Telomeres May Shorten More Quickly and Lead to Early Death Due to Oxidative and Inflammatory Damage

Researchers from the University of Washington have found a weak link between leukocyte (white blood cell) telomere length and increased risk of mortality in aging humans. In their study Leukocyte Telomere Length and Mortality in the Cardiovascular Health Study, they examined telomere length measurements from 1136 study participants and found that those with telomere lengths in the lower quartile (bottom 25%) were statistically more likely to die than those with telomeres in the longest quartile (top 25%). Interestingly, they also found that African Americans have significantly longer leukocyte telomere length after adjusting for differences in age and gender.

This is not the only study to note that oxidative and inflammatory damage appears to shorten telomeres. A study on telomere length in patients with periodontitis (dental gum disease) found that those with the disease suffer shorter leukocyte telomere length. Chronic viral infections such as HIV, hepatitis, and cytomegalovirus have often been linked to shortened telomere length, so it’s not surprising that bacterial infections such as periodontitis that put a load on the immune system may cause similar shortened telomeres.

A study on leukocyte telomere length in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) found that it appears the accelerated aging and shorter lifespans associated with depression may indicate worsened oxidative damage from lengthy bouts of depression.

For the general public, such studies mean there’s good reason to believe that keeping your telomeres longer may help you live a longer life. It’s another data point that backs the usage of telomerase activators such as TA-65. Unfortunately, telomerase activators are still rather expensive, probably prohibitively so for most people.

So what’s a not-so-rich person to do? Fortunately, you can follow the following suggestions at a much lower cost and get health benefits that TA-65 and other telomerase activators do not offer while slowing down the rate of your telomere shortening. Even if you can afford TA-65, the following is still good advice.

Multivitamins and Antioxidants Can Help Keep Telomeres Long

Part of the answer to keeping your telomeres long is to slow down the rate at which the body has to multiply cells to repair accumulating damage. Multivitamin users tend to have longer telomere length which is probably because their higher levels of antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage and reduces the need for cell division (which shorten telomeres) to repair damaged cells. My previous article Vitamins B12, C, and E May Increase Telomere Length discussed findings about how multivitamin users have longer telomeres.

Consuming high quantities of antioxidants via a diet plentiful in fruits and vegetables is a good starting point, but it’s probably not enough for optimal health. Adding varied antioxidant supplements including vitamin C, vitamin E (particularly mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols including more than just the alpha tocopherol form found in most multivitamins), quercetin, resveratrol, carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), CoQ10 (preferably the ubiquinol form), idebenone, lycopene, lutein, and many others may help further lower the level of oxidative damage throughout the body.

TA Sciences, the vendor selling TA-65, is fully aware of the health benefits of the multivitamins and antioxidants as they sell supplemental nutrition packs for TA-65 customers with a wide range of nutrients including most of those I’ve listed above plus many more.

Could Oral Probiotics Help Keep Telomeres Long?

The study on the link between telomere length and periodontitis offers another interesting possibility of using oral probiotics to reduce the immune system load caused by gum disease and cavities. Many studies have shown links between poor dental health and cardiovascular disease and mental illness. Most ascribe this link to inflammation.

Certainly reducing the disease load in the mouth will help lower inflammation levels. It’s also likely to help lower levels of oxidative damage because many of the mechanisms the immune system uses to destroy invading microorganisms rely upon the use of oxidative reactions.

Obviously frequent brushing and flossing are good first steps. But in my experience, they are not enough for optimal dental health.

Based upon my own personal experience with oral probiotics reversing periodontitis, I’d strongly recommend going beyond the usual two or three times daily brushing, flossing, and use of dental rinses and adding in an oral probiotic tablet at bedtime. It will help load up your mouth with good bacteria that fight off those that cause periodontitis and cavities. As a result, the buildup of bacteria-laden plaque is greatly reduced and your immune system doesn’t have to go into overdrive in your mouth to fight the creepy cavity-causing bacteria that are overgrowing the healthy bacteria.

I like the Life Extension Advanced Oral Hygiene mint lozenges a lot and believe the savings in dental care can more than pay for the cost of the probiotic lozenges. The first difference you’ll probably notice is that your mouth feels far more clean and fresh the next morning after taking one at bedtime. After several months of using them, I believe it is likely your dental hygienist will also notice a difference on your next dental cleaning and exam. If you’ve suffered from bad periodontitis and need dental cleanings every three months rather than the more typical sixth months for people with healthier mouths, after a year or so of using oral probiotics I think it’s likely you’ll be able to get back to a more typical cleaning schedule and the savings from two fewer dental cleanings a year should more than cover the cost of the oral probiotics.

For those who do not like mint, a strawberry flavored product with a different mix of probiotics is Swanson Health Products Oral Probiotic Formula. It seems to be more palatable to children in particular.

Don’t Forget Your Vitamin D!

Almost everybody who doesn’t work or spend many hours each day outdoors is deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is increasingly tied to diseases started or aggravated by inflammation including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases. Adding vitamin D supplements is probably the only practical way for most people to get enough vitamin D as there’s far too little in even enriched dairy products to reach optimal levels. Fortunately, vitamin D3 supplements are very inexpensive. You can read more about how to get your vitamin D levels up to snuff in Adjusting Your Vitamin D Intake to Optimal Levels.

Quit Smoking!

Smoking tobacco products is a major health hazard as everybody knows. Smoking has been found to cause accelerated aging and shortening of telomeres. If you are a smoker, quit and use the savings to fund a better diet and supplement program to improve your health.

Further Reading

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

TA-65 Customer Interviewed by CBS Los Angeles Channel 2

How Astragalus Extracts Help Immune System Fight Viruses

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

Oral Probiotics Improve Dental Health for Kids and Adults

Disregard for Dental Hygiene May Ruin Your Mind

Mouth Probiotics Speed Canker Sore Healing and Reduce Cavities, Arthritis Pain, Heart Disease

Is TA-65 the Means to Immortality?

TA-65 Telomere Activation and Right to Healthcare Choice

Breakthrough in vivo Scientific Study Published: TA-65 Increases Healthspan, Renews Organ Systems, and Increases Critically Short Telomere Lengths

Turning on Immortality: The Debate Over Telomerase Activation

The telomerase activator TA-65 elongates short telomeres and increases health span of adult/old mice without increasing cancer incidence (PubMed)

Leukocyte Telomere Length and Mortality in the Cardiovascular Health Study

Oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and telomere length in patients with periodontitis

Leukocyte telomere length in major depression: correlations with chronicity, inflammation and oxidative stress–preliminary findings

Telomere Length is a Biomarker of Cumulative Oxidative Stress, Biologic Age, and an Independent Predictor of Survival and Therapeutic Treatment Requirement Associated With Smoking Behavior

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Telomeres May Shorten More Quickly and Lead to Early Death Due to Oxidative and Inflammatory Damage — 5 Comments

  1. Pingback: TA-65 Telomere Lengthening Just One Part of Anti-Aging Healthcare | EmediaHealth

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

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  4. Can TA65 help a knee joint contracture? This problem has gotten worse over the years and I have just finally, after all these years, gotten this diagnosis. Most doctors want me to get a knee replacement but I believe, from what I have read, that TA65 can help me. I think this is my last thing to try as thru the years I have done Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells, PRP, prolo-therapy(only 2 sessions because it seemed to make me worse), rolfing(75 sessions with acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture(90 sessions, the rooster cone injections(3-4 injections, zeel,5 injections( suppose to be natural), and stretching. Nothing has really helped until just recently when I went to an M.D. and he does deep tissue massages for the leg for about 20 minutes once a week then I stretch my leg out at the gym and do leg extensions. This has eleaveated the pain but my leg is still bent. As you can see, I am desperate for something or someone to help me so that I don’t have to have surgery. I just want to keep my own knee. Can you offer any advice?
    Thanks in advance, Betty

  5. Betty,

    I don’t know if TA-65 will help a knee joint contracture problem.

    As I understand it, this problem involves excessive growth of joint tissue and is often triggered by some kind of traumatic injury to the joint. It also appears that disuse of the joint, such as in people who are disabled by an injury or paralyzed for some time (such as used to happen often with polio patients), might also trigger the problem.

    Did the doctors offer any reason why the joint tissue may have grown thicker to impact the mobility of the joint?

    Do they think the joint tissue is still growing or not?

    If TA-65 were to help, maybe it would be by helping to break down the excess joint tissue. But it is not clear to me how simply extending telomeres would accomplish that. On the contrary, I would be concerned that if the joint tissue is continuing to grow excessively that TA-65 might just make it worse because telomere extension tends to increase the capacity of cells to continue to regenerate and operate.

    Another possibility is that perhaps the joints are not working well because the muscles attached to the bones around the joints are weak. If that was the case, then I could see more likelihood for TA-65 to help. However, to my knowledge nobody has done any kind of a well-run control study for TA-65 triggering muscle or joint improvements that would be good evidence for using it as a treatment for a problem like yours.

    A lot of the therapies you mention trying seem to be often used for forms of arthritis. Perhaps this is why they did not work. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which involves the breakdown of the joint tissue. Prolotherapy is supposed to trigger a repair reaction to rebuild tissue.

    Knee joint replacement is often advised for osteoarthritis. I can’t recommend it for that use given how it seems to be advised more because it is a goldmine for surgeons (often multiple surgeries are needed for the same joint) that makes it impossible to try any other kinds of therapy for that joint.

    Joint pain can be really horrible, enough so that a lot of people opt for the joint replacement surgeries. But once you go down that path, there is no turning back. I strongly believe that this is a major reason why doctors are so intent on pushing joint replacement on people who have not tried many other possible options.

    In your case, it sounds like you have tried a lot of options but nothing has worked well. In such circumstances, there is often something that is being missed and it is my observation that often digestive health is poor and this impairs the ability of the body to perform its repair and maintenance tasks properly, thus preventing healing of a problem that the body might be able to repair if it had the right supplies of nutrients to do it.

    Do you have any problems with digestion? This might show up with doctors claiming you have GERB, IBS, “heartburn”, or something like that and then prescribing medications like proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium and Prilosec. This is the exact opposite of what most people need and often makes the problems worse by lowering already low stomach acid to extremely low levels that trigger many health problems because of problems digesting proteins and minerals.

    Did you get any tests looking for inflammation problems? If so, which tests and what were the results?

    If I was in your position and didn’t have any more information that what you presented so far, I would probably focus on physiotherapy to maintain range of motion and also work on improving digestion and muscles to see if that may help the joints operate better over time. This is not a quick-fix approach like surgery, but like I said the track record for knee replacement surgeries in other kinds of patients does not look good unless you like helping surgeons get rich with repeated surgeries.

    Muscle rebuilding often requires increased protein intake and some exercise.

    One obstacle for this is poor digestion. A lot of older people lack adequate stomach acid to digest protein. You can try to work around this by taking mixed amino acids (more expensive) or increasing healthy protein intake (wild fish, for instance, but even whey protein shakes would be a good source for supplemental protein) and also boosting stomach acid and protein digesting enzymes using supplements. Absent other information to the contrary, I think a mixed approach is worthwhile, with some use of amino acids (particularly if an amino acid test shows you are much lower in some than others) but more emphasis on the less expensive stomach acid and enzyme approach.

    Boosting stomach acid is relatively easy using Betaine HCl plus pepsin tablets or capsules with each meal. But if you are already taking antacids or drugs for GERD (Nexium, Prilosec, etc.) then you should stop those first because they often lower stomach acid to very low levels that results in extremely poor digestion, especially of proteins but also of minerals that are often important to joint and bone maintenance.

    Boosting protein digestive enzymes can be accomplished with products like NOW Foods Super Enzymess and bromelain that is not enteric coated.

    The NOW Super Enzymes has a small amount of bromelain in it included in a way that will help with protein digestion.

    For the betaine HCl with pepsin, you might try Solaray High Potency HCl With Pepsin or Now Foods Betaine HCl with Pepsin. The NOW Foods product gets better reviews, but the Solaray product is much less expensive, so it might be worth trying both if you find one of them helps with digestion.

    You can also buy much larger amounts of bromelain which might be worth trying because it often helps with joint pain if you take it on an empty stomach apart from food because it is documented as helping reduce inflammation tied to joint pain. For that purpose (or for digestion of protein) I like the product NOW Foods Bromelain. This product can work for both purposes depending upon when you take it.


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