Telomeres become shortened over time as a cell divides and replicates. They can be prematurely shortened due to oxidation, inflammation, and stress. These conditions reduce the protective effect of telomeres, damage DNA, and contribute to early cell death.1-6 Telomeres may be the key to the root cause and prevention of age-related conditions.7, 8Get Starter Test Kit
Telomeres are segments of DNA found at the ends of chromosomes; they protect the genetic data contained in DNA and act as a buffer during cell replication. Telomere length may be indicative of cellular aging and increased susceptibility to metabolic disorders and chronic disease.2-8 Knowing more about the status of telomere length may encourage those with prematurely shortened telemores to seriously consider making lifestyle changes that can positively impact their health.
Shorter telomeres have been associated with cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cognitive decline, and other chronic degenerative conditions normally associated with aging.9-12
Adopting healthy or avoiding unhealthy lifestyle choices can contribute to telomere length in healthy cells and possibly contribute to longevity.
To understand how methylation can impact telomere length click here to learn about the MethylDetox Profile.
DNA from white blood cells is analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to determine the patient Telomere Value. Telomere length is determined by comparing the number of nucleotide repeats of the telomeres against a stable reference gene.
Telomeres become shorter after each cell division until eventually chromosomal DNA reaches a critical point and the cell can no longer divide (known as the Hayflick limit).13 Accelerated telomere shortening leads to cell senescence. If telomere length is preserved, termination of cell division (senescence) and programmed cell death (apoptosis) can be delayed.
Lifestyle changes aimed at reducing inflammation may help aide in delaying telomere shortening.14
Easy to understand color-coded test results comparing patient's telomere value to age matched population.
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1 Pérez-Rivero G, Ruiz-Torres MP, Díez-Marqués ML, Canela A, López-Novoa JM, Rodríguez-Puyol M, Blasco MA, Rodríguez-Puyol D. Telomerase deficiency promotes oxidative stress by reducing catalase activity. Free Radic. Biol. Med. 2008. 45(9):1243-51.
2 Cawthon RM, Smith KR, O'Brien E, Sivatchenko A, Kerber RA. Association between telomere length in blood and mortality in people aged 60 years or older. Lancet. 2003 Feb 1;361(9355):393-5.
3 Garcia CK, Wright WE, Shay JW. Human diseases of telomerase dysfunction: insights into tissue aging. Nucleic. Acid Res. 2007. 35(22):7406-7416.
4 Epel ES, Merkin SS, Cawthon R, Blackburn EH, Adler NE, Pletcher MJ, Seeman TE. The rate of leukocyte telomere shortening predicts mortality from cardiovascular disease in elderly men. Aging. 2009. 1(1):81-88.
5 Donate LE, Blasco MA.Telomeres in cancer and ageing. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. 2011. B 366,76-84.
6 Njajou OT, Cawthon RM, Blackburn EH, Harris TB, Li R, Sanders JL, Newman AB, Nalls M, Cummings SR, Hsueh WC. Shorter telomeres are associated with obesity and weight gain in the elderly Int J Obes (Lond). 2012 Sep;36(9):1176-9.
7 Von Zglinikci T et al. Telomeres as biomarkers for ageing and age-related diseases. Curr. Mol. Med. 2005. 5(2):197-203.
8 Martin-Ruiz CM, Baird D, Roger L, Boukamp P, Krunic D, Cawthon R, Dokter MM, van der Harst P, Bekaert S, de Meyer T, Roos G, Svenson U, Codd V, Samani NJ, McGlynn L, Shiels PG, Pooley KA, Dunning AM, Cooper R, Wong A, Kingston A, von Zglinicki T.Reproducibility of telomere length assessment: an international collaborative study. Int J Epidemiol. 2014. pii: dyu191.
9 Panossian LA, Porter VR, Valenzuela HF, Zhu X, Reback E, Masterman D, Cummings JL, Effros RB.Telomere shortening in T cells correlates with Alzheimer´s disease status. Neurobiol. Aging 2003. 24(1):77-84.
10 Willeit P, Willeit J, Brandstätter A, Ehrlenbach S, Mayr A, Gasperi A, Weger S, Oberhollenzer F, Reindl M, Kronenberg F, Kiechl S. Cellular aging reflected by leukocyte telomere length predicts advanced atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease risk. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010. 30(8):1649-56.
11 Kuhlow D, Florian S, von Figura G, Weimer S, Schulz N, Petzke KJ, Zarse K, Pfeiffer AF, Rudolph KL, Ristow M. Telomerase deficiency impairs glucose metabolism and insulin secretion. Aging (Albany NY). 2010. 2(10):650-8.
12 Hoare M, Gelson WT, Das A, Fletcher JM, Davies SE, Curran MD, Vowler SL, Maini MK, Akbar AN, Alexander GJ. CD4+ T-lymphocyte telomere length is related to fibrosis stage, clinical outcome and treatment response in chronic hepatitis C virus infection. J Hepatol. 2010. 53(2):252-60.
13 Campisi J, d'Adda di Fagagna F. Cellular senescence: when bad things happen to good cells. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Sep;8(9):729-40.
14 Ligi Paul. Diet, nutrition and telomere length. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2011. Volume 22, Issue 10, Pages 895–901.
15 Panossian LA, Porter VR, Valenzuela HF, Zhu X, Reback E, Masterman D, Cummings JL, Effros RB. Telomere shortening in T cells correlates with Alzheimer´s disease status. Neurobiol. Aging 2003. 24(1):77-84.
16 Simon NM, Smoller JW, McNamara KL, Maser RS, Zalta AK, Pollack MH, Nierenberg AA, Fava M, Wong KK. Telomere shortening and mood disorders: preliminary support for a chronic stress model of accelerated aging. Biol. Psychiatry 2006. 60(5):432-435.
17 Kuhlow D, Florian S, von Figura G, Weimer S, Schulz N, Petzke KJ, Zarse K, Pfeiffer AF, Rudolph KL, Ristow M.Telomerase deficiency impairs glucose metabolism and insulin secretion. Aging (Albany NY). 2010. 2(10):650-8.
18 Lee M, Martin H, Firpo MA, Demerath EW. Inverse association between adiposity and telomere length: The fels longitudinal study. Am J Hum Biol. 2010.
19 Samani NJ, van der Harst P. Biological ageing and cardiovascular disease. Heart 2008. 94(5):537-539.
20 Willeit P, Willeit J, Brandstätter A, Ehrlenbach S, Mayr A, Gasperi A, Weger S, Oberhollenzer F, Reindl M, Kronenberg F, Kiechl S.Cellular aging reflected by leukocyte telomere length predicts advanced atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease risk. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010. 30(8):1649-56.
21 Wang YY, Chen AF, Wang HZ, Xie LY, Sui KX, Zhang QY. Association of shorter mean telomere length with large artery stiffness in patients with coronary heart disease. Aging Male. 2011.14(1):27-32.
22 Tang NL, Woo J, Suen EW, Liao CD, Leung JC, Leung PC The effect of telomere length, a marker of biological aging, on bone mineral density in elderly population. Osteoporos Int. 2010. 21(1):89-97.
23 Harbo M, Bendix L, Bay-Jensen AC, Graakjaer J, Søe K, Andersen TL, Kjaersgaard-Andersen P, Koelvraa S, Delaisse JM.The distribution pattern of critically short telomeres in human osteoarthritic knees. Arthritis Res Ther. 2012.18;14(1):R12.
24 Svenson U, Nordfjäll K, Stegmayr B, Manjer J, Nilsson P, Tavelin B, Henriksson R, Lenner P, Roos G. Breast cancer survival is associated with telomere length in peripheral blood cells. Cancer Res. 2008. 68(10):3618-3623.
25 Hoare M, Gelson WT, Das A, Fletcher JM, Davies SE, Curran MD, Vowler SL, Maini MK, Akbar AN, Alexander GJ. CD4+ T-lymphocyte telomere length is related to fibrosis stage, clinical outcome and treatment response in chronic hepatitis C virus infection. J Hepatol. 2010. 53(2):252-60.