Longevity Assessment & Anti-Aging
Benefits of Telomere Length Testing
The purpose of telomere length testing is to determine a person’s biological age. This determination can be vastly different from their age in calendar years. The test is done by taking a blood sample and examining part of the chromosomes related to aging. Shorter telomeres are an indication of premature aging and greater risk for age-related disease and poor health outcomes.
What are Telomeres?
They are structures at the end of a chromosome that protect cells from degradation during cellular reproduction, but which gradually shorten over the course of the lifespan. The speed at which this shortening occurs is often perceived as a determinant of biological age. Someone who has longer telomeres, for example, would seem younger than someone of the same chronological age who has shorter telomeres.
After telomeres have worn away, that cell is no longer able to divide or reproduce and dies. The body combats this process by producing telomerase, an enzyme that provides DNA to help rebuild telomeres, which extends the life of the cell. Unfortunately, excessive amounts of telomerase can also indicate the possibility of cancer, which reproduces without the limitations imposed by telomere shortening.
Telomere Length Testing & Anti-Aging Programs
Because longer telomeres are associated with reduced cancer risk and other positive health statuses, being aware of telomere length can be reassuring. Knowing about shorter telomeres can help individuals reassess some of their lifestyle choices and be aware of the impact of biological age on overall health and outlook. In many ways, telomere length testing is like adding an additional, highly sophisticated test to the vast array of wellness and preventative health tools already available. Together, this test can provide an additional advantage over utilizing more traditional measures, like blood-pressure or cholesterol monitoring, alone.