People have been looking to nature for ways to live longer and healthier since the dawn of civilization. Take the ancient Egyptians, for example; they were using myrrh and garlic as medicine over 3000 years ago. Herbs have been an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for at least two millennia and revered Greek physician Hippocrates was prescribing willow leaf tea — the very earliest form of aspirin — way back in 400 BC. Today herbalism is still incredibly important across the globe. It is estimated that 80% of African populations use some form of traditional herbal medicine and the worldwide annual market for these products is worth in the region of US$ 60 billion.
The World Health Organisation, the US, China, India and Nigeria are all major investors in traditional herbal medicine research. Industry has also ploughed millions of US dollars into the search for new and better ways to harness the healing qualities of plants and herbs — herbs like Astragalus.
Astragalus (or Astragalus membranaceus, to be precise) has been generating a great deal of excitement and debate within the global antiaging research community. Traditional Chinese Medicine has incorporated the root of this perennial plant for centuries and it is coveted for its health giving properties. But scientists have discovered that it contains a potentially revolutionary molecule that may help in the quest for longer and healthier lives.
When using a proprietary process, this specific molecule found in astragalus is refined, highly purified, and concentrated into an extract known as TA65, that appears to be able to activate a natural enzyme called telomerase which, in turn, can lengthen DNA.
So why is DNA lengthening important? Well, shortened DNA is being increasingly associated with the aging process, age related diseases, and reduced life expectancy. So, in theory, if it is possible to lengthen DNA, it may be possible to reverse some of the signs of aging and even breathe new life into age-damaged tissue.
Thanks to the proprietary, high-quality purifying process, the TA65 found in Antiaging Nutrition’s capsules has minimum 90% purity and it’s this molecular concentration that is thought to be key. It is claimed that the level of concentration, provides a potency that cannot be obtained either by eating the entire herb or by taking a general astragalus supplement.
The unique process begins with sourcing astragalus from closely monitored and approved farms before analysing the herb in FDA-approved laboratories under tight quality control conditions.
As TA65 is currently the only formula that has been been rigorously tested and proven to activate the natural enzyme telomerase, we believe that our TA65 capsules may stop chromosomes from deteriorating, lengthen telomeres and, ultimately, help to combat premature aging.
Could a natural plant extract help to turn back our biological clocks, reinvigorate our immune systems and help us to enjoy a better quality of life for longer? Some certainly think so. Let’s first look at the science behind this exciting and potentially age-defying innovation.
Deoxyribonucleic acid — or DNA to you and me — is effectively our genetic blueprint, a kind of unique personal recipe. Found in our cells, it determines who we are and what we look like. We’re probably all familiar with its distinctive ladder-like shape, twisted into a spiral called a double helix.
Our DNA is coiled into structures called chromosomes and at the end of each chromosome is a vital bit of protective DNA called a telomere.
These microscopic caps have fascinated scientists for some time. Thousands of scientific papers have been written about them and the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded for the discovery of how they and the enzyme telomerase protect chromosomes.
Telomeres act rather like the hard bits at the end of shoelaces. They protect the important recipe part of our DNA when our cells divide to construct and repair tissue — a process known as cell replication. They also help to stop chromosomes fusing, fraying and unravelling which could cause genetic mutations.
For most people, telomeres shorten each time cell division occurs in somatic (body) cells and stem cells. A theory, known as the DNA Theory of Aging, suggests that this happens because the very last strand of DNA in the chromosome can’t be completely copied and so a little bit gets cut off.
When telomeres get too short cells can no longer replicate and reach a stage called senescence, which literally means to grow old. So when enough of our cells grow old, unfortunately so do we!
However, some people, for reasons that are not yet completely understood, appear to have telomeres that do not necessarily get shorter over time — they can even get longer. This just goes to show that the science of antiaging is far from straightforward!
Some scientists believe that shortened telomere length can lead to potentially shorter lifespans. This somewhat controversial idea is still being investigated but it does appear to be supported by some research that suggests that people who live longer (100 years and over) tend to have longer telomeres than the average person. (1)
The vast majority of our cells can divide about 50 times before they can no longer function. This is known as the Hayflick Limit after the scientist who first made this discovery back in the early 1960s.
However some cells, like reproductive cells, have a longer life because they need to replicate more than 50 times in a lifetime. Cancer cells can also divide indefinitely. So what causes some cells to grow old while others appear to be able to live on for much longer? The answer appears to lie with the enzyme telomerase.
Telomerase enables the body to copy the entire strand of DNA when a cell divides. This stops telomeres from shortening, protects DNA and so allows cells to live for longer. No wonder then that it is sometimes referred to as the ‘immortalizing enzyme’.
Telomerase can be activated in reproductive cells, is permanently turned on in cancer cells, but is turned off most of the time in our most common somatic (body) cells and stem cells. This, it is believed, is the reason why telomeres get progressively shorter in these cells.
The extraordinary power of telomerase was vividly demonstrated in an amazing rodent study in 2010, published in the journal Nature. (2)
The researchers, led by Ronald DePinho of Harvard Medical School, bred decrepit age-ravaged ‘old’ mice that were genetically deficient in telomerase. But by reactivating the enzyme they effectively turned the mice back into young healthy mice, complete with rejuvenated cells, tissues and organs. (3) In addition, none of the mice developed cancer.
If telomerase reactivation can have such a dramatic effect on mice could it also work in humans? Could that special Astragalus molecule, encapsulated in TA65 help to stop the ticking time bomb that is cell division and actually rejuvenate our bodies?
Some research suggests that healthy lifestyle choices and substances including omega oils (4) and multi-vitamins (5) could help to slow down the rate of telomere shortening. But only TA65 claims to be able to actually lengthen shortened telomeres.
A human study, published in the Journal of Rejuvenation Research in 2010, showed that, when taken orally, TA-65 could lengthen the shortest telomeres. It also had a positive effect on the immune system, with a decline in the number of senescent cytotoxic T cells — old white blood cells that can no longer effectively fight off viruses, pathogens, and tumours. (6)
In addition, individuals who have taken the supplement claim to have experienced a number of physical health improvements including:
Furthermore, just as in the rodent studies, there appears to be no reported cases of new cancers, and no side effects, associated with the use of TA65. This could support the notion that it would be impossible to further activate a cancer cell that is already permanently activated.
Can telomerase activation lead to a longer lifespan? Only time will tell. But some believe that is already has the potential to greatly improve our health spans — the time we are able to live in good health.
This view is shared by Founder and Chairman of TA Sciences, Noel Thomas Patton, who said recently: “I personally believe that lengthening telomeres can have a profound effect on the length of the human health span, the number of years we can remain active, productive, and being able to truly enjoy life.”
You too could benefit from the pure, natural power of TA65.
Antiaging Nutrition’s TA65® Telomerase Activator — which provides enhanced potency of TA65 through a proprietary purification process — could help to protect your DNA, which may in turn improve life expectancy. The dietary supplement could also boost your immune system, regulate blood pressure, and improve skin elasticity..
1. Gil Atzmon, Yousin Suh et al ‘Genetic variation in human telomerase is associated with telomere length in Ashkenazi centenarians.’ PNAS, 11/ 2009
2. De-Pinho et al, Nature, Nov. 2010
3. Jaskelioff M, Muller FL, Paik JH, et al. Telomerase reactivation reverses tissue degeneration in aged telomerase-deficient mice.
4. Farzaneh-Far R, Lin J, Epel ES, Harris WS, Blackburn EH, Whooley MA. Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease. JAMA. 2010 Jan 20;303(3):250-7.
5. 4. Xu Q. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1857-63
6. Harley CB, Liu W, Blasco M, et al. A natural product telomerase activator as part of a health maintenance program. Rejuvenation Res. 2011 Feb;14(1):45-56. Epub 2010 Sep 7.