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Dave Lakhani

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What is the best way to leverage telomere science to increase longevity, what will have the greatest impact on telomeres, diet, supplements?

I've been studying the nobel winning telomere science and finding many very interesting ideas on extending telomere length, health span and life span. I'm curious to know what has the most impact on telomere length. Is it diet? Exercise? Supplementation? What is your favorite books or resources on the subject?


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  • Feb 20 2011: What about meditation and resveratrol on top of all the other aspects? Is resveratrol still thought to lessen chances of death from heart disease and cancer? So is telomerase still consdered a two edged sword? Or is it now understood that telomerase overexpression in cancer is the last master gene altered before a cell becomes cancerous. In overexpression it switches 214 genes so far revealed by Blackburn's associates. Over 50 are associated with growth. Robt Weinberg won an industry prize for showing that he could , using gene switching, with no carcinogen, switch only 3 genes, he turned on an oncogene, turned off a tumor suppressor gene, and in every case had to switch on telomerase. If the first two genes are switched in the appropriate mode to start a cancer, the third will probably be switched by the activated cancer pathways that led to the other other two being switched. So it's unlikely that telomerase activation is dangerous. There is good evidence on many supplements and extracts that fight cancer that will never ever get drug company funding because they are not patentable. I suspect the same is true of telomerase activators for longevity. Meditation, exercise, eat green plants, a few fruits, don't use your lungs for industrial air filters, don't let anyone else do that to you either, fight for clean air, clean energy, clean transportation.
    • Feb 20 2011: Hi Robert I encourage you to read our book the Immortality Edge as all of that is in there in prescriptive fashion. In addition you might want to scan my articles on healthiertalk.com because all of these questions have been answered there extensively. They were simply not part of this particular discussion until now. I am not a huge fan or resveratrol as an anti-aging compound in humans at least not just yet. The effects on cancer are of course in genetically modified human cell lines and the human being studies show resveratrol works via adipokines mechanism not SIR mechanisms. That said I think of it as a good anti-oxidant that is still hunting for a mechanism other mechanisms in people to justify its reputation. That of course does not preclude additional discovery but at this point I usually have to roll my eyes when people say they are taking resveratrol or blueberry extract (pterostilbene) for longevity. You’d be far better off balancing your Omega 6 to omega 3 ratios with whatever dose of fish oil is needed for you to do that!
      There is a clear cut distinction between “extending life” by improving health and approaching our genetically pre programmed limit and having health and reversing aging while extending life to a new limit. In most cases the authors of various articles are really talking about the former not the latter. The former may indeed have some contribution from resveratrol or like polyphenols, the latter will as we have seen in mice and human populations require extension of the telomeres not just their preservation.

      As to cancer there are several mechanisms that have to be bypassed and immunosenescence is part of that problem. Cancer is a disease of short telomeres not long unless you figure in the rare ALT mechanisms which comes at the expense of recombination. Cancer also “over expresses” telomerase by as many means as you can think of all at once. Adding TA-65 to pre malignant cells does not increase cancer transformation. Adding TA-65 to cancer prone mice does not increase cancer transformation. And in the human study TA-65 did not lead to any increases in cancer transformation.
      Cancer makes telomerase not the other way around.
      Finally turning on telomerase in the aged mouse model REVERSED aging not just stopping it. This study was actually done more than once although the most recent one got all the airplay. Mouse studies where human skin was grafted on to the mice and then telomerase was turned on returned the human skin to a younger phenotype with young genetic expression.
      None of the other interventions will do that!
      Again all of this is the topic of the Immortality Edge!
      Best Dr Dave

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