TA-65 Customer Interviewed by CBS Los Angeles Channel 2

CBS News Channel 2 in Los Angeles recently did a video report on TA-65 featuring an interview with 67 year old Larry Simpson who has been using the product for about 18 months. He reports that he’s benefited from improved muscle and joint comfort, more hair, better vision, better skin, and “a brighter outlook on life”. His doctor, Edward Park, reports that testing shows both his reading and far vision have improved. Additionally, his lung capacity went up about a liter, an improvement that Park compares to a 20 year rollback in age.



CBS News reports on “The Fountain of Youth in a Tiny Capsule?”

TA-65 Still Lacks Large Trials Demonstrating Effect and Risks

Herbal medicine expert Dr. Roberta Lee points to TA-65 lacks any large trials to prove its effectiveness and risk. While that’s true, the supplement is not without any scientific backing. There have been some small studies done on humans and also research via experiments with tissue cultures.

The company that discovered TA-65, Geron Corporation, isolated it from the Chinese herb astragalus while screening massive numbers of chemical compounds to find those that could help in cancer research and treatment. They found that TA-65 causes human telomeres, the special DNA sequences at the ends of nuclear DNA strands of chromosomes, to lengthen over time. They believe it causes this by activating telomerase, the enzyme responsible for telomere repair. In most cells, there is little telomerase activity. This means that every time a cell replicates, its telomeres get a little shorter. Eventually, they get so short that the cell starts to replicate with damaged DNA or becomes senescent, meaning that it can no longer divide into two.

Cell senescence is believed to be a major factor in aging of humans, but not the only factor. Some of the other major factors in aging include chronic inflammation, oxidative damage to cells and biochemicals in the body, and mitochondrial aging that features both a decline in the number of energy-producing mitochondria and damage to the ones that remain. TA-65 only directly addresses one of these factors, the shortening telomeres. But in theory, it may allow the body to help repair the damage caused by at least some other aging mechanisms by enabling cells to replicate in a healthy fashion to replace damaged cells for longer periods of time.

Immune System Degradation Related to Shortening Telomeres

Interestingly, some of the first cells in the typical aging human to become senescent are those in the immune system. Immunosenescence is believed to be a major factor in the decline of the immune system in aging people. It turns out that in studies funded by Geron Corporation and other organizations researching TA-65, they identified shortened immune system telomeres are very common in people with chronic viral infections including cytomegalovirus (CMV), a herpes family virus that chronically infects most people as they age.

Geron has also been researching TA-65 for a treatment for HIV/AIDS patients. Their chronic viral infections destroy so many immune cells that the remaining ones struggle to replicate fast enough to maintain some defense and become immunosenescent much more quickly as a result. It’s suspected that many other chronic viral infections may cause similar damage to the immune system over time, so the effects of TA-65 could help keep many people healthy for more years by enabling their immune systems to replenish and restore themselves.

Most Cancer Cells Use Telomerase to Replicate Indefinitely

Around 90% of cancer cells benefit from increased telomerase activity that effectively lets them replicate forever, so long as they have oxygen and nutrition available. Telomerase is not believed to directly cause cancer, however. Some cancer cells replicate even if telomerase is completely inhibited, so it is clear that telomerase is not entirely necessary for all cancer cells to survive and multiply.

There is a theoretical concern that telomerase could encourage the development of cancer by allowing damaged cells to replicate for longer periods of time. Indeed one of the areas of research Geron and others are purusing is using telomerase inhibitors, substance that keep telomeres from being repaired and lengthened, for use as a possible cancer treatment. However, research shows that one of the mechanisms that starts cancers is DNA damage in cells originating from ancestor cells that suffered short telomere length.

Consequently, there is theoretical basis that TA-65 might actually help prevent cancer by keeping telomeres long enough to replicate with damaging DNA as often or as severely. For similar reasons, there is also theoretical basis that telomerase inhibitors could trigger cancer. More research is certainly needed in this area to fully understand the risks and benefits of both telomerase activators (like TA-65) and telomerase inhibitors.

TA-65 One of Few Telomere Lengthening Products with Research Backing

While there is more to aging than telomere length, so far there are few products on the market that have any research backing at all for helping to maintain and increase telomere length. TA-65 is one of those few products. As such, its vendor TA Sciences is in a position to have a relatively unique product with great potential on its hands. We’d like to see them do larger trials involving thousands of people of varying ages and health situations to more conclusively substantiate the benefits and risks. At present, they appear to be obtaining much of their research data showing how TA-65 works in people from their customers themselves. Thus it is a challenge to obtain data from usage in thousands of people because at present the supplement is rather expensive compared to most and therefore the customer base is limited.

If it turns out that TA-65 is as helpful as it appears it may be, in order to help as many people as possible there must be an effort to reduce the cost. Developing ways to manufacture TA-65 or similar telomerase activators without having to extract them from huge quantities of astraglus herbs is essential to cost reduction. At present, TA-65 costs $200 per month or more, depending upon the dosage you select. While some could easily afford this by lifestyle changes such as cancelling their cable TV and premium channels or eating out at less expensive restaurants, for many this is simply unaffordable as it could be far more costly than all their other healthcare combined. This is particularly the case for younger people, but also for many older people nearing or in retirement who may be among those who could most benefit from the supplement.

Further Reading

TA-65 Anti-Aging Study Shows Health Increase In Adult and Old Mice from Telomerase Lengthening

How Astragalus Extracts Help Immune System Fight Viruses

TA-65 Telomere Lengthening Just One Part of Anti-Aging Healthcare

Is TA-65 the Means to Immortality?

TA-65 Telomere Activation and Right to Healthcare Choice

Vitamins B12, C, and E May Increase Telomere Length

Elizabeth Blackburn on Chromosome Ends and Diseases of Aging

Vince Guiliano’s Anti-Aging Blog

Turning on Immortality: The Debate Over Telomerase Activation

Why stress is aging

Is There A Secret To Eternal Youth? Some Laud Dietary Supplement TA-65, Some Question It

Geron Announces Positive Data on Its Small Molecule Telomerase Activator in Model of IPF

A Natural Product Telomerase Activator As Part of a Health Maintenance Program

Telomerase-Based Pharmacologic Enhancement of Antiviral Function of Human CD8+ T Lymphocytes


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned in this post and on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information presented here is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice. Please obtain medical advice from qualified healthcare providers.


Comments

TA-65 Customer Interviewed by CBS Los Angeles Channel 2 — 8 Comments

  1. At least TA-65 does have human trials. There are plenty of herbals that have absolutely no human studies and still are used by herbalists. Especially in TCM.

    The “n” number for the TA -65 clinical trial is equal to that of many pharmaceuticals especially those released as “class copycats”.

    The first paying customer for TA was the man who discovered the human telomerase gene and the scientists who did the study are well known and respected in the community. The pattern of use for TA will be the same as most. First ridiculed, then opposed, then accepted as if it was always obvious. Several thousand people are already lengthening their telomeres. In spite of the recent “age reversal” study in mice many scientists still insist telomeres are innocent bystanders that have little to do with the aging process.

    The cancer question is “true true and unrelated” when it comes to “natural derepression” of telomerase and TA activated telomerase works exactly like its supposed to-lengthening the shortest telomeres first.

    The real question is how many studies are enough? The answer “more research is needed” Always. Look at fish oil. There are still plenty of MD’s who don’t think there is enough science even though the studies have now shifted to looking at what it is NOT good for rather than trying to prove it’s a hoax. Same old same old if you ask me.

    • Good points, Dave.

      There are several studies of telomere-affecting compounds derived from astragalus, including TA-65, that documented the ability to increase the length of short telomeres in immune system cells.

      Given the findings that it is particularly effective in people with chronic viral infections (such as CMV, a herpes family virus) that are widespread in humans, even if one is skeptical about telomere lengthening extending human life it is pretty that some such extracts do strengthen the immune systems of people who are afflicted with chronic viral infections by making the immune system better able to replicate cells important for fighting chronic viruses.

      Geron Corporation (which discovered TA-65 and many of the similar compounds) is attempting to develop drugs to help people afflicted with AIDS. Because of how the FDA approval process works, even if these drugs work well they will probably take a decade or more to come to market.

      In my view, a lot of people who could be helped are going to suffer for years and maybe die before any telomere-lengthening drugs are approved. But TA-65 can be purchased now and it looks from the studies like there is good reason to believe it will be helpful. Nobody has used them long enough to know if the difference will be little or big over the course of many years, but it does appear via testing they can see a reduction in the number of short-telomere immune cells in a matter of a year or so.

      It would be great if the other companies selling similar supplements (such as cycloastrogenol) would do their own studies to show similar effects as TA-65. Competition should help bring down prices somewhat and the more people who can afford to try these supplements, the better chance there will be to show evidence for their efficacy.

      Alison

  2. HI Allison studies on cycloastragenol and astragalosides have been done but not published. Want to guess why? Actually TASciences recently consulted an independent firm to look at astragalus and its commercial derivatives. They published their results as well via press release. I am sure they would be happy to share them with you if you cannot find them on the internet. You could also make a list of supplements that people have claimed to be telomerase activators now ( last year they were telomerase inhibitors!) and discuss which ones have telomerase activity with Sierra Sciences, a lab in Reno that does nothing but test for telomerase activity. You will get tired of reading the words “no activity found”!

    Here is an interesting question. What is TA-65 “worth”? Even if TA-65 proves to be wildly more protective than anyone thinks it will always be “too expensive”. The fact that no other company has ANY proof or is willing to do the studies on their own does not stop people from purchasing a $60 a month product that does nothing to telomerase. What is something that does nothing worth? Apparently about $60! To me that is “too expensive”.

    Sadly this question is really far more about buying behavior than science.

    • Dr. Dave,

      I’ve read enough about TA-65 to be reasonably convinced that it does influence telomere length positively in immune cells. There is no particular reason to think that it won’t work similarly in other cell types, but most of the research so far as been related to immune cells. I suspect this may have to do with telomere length tests being more widely used in those cell types in relation to treating incurable viral infections (e.g., AIDS) and cancers, but am not entirely sure of this.

      The conflicting reputations for various compounds of being telomerase activators or inhibitors is very confusing. I’ll see if I can find some more definitive answers to share with readers. You’re welcome to posts links to anything you find out there, too.

      There is a lot more to maintaining optimal longevity than having long telomeres. In particular, the evidence for involvement of mitochondrial health impairments in many degenerative aging diseases is growing rapidly. That’s part of the motivation for my interest in compounds like PQQ, ubiquinol, and idebenone that help mitochondria operate with less damage and/or to repair or replace themselves. Since they account for the source of about 95% of the energy used in the human body, it is easy to see how dwindling numbers of mitochondria and impaired functioning of the remaining mitochondria could very negatively impact health even if telomeres were kept in a long state throughout the body.

      Alison

  3. Actually Alison if you read the reports from Ron DePinho’s labs at Dana Farber telomeres are a major controlling factor in mitochondrial health not vice versa. Telomere length is directly responsible for mitochondrial health function and biogenesis (the ability of the mitochondria to duplicate themselves) as well as the number of mutations in mitochondrial DNA. Also all of the telomere diseases like Werners and Hutchison-Gilford progeria present with genotypic and phenotypic aging. Not one mitochondrial disease presents this way. Cell senescence and apoptosis is directly related to telomere length. In both cases the telomere length overdrives the mitochondria to release excess free radicals and damage or destroy the cell. The mitochondrial theory of aging is fundamentally flawed and will soon be a thing of the past. Reversing aging as has been done in mice by DePinho 10/10 in Nature will be the area of telomeres and stem cells. NO harm in keeping your mitochondria healthy -just don’t expect too much. The good news is that the ubiqionone based supplements seem to help telomere length as well- not adding length but protecting from excess loss. Best, Dr Dave- author The Immortality Edge

    • Dr. Dave,

      Thanks for the interesting references to DePinho’s work. I added links to your comment for readers to follow.

      DePinho and team did research on mice engineered to have short telomeres. When they reversed the shortened telomeres by causing a specially engineered version of the TERT gene (which encodes for the production of telomerase) to turn on, the telomeres grew longer and many of the aging symptoms seen in the animals reversed. This is really good direct proof of how telomeres influence aging.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons to believe that telomeres are not the only factor in aging. For instance, oxidative stress can cause a lot of damage cells and their DNA, even if the telomeres are long. Since the mitochondria tend to be a source of a lot of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) due to their intense level of redox reactions, it would help to reduce DNA damage by ensuring that there is a plentiful supply of antioxidants such as ubiquinol (CoQ10), PQQ, ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid), etc. to neutralize the ROS molecules.

      As an example of this, radiation damage is often lethal not because of the direct DNA damage it causes because of the massive amounts of oxidative damage triggered by the radiation. Radiation can cause some of the same kinds of symptoms connected with aging such as higher rates of cancer. Loading the body with high levels of antioxidants helps to reduce the damage from radiation, even though it probably does little to nothing to telomeres. But of course massive dosing with antioxidants isn’t a cure-all for aging, either.

      I do agree with you that lengthening telomeres should help fight the aging processes. But I don’t want readers to get the impression that telomere lengthening is the “magic bullet” for fighting aging as it strongly appears to be far more complicated than the telomere theory of aging or any single one of the other theories presented to date. I’m simply arguing for a systemic approach to maintaining excellent health and that many factors must be addressed to get the best outcome.

      Alison

  4. Pingback: Telomeres May Shorten More Quickly and Lead to Early Death Due to Oxidative and Inflammatory Damage | EmediaHealth

  5. Pingback: Is TA-65 the Means to Immortality? | EmediaHealth

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