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“I highly recommend the TeloYears testing and program to better understand your cellular age based on your current telomere length.”
Dr. John Westerdahl
Your TeloYears test results come with the TeloYears Blueprint for Aging Well, which distills decades of scientific evidence into one simple, tabulated, and value added resource for those feeling inspired to take action and get the most out of TeloYears. This insightful and value-added tool includes:
Collecting your sample is simple and takes just a few minutes. Simply follow the instructions in your At-Home kit.
1. Poke finger with small blue or pink lancet
2. Dab drop of blood on strip*
3. Place strip into small transport tube*
4. Mail back your sample* the same day you collect it
When we are born, generally our telomeres are at their longest. However, with age and exposures to various sources of oxidative stress throughout our lifetimes, telomeres gradually shorten, until cells can no longer divide. This shortening process acts as an aging clock counting down the remaining life of the cell.
The 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine for breakthrough discoveries in Telomere Biology was awarded to, Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, one of Telomere Diagnostics' founders. Using the award as a springboard, the company was formed with the vision of bringing useful telomere testing to the general market.
Dr. Blackburn accepts the Nobel Prize from King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden
Dr. John Westerdahl with Nobel Laureate and Telomere Researcher Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
(See Video Telomere Science Lectures and Interviews with Dr. Blackburn at Bottom of Page)
There is a large and growing body of scientific publications supporting the role of telomere length in aging, with longer telomeres being associated with aging well. On the other hand, shorter telomeres are associated with increased risk of age-related diseases and mortality. Genetic, lifestyle, environmental, and other factors can affect your average telomere length, which makes it a good overall measure of your health and longevity. Knowing your telomere length gives you a uniquely integrated view of these factors and allows you to make improvements.
TeloYears lets you learn and track your cellular age based on the length of your telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of your DNA strands that tend to shorten and fray with age. Imagine our DNA as a long spiral ladder with millions of rungs. Our telomeres are the last few thousand rungs on the ends of the ladder that keep it from “unzipping” as cells divide and thus protect our genes, which are made up of long stretches of rungs in the middle. Technically speaking, telomeres are repetitive stretches of the nucleotide base pair sequence TTAGGG at the ends of our chromosomes.
When we are born, our telomeres are typically at their longest. However, throughout our lives the telomeres shorten. At every cell division, telomeres lose a bit of their DNA until, over time, the cell cannot replicate and becomes “senescent,” which is the cellular equivalent of aging.
There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence showing that shorter telomeres are associated with a number of age-related diseases, and that lifestyle, genetic, environmental, and other factors can affect your telomere length.
For our bodies to heal and function properly, cells must divide to replace old, worn out cells and telomeres protect our DNA and prevent genomic instability during this division. Telomeres allow our cells to divide without damaging or scrambling the cells' genetic information. Telomeres are a key part of the process that ensures DNA is accurately copied as your cells divide and reproduce.
When we are born, our telomeres are at their longest. However, throughout our lives, every time our cells divide, the telomeres shorten. At every cell division, telomeres lose a bit of their DNA until, over time, the cell cannot replicate and becomes “senescent,” which is the cellular equivalent of aging. This shortening process acts as an aging clock for the lifetime of the cell.
Telomere shortening leads to cellular senescence, the cell's inability to divide. When telomere length reaches a limit, at around 5000 base pairs of TTAGGG repeats, cell division stops. This microscopic level phenomenon has been described as the causal nexus that, in combination with other factors, leads to macroscopic effects of tissue breakdown manifested in the phenotypical effect of aging. As a result, shorter telomeres could be considered a beacon for accelerated aging, like a canary in the coalmine. Factors that contribute to accelerated telomere shortening include:
Conversely, longer telomeres preserve cells’ ability to divide which can be extrapolated to delayed tissue breakdown and the phenotypical effect of aging well. Factors that can help maintain or even lengthen telomeres include:
The TeloYears Blueprint for Aging Well provided with your test results suggests several strategies for improving lifestyle choices based on years of scientific research that links them to telomere length.
The age of your cells in TeloYears is the actual age of the typical man or woman whose telomere length is similar to yours. Like cholesterol, BMI, or blood pressure, your telomere length is a useful biomarker for monitoring the vitality of your cells so that you can improve and better control--perhaps not how old you are--but how well you're aging. Whether the age of your cells in TeloYears is older or younger than your actual age, you can use your results to improve your overall health by finding in them the motivation to take steps to slow down the clock on the aging process by changing certain lifestyle behaviors that have been shown to associate with telomere length, including nutrition, exercise, sleep, or stress management.
Your TeloYears results can also be used, through repeat testing, to track how your choices are affecting your aging as studies have demonstrated that lifestyle choices can have an impact on telomere length.
Several studies have shown that, yes, your rate of telomere length shortening may be slowed when sustained changes to your lifestyle are made. Some studies have even suggested that telomere length may increase over time. Factors linked to telomere length include.
Generally speaking, the age of your cells in TeloYears is the actual age of a typical man or woman whose telomere length is similar to yours. More specifically, it is calculated using a complex formula that was built by our mathematicians based on the following process.
First, we measured average telomere length on a statistically large enough number of people (over 10,000 subjects) so as to construct a nationally representative population. Next we built a mathematical model or formula by applying statistical methods to the population level results, including regression and variance analysis of the means and distributions of relevant sub populations. Then, we compare the formula’s projected average telomere length for the typical person your actual age and gender to your own measured telomere length. Finally, your cells' age in TeloYears is determined based on where your telomere length falls on a distribution curve, which establishes a confidence interval around the formula’s projected mean for you based on the variance inherent in our method of measuring telomere length. Likewise, we use this model to calculate the percentile score your telomere length represents as compared to a typical man or woman of your actual age.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine
Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
The Roles of Telomeres and Telomerase
Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn on Telomeres
Dr. Dean Ornish
Lifestyle Changes Lengthen Telomeres
Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
Nutrition Supplementation Contributes to Longer Telomeres and Better Health Measures (Shaklee Telomere Study)