Posted: Thu, March 21, 2013 | By: Anti-Aging / Supplements
by David Kekich
Dear Future Centenarian,
Researchers studied the connection between telomeres, telomerase, and cellular and organismal aging, but the public had little awareness until the early 1990s. That’s when Dr. Michael West founded Geron Corporation and brought on board Dr. Bryant Villeponteau, Dr. William Andrews and a strong underlying team.
In the following years, West succeeded in embedding a controversial thesis deeply into the public imagination: that the (re)activation of telomerase in somatic cells could retard or even reverse the degenerative aging process.
There were always problems with this thesis, and with public (mis)understandings of it, but its sheer simplicity and public prominence has in direct and indirect ways advanced scientific research that has answered many of the questions the thesis forced upon the scientific community, and opened up important new avenues for research in telomere biology and in biomedical gerontology.
The most direct and important fruits of that expansion of research into telomerase have been studies on the pharmacological and transgenic activation of telomerase in the tissues of aging mice.
Several such reports have appeared over the years, each hailed prematurely as evidence of the life-and health-extending power of the enzyme. The most important of these have been a series of experiments by María Blasco, PhD, SENS Research Foundation Advisory Board member and Director of the Molecular Oncology Programme at Spain’s National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO).
Dr. Blasco has gone on to develop a blood test kit to measure the critical short telomeres. Prior tests only measured the less important mean telomere length. Now, an inexpensive saliva test has been developed which holds promise to be an accurate telomere measuring tool.
A tantalizing report in this series has appeared - but to understand it in context, we will first review those that led up to it.
If you have an interest in telomere biology, you should read the whole thing. It’s very educational, and a good illustration of the way in which there are no sudden breakthroughs in science - just sudden attention paid to steadily ongoing progress.
From the SENS Foundation via FightAging.org:
You may have been following the emergence of telomerase activation products. The first was introduced at $25,000 per year and has come down in price substantially. It’s still out of reach for most. Other effective and more affordable products followed, and there are others on the horizon.
The better ones have gone into more extensive human studies. Results should be announced starting in several months.
In addition, the spotlight has been shining on telomerase-supporting lifestyle habits. Stress-reduction, exercise, diet and supplements such as fish oil should be your first line of defense against telomere shortening.
Within a few years, a stem cell therapy may be available that resets your aging clock/telomere length in many or most of your organs’ cells. More on this as it develops.
Each new advance rests upon decades of past work and the efforts of a range of other research groups. It also illustrates the need to look past the headlines to pick at the details of heralded research.
This article was originally posted HERE