In 2009, the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine was awarded for the discovery that the tips at the ends of our chromosomes (telomeres) are home to a unique DNA sequence that protects the chromosomes from degradation, and that the enzyme telomerase supports that DNA.
Telomeres are specialized molecular protective caps at each end of the DNA strand that protect chromosomes from degradation. Telomeres allow full replication of the DNA through telomerase activity; protect the chromosomes from degradation during replication; and shorten with replication and lack of telomerase enzyme. Telomeres do not fully replicate themselves, resulting in continual shortening through the loss of sequence repetition.
Telomeres are only a small portion of the total genome content, but their function is critical. The telomere structure facilitates full replication of the chromosome and prevents chromosome ends from engaging in fusions. Shortening of telomeres is associated with aging, and several human diseases result from telomere dysfunction.
Cell Death and Telomeres
In 1961, it was determined that human cells can replicate only a finite number of times before division stops. With each division, telomeres grow shorter, till they reach a critical length. At this critical length, cells can either die (apoptosis) or become senescent and unable to replicate. A senescent cell can damage other living cells with inflammatory cytokines.
The shortening process of telomeres is a countdown to their cellular death. When telomeres get too short, the DNA is more vulnerable to damage, often resulting in the development of cancer and other age-related diseases.
Every cell in our body has 92 telomere caps, which act as sentinels. The weakening or critical shortening of even one of these caps can compromise the cell’s function. Indeed, telomere length can be considered a solid indicator of general wellness, as well as age.
Fetal cells have the highest telomere count of all. As we age, the count goes lower and lower. But now, it is possible to address the shortening process—to rewind time within our cells, to slow the aging process in its tracks—by supporting the healthy production of telomerase, the enzyme that builds our telomere DNA.
Researchers have shown the correlation between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and disease. It has been found that LTL is short in many illnesses and conditions, including bromyalgia, coronary artery disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart failure, etc. Even fatigue in older adults is often associated with shorter LTL.
They have further shown that the activity of telomerase is a necessary enzymatic component to our DNA’s protection, with results indicating its invaluable contribution to brain function and other health factors. Importantly, the factor that allows us to glean these protective results is generally not expressed in adult cells, except for immune and reproductive cells.
There are effective Astragaloside Iv supplements—which specialized physicians have been using with their patients, which can cost as much as $8,000 annually—which have proven to slow down and even reverse the shortening of telomeres. Production of these supplements involves the use of a molecule cleaving process, or synthesis. More recently, however, a proprietary extraction process developed in 1999 to 2000 provides an all-natural and far more reasonably priced product.
If telomeres are shortened, these products have the potential to lengthen them. If telomeres are within a healthy range, they can help to maintain that length. There are a number of independent laboratories that can test telomere length, stabilization and progress. Blood tests can be taken before use, and then six months later, to determine how effective the supplement has been.
Many other factors can affect health and longevity, among them are:
- Diet and nutrition
- Tooth, gum and general hygiene
- Diseases (internal and external), including bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc.
- Stress (internal and external), wear and tear
- Genetics, heredity, hormones
- Environmental factors, including pollution
- Lifestyle, including physical activity
- Immunological factors, body chemistry, free radicals
- Molecular clock—normal bodily function losses
- Mitochondrial abnormalities
Viachem LLC, a research and development company in Lindenhurst, offers all-natural TeloMore, produced in the U.S. by a natural extraction method, for affordable prices. For more information, call 631-752-8700, email Viachemllc@aol.com or visit Viachemllc.com.