I was sitting in my golf club after my last round (I resigned membership this week) and ironically, a commercial for TeloYears, the $89 telomere test came up on the giant screen between sporting events. That is the spot usually reserved for light beer and erectile dysfunction ads so I guess we know who they are targeting.
My friends know me as the ‘telomere guy’ so they asked me about it. I could have spent an hour talking about how I know the founder, the history of the company, the controversy about that technique, the unknown unknowns about using telomere measurements to judge aging…
I just smiled and replied “I don’t think it’s that simple”. They quipped, “well it looks like pretty young girls talk to you if you get the test”. Indeed. That seems like a good reason to give it a try.
Should you do the test? Do you have a few hours for an explanation? It’s just $89. I give it a 100% chance that the doctor who give you the results won’t have any real clue what it means because no one really does.
What can we say for certain about measuring telomeres?
They tend to shorten in humans as we age.
Telomere shortening in actual cells leads to mutation.
Healthy lifestyle choices mitigate and can reverse the rate of loss in general.
If you want to understand the differences between methods of measuring telomeres, you can read this paper, which is one of many. Or you could just watch this video that I did for a Biomarkers convention:
If you want to do something to mitigate telomere shortening, consider a telomerase activator like TA-65 or healthy lifestyle changes as will be outlined in my upcoming book for Hay House Publishing, due out October, 2017.