be noted. Increasing health span (how long you are healthy) with increasing life span is the bailiwick of telomerase expression alone. And if you think about it if you could be healthier while living longer why not?

Now for a few more complicated concepts

1.      Aging has been partially reversed in living mammals (mice) by increasing telomerase expression. In at least two separate studies (Ron DePinho and Maria Blasco) the reversals were dramatic. Additionally Dr Blasco later showed that mice are indeed a valid model for human aging shutting down the argument that, “mice don’t age by telomere loss”.  Yes they do and I have detailed that study for you in other blogs and plan to discuss it directly with Dr Blasco in the next couple of weeks again.

Author’s note: After this was written I did indeed go back to Madrid two more times and spend several hours with Dr Blasco. She expressed her disappointment with Calorie Restriction as a life prolonging strategy after an extensive literature review and the publication of one of her own papers where CR did not extend the life of her mice; only increasing telomerase expression did.  We also discussed telomere loss in aging mice and it appears clear that the mouse model of aging is really quite valid. Mice do age by telomere loss. They generally have much longer telomeres than people but loose telomere length much faster which contributes to their relatively short life span. This is most likely due to a less well developed anti-oxidant defense than humans have evolved.

2.      Telomere loss is the result of 2 main things: cellular replication and direct damage that can happen pretty much any time. Cellular replication is unstoppable and a necessary part of being alive. The only way to slow down the loss of telomere segments during replication, which is always there and always chewing away at them, is with a Telomere centric solution like the Immortality Edge Packs.

The rest of the damage

Cellular Damage

Is environmental / lifestyle and can be slowed down by proper lifestyle choices including stress relief, exercise, nutrition and so on. But this is only going to slow the process. not reverse it.

Recently I saw yet another blog that said “Fish oil leads to longer telomeres!”  By now you should know I am a huge champion of fish oil  .  I would love nothing better than to see it “lengthen telomeres”. But it does not. It slows down the loss. This is huge and meaningful and wonderful but it’s not Immortality Edge Packs!

The problem arises because compared to the people who did not take fish oil the ones that did, have “longer telomeres”.  But no one looked at their telomere length to begin with, only after the fact in the two groups. If they had they would see that concept #1- telomere loss due to cellular replication caused BOTH groups to have shorter telomeres than when they started with so NO ONE actually had longer telomeres than when they started.  The fish oil group had longer telomeres than the other group at the end of the study when they were measured but still lost telomere length overall due to cellular replication.

There is no easier way to explain it!

OK so what is the bottom line?

  1. Aging can and has been stopped by telomerase activation to lengthen critically short and eventually most telomere lengths.  In this way you can stop the #1 loss- replication.
  2. TA-65 is the only compound with solid human (or actually ANY human) data showing its effects on telomere length and causing health benefits in human beings that correlate with “anti-aging” effects. TA-65 increases telomerase expression.
  3. Live organisms have had their life spans extended past what is known to be the maximum in the wild and in the lab by increased telomerase expression with no increases in cancer.
  4. Health span and health parameters parallel each other from human cell lines to mammals to human beings- with similar systems being improved including: immune, skin, brain/behavior/ inflammation/sugar handling/ fat handling
  5. Fish oil, especially fish oil, has been shown to slow telomere loss in meaningful (clinical) fashion as well as some other anti-oxidants but none have shown increased telomere length in humans. Slowing down loss is NOT THE SAME as adding length. But when you look at oxidative environments, anti-oxidants and Omega 3’s can reverse some of this damage and telomerase seems to take care of the rest.
  6. With a combination of things ranging from TA-65 and Ultra 85 I have reduced my % of short telomeres by 5% and lengthened my telomeres by 600 base pairs in 4 .5 years. Nothing else could stem the tide of my ever shortening biologic time clocks. At this very moment I am running studies to compare my stem cell telomere lengths and establish that data base as well.

What steps should you take to lengthen your telomeres or at least slow the loss? If you are not already clear on what life style modifications matter, or where to start, here is some suggested reading:

Next get and take enough high quality fish oil to reverse the omega 3 deficit in your body. If you are not sure where you stand get one of the at home tests and find out .This test does not require a doctor’s prescription, is very simple to do at home, and is well worth it so you know you’re starting point.

If you can afford the Immortality Edge Packs by all means do so. If not make sure you at least consider the suggested reading above for lifestyle suggestions you can implement free of charge!

If not then focus on things like Vitamin D and Co Q 10 to boost your anti-oxidant defenses.

I firmly believe that aging can be stopped in humans. I also believe that it will take baby steps first to get there and yes we are in the “baby step” age right here right now. But if you don’t take those baby steps now you may not be able to walk or run when the time comes.

Dr Dave

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