Telomere Length Measurements
Telomere Length: Your Cellular Age
At the Harding Medical Institute’s Anti-Aging Program that measurement of Telomere length is a new tool that our doctors are utilizing in personalized and preventative medicine. Telomere length measurements can provide clinical insight into the overall health and cellular age of an individual and his risk for developing age-related diseases.
What does Telomere Testing measure?
Telomeres are sections of genetic material at the end of each chromosome whose primary function is to prevent chromosomal “fraying” when a cell replicates. As a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become too short to allow cell replication, the cell stops dividing and will ultimately die – a normal biological process that starts aging. However, a longer telomere length allows for more cellular division that can continually replace damaged cells. A Telomere Test can determine the length of a patient’s telomeres in relation to the patient’s age. The longer your Telomeres the lower your biological age and in theory risk of disease.
Premature Telomere Shortening
Premature shortening of telomeres is a serious condition that may be partially or totally preventable, because when this happens patients age prematurely. We know that Telomeres shorten with increased age, yet environment, stress, inflammation, hormone imbalance, lack of exercise, and poor diet can have a profound affect on the rate of shortening.
The Harding Medical Institute Elite Executive Physical will give you the tools you need to address your heath and mange the aging process. Call 407.210.2101 now to schedule your FREE consultation!
How are the Telomere Length Measurements results reported?
The Patient Telomere Score is calculated based on the patient’s average telomere length in peripheral whole blood cells. This average is then compared to telomere lengths from a population sample in the same age range as the patient to determine the patient’s percentile score.
What do the results mean?
Age adjusted telomere length is the best method to date to assess biological age using structural analysis of chromosomal change in the telomere. Serial evaluation of telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Therapies directed at slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related diseases.
What are the nutritional implications on telomere length and repair?
An inflammatory diet, or one that increases oxidative stress, will shorten telomeres faster. This includes refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and saturated fats. A diet with a large amount and variety of antioxidants that improves oxidative defense and reduces oxidative stress will slow telomere shortening. Consumption of 10 servings of fresh and relatively uncooked fruits and vegetables, mixed fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, cold water fish, and high quality vegetable proteins will help preserve telomere length. In addition, it is advised to reduce total daily caloric intake and implement an exercise program. Fasting for 12 hours each night at least 4 days per week is recommended.
What lifestyle modifications are likely to be helpful?
Women should achieve ideal body weight and body composition with low body fat of less than 24%. Decreasing visceral fat is very important. Regular aerobic and resistance exercise for at least one hour per day, sleeping for at least 8 hours per night, stress reduction, and discontinuation of all tobacco products are strongly recommended. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may also decrease the rate of telomere loss.
When should retesting be considered?
Testing should be done two times per year to evaluate the rate of aging and make adjustments in nutrition, nutritional supplements, weight management, exercise and other lifestyle modifications known to influence telomere length.
What role will nutritional supplements play in slowing telomere shortening?
Oxidative stress will shorten telomere length and cause aging in cellular tissue. Antioxidant supplements such as the pharmaceutical grade vitamins offered by the Harding Medical Institute can potentially reduce oxidative stress very effectively and ultimately improve oxidative defenses, mitochondrial function, reduce inflammation and slow vascular aging. Targeted supplementation is key, as antioxidants are thought to work synergistically, and by being balanced will work most effectively to avoid inducing a pro-oxidant effect. Increasing antioxidant capacity at the cellular level is believed to be critical to maintaining telomere length.
Recent evidence suggests that a high quality and balanced multivitamin will also help maintain telomere length. Specifically, studies have linked longer telomeres with levels of vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant resveratrol. In addition, homocysteine levels have been inversely associated with telomere length, suggesting that reducing homocysteine levels via folate and vitamin B supplementation may decrease the rate of telomere loss. Similarly, conditions such as cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis and even dementia affect telomere length. Correcting subclinical nutritional deficiencies that may contribute to such diseases is crucial for telomere maintenance.
What pharmacologic treatments are known to slow telomere aging?
- Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI)
- Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB)
- Renin Inhibitors
- Possibly Calcium channel blockers
- Possibly Serum aldosterone receptor antagonists
- Possibly metformin
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Control all known coronary heart disease risk factors to optimal levels
- Reduce LDL cholesterol to about 70 mg %, decrease LDL particle number and increase LDL particle size.
- Reduce oxidized LDL.
- Increase HDL to over 40 mg % in men and over 50 mg % in women and increase HDL 2 subfraction. Reduce inflammatory HDL and increase protective HDL.
- Reduce fasting blood glucose to less than 90 mg % and 2 hour post prandial or 2 hour GTT to less than 110 mg %. Keep Hemoglobin A1C to about 5.0% and keep insulin levels low.
- Reduce blood pressure to about 120/ 80 mm Hg
- Reduce homocysteine to less than 8 um/L
- Reduce HS-CRP to less than 1.0
- Maintain ideal body weight and composition.
- Stop smoking.
- Treat insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Schedule Your Telomere Measurement Testing Today
The Harding Medical Institute Elite Executive Physical will give you the tools you need to address your heath and mange the aging process. Call 407.210.2101 now to schedule your FREE consultation.