N.B. A “base pair” is a rung on the DNA double helix ladder which means an A linked to a T or a C linked to a G.
Now let’s share some incredible news: my patient is an 80-yo man taking 4 capsules of TA nightly for three years. In 2011 at the overripe age of 77, his median white blood cell telomere length was first measured at 4100 base pairs, but that increased to 4200 after eight months.
In early 2013, after two years of TA ingestion, he had already gained 14 years of length and was at 5500 base pairs. But it was concerning that one out of every four chromosomes 25% was critically-shortened, or ready to cause chromosomal mutation. (We didn’t have critically-shortened % as a measurement in 2011 so we don’t honestly know if that represents worsening or improvement.)
After nearly three years (December 2013), he measures at 6100 base pairs, with only 18% critically-shortened. That means that if you assume 100 base pair attrition per year, he should have been at 3800 at the age of 80, not 6100 (a +23 year swing!).
Does this mean anything? Science really can’t say for sure yet but am quite sure my patient will sleep better knowing he’s going in the right direction (which for most of us is the wrong and unnatural direction, I suppose…).
Fun fact: Kaiser Northern California with Cal Harley and Elizabeth Blackburn are sitting on about 100,000 patients’ telomere results and have yet to publish that data. If you are a member, they didn’t have to ask your permission and they aren’t going to share your data with you, by the way. Well golly, if a big HMO like Kaiser Permanente is interested in their subscribers’ telomeres, maybe you should be too? Maybe Dr. Ed isn’t just dedicating his life to some sleepy backwater of science?
Anyway, thank you to our patient who through considerable faith and expense has provided one very interesting anecdote. If you stopped taking TA-65 because you didn’t feel anything you are not alone. But perhaps this helps explain why so many state that “the second year on TA is even better than the first”.
There is an ongoing trail of 120 patients in Spain taking TA-65 and having their telomeres measured at 5 points and we expect that may be published late this year. If you would like to understand more about measuring telomeres, watch this video I made: