Here are a couple of amazing things I have learned:
1) Telomeres are intimately involved with just about every longevity and health pathway known to science.
2) Preserving telomere length and healthy function seems to reverse a lot of, in some cases, all of the cellular defects that happen as a result of all those other pathways. Here is an example: We know that oxidation (free radicals) damage cellular mechanisms and damage telomeres. Longer telomeres actually may be more susceptible to free radical damage because they have more DNA available for oxidation. Yet, when their length is preserved, the sum total effect of free radical oxidative damage in the cell is reduced, or even reversed, indicating their central and governing role in the pathways that are activated by free radical damage. I can’t say free radical damage doesn’t matter, it does. But, it matters a lot less when you have longer healthier telomeres!
3) Adding telomere length and function, particularly by limiting the number of critically short telomeres, or adding to their length, reverses the aging process in mammals and slows or stops the aging process (DePinho and Blasco separate studies). Improvements are seen in the same cellular populations as those seen when TA-65 is used to treat people and lab animals. Those areas include boosting the immune system, the brain, the skin, the handling of sugar, the handling of fats, and the amount of inflammation in the body. Some other things that are difficult to measure in animals show up in people, including increased sex drive and increased focus and energy.
4) The gene for the enzyme telomerase is found in every nucleated human cell type, which is basically most cells in the body, with the exception of red blood, which lack a nucleus and most organelles to accommodate maximum space for hemoglobin. Everything else with a nucleus has telomerase. But, in most cells with again a very few exceptions, telomerase is repressed or turned off. Since we know telomerase is needed for cellular immortality and so far no other way has been found to immortalize cells, the gene for immortality is inside every cell. But it’s turned off.
5) Some cells, like those of the immune system and stem cells have more telomerase expression, but as they become more “mature” types, the amount of telomerase, which is already small, declines even more.
6) Germ cells, specifically sperm progenitors, may be the only cells in the body with enough telomerase to outpace the aging process.
7) When telomerase is turned on in most cell types, it “fixes” the critically short telomeres first. This is also seen when telomerase is induced by TA-65, suggesting the way TA-65 works is totally “natural” and in harmony with the body’s established processes.
8) So far the only way to stop cells from aging is to turn up the telomerase.
9) TA-65 is the “only proven in live people” way to do that, so far.
In my last blog, I alluded to this kind of magic being baby steps. But in my view, anything that can help people live longer healthier lives is still magic!